SUBSTANTIAL investments in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities like computers for use in primary and secondary schools is seen as a fundamental step in enhancing the quality of education that would ultimately be reflected in the improved livelihood of its people.
 
For example, with a one laptop per child programme, Rwanda has moved ahead of most East African Countries to putting clear direction towards transformation of its people into an ICT society. However, Tanzania has been making concerted efforts to engage both state and non state organs particularly private sector in attracting large investments in the ICT industry due to its vital contributions to attaining real development.
 

Responding to the government call, the Microsoft British Council (MBC), which is non government organization, provided ICT facilities to primary and secondary schools in Kilimanjaro Region with a goal of enhancing learning of science subjects. The MBC through a project dubbed 'Badiliko' has so far managed to distribute 300 computers worth 450m/- to several primary and secondary schools in Tanzania.
 
The organization last week provided 60 computers worth 90m/- to three primary and secondary schools in Kilimanjaro Region including Mdawi Primary School located in Moshi Rural District, JK Nyerere Secondary School in Moshi Urban District and Mrike Secondary School in Rombo District. Speaking at the handing over ceremony of 60 computers at Mdawi Primary School, the organization's manager, Ms Lilian Msuya, said the project aimed at helping students and teachers to have computers as the necessary teaching aids in order to improve the quality of education.
 
ICT in the education system is mainly used for skills training and even with very few primary schools equipped, a curriculum has been developed for ICT in primary and pre-primary education, dubbed in Kiswahili as Teknolojia ya Habari na Mawasiliano (TEHAMA). However, this ICT as a subject is only taught in a few schools in the urban areas and near the district headquarters where institutions have access to electricity.
 
Also lack of coordination of ICT in education activities, limited information sharing, inadequate skills for integration of IT in learning machines, ineffective organizational structures at the various management levels to accommodate it in teaching and learning act has been cited as obstacle to the industry growth. Apart from handing over the computers, Ms Msuya said the organization also inaugurated a special learning centre at Mdawi area for science teachers to enhance their teaching skills.

Original article published by by AllAfrica Global Media on 8 February 2013