The world is experiencing a high demand for innovation, which is driving new ideas, new processes, new leaders, new inventions, new literature, and much more. In order to keep up with these developments, one needs to first examine the type of curriculum used in their school. The nature of the curriculum in schools determines whether students from educational backgrounds, like Mtakuja Secondary School, have the ability to cope with the global changes. A 21st century curriculum should be designed in a way that produces learners who can think critically, face existing problems, and suggest solutions. Mostly, learners should be equipped to develop their skills to the maximum potential to pursue their dreams in life.
Mtakuja Secondary School is one school in Tanzania that has adopted a unique curriculum design, facilitated by Quest Forward Learning. This curriculum is structured in such a way that it enables learners to drive their own education— making decisions on what, where, and when to learn. Aided by technology, the learners at Mtakuja Secondary School use tablets to access their lessons, as well as a vast number of resources and activities. Often people question the effect of the students’ limited technological background, expressing concern these resources actually inhibit their learning. This obstacle is expected, because many of the students come from humble backgrounds and have never interacted with technology before, but ultimately, the addition of tablets helps students get excited about their education and they are eager to overcome this challenge. While the technology is the primary platform, mentors are still present to provide feedback and help facilitate the learning process in the classroom. Whether it’s because of their young age or absolute curiosity, the students adopt the technology very quickly. The learners at Mtakuja now understand their tablets more than we anticipated, mastering many of the features and operations, continuously finding new ways to engage with the curriculum.
The well-designed curriculum, supported by technology, makes Mtakuja Secondary School and its community different from other schools in Tanzania. Although the material uses the Quest Forward Learning platform, the curriculum itself is written and produced by Tanzanian authors to align with the nation syllabus requirements. With a carefully crafted methodology, learners at Mtakuja are free to explore various disciplines and discover new information to grow and shape their ideas in ways never provided to students in Mtakuja before. Engaging with their mentors and peers, they are able learn the value of building relationships and working together as they explore avenues, conduct research and collaborate on group projects— developing the skills to better connect themselves to the world. Through Quest Forward Learning in Tanzania we hope that students develop essential habits (read more about the essential habits here) and become valuable innovators in this rapidly changing world.
This post was written by East African Team Members: Eligrania Lema, Fredy Mollel & Leveri Mlaki.