Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New drive to boost science learning in public schools

Powering Potential Organisation officials

Powering Potential Organisation officials accompanied by their country director Albin Mathias (left) listen to President Jakaya Kikwete when he visited the organisation’s pavilion at the climax of the Education Week held at the national level in Dodoma. PHOTO | VALENTINE OFORO 

By Valentine Oforo,The Citizen Correspondent

Dodoma. For many years Tanzania has been striving to uplift academic performance of students in science subjects, albeit with little hope.

Lackluster performance in the filed of science has been attributed to poor learning and teaching facilities, which included lack of well-equipped laboratories and skilled science teachers and laboratory technicians.

But the recently–ended Education Week staged at the national level in Dodoma, came up with encouraging revelations.

Some 56 primary schools in different rural areas across the country will benefit from a Pi-oneers Project (PP), set to be launched in July this year by Powering Potential organisation.

According to its country director, Mr Albin Mathias, the programme will provide rural primary schools with offline education materials and reliable power supply with efficient technology that uses solar system.

“Pi-oneer is an innovative teaching tool, which Powering Potential has designed and is implementing in remote secondary schools through the use of Pioneers – mobile projector computer –with education material and solar recharging unit,” said Mr Mathias.

He said final preparations for the programme to take off are currently underway in partnership with the Prime Minister Office, Regional Administration and Local government. “Already, initial implementation proposed plan had been submitted to PMO-RALG office,” he added.

“We install offline Raspberry Pi computer with Remote Areas Community Hotspots for Education and Leaning (Rachel) as well as digital educational contents on a Pi computer,” he said.

The content, according to him, include Khan Academy videos, Wikipedia articles, medical reference books, Unesco textbooks, and other teaching materials. The programme is currently being used in 10 remote schools in three districts.

Mr Mathias was optimistic that the technology will go a long way in motivating students to study science subject as it simplifies understanding.