A Framework for Onlines Resources and E-Learning Implementation (OREI) in Tanzania Secondary Schools
Kihoza, Patrick Daniel
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The generic model of an education system is formed by pedagogy, social interaction, and technological components. Current generation is born into a digital world, distinguished from other generations by the presence of sophisticated media, World Wide Web, mobile devices, and the multitasking computer systems that enhance learning beyond the classroom walls. In recent years, the shortcomings on the traditional learning approaches have forced an increased demand for the use of digital educational resources that enhance effectiveness to the pre-existed approaches. However, deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in schools face internal and external challenges that are either related to lack of funding, lack of ICT implementation strategic plan, lack of experts’ involvement, lack of users competencies and or relevant infrastructures and technologies to be used. As a gap to this study, most of previous studies focused on the design of elearning tools (software, mobile apps, and interactive systems). However, the lack of a framework that integrates efforts of all key players for the planning of ICT use in secondary education exists. In addition, ICT tools are dumped in schools where users have no skills and their readiness is not well determined. A solid approach for technology and infrastructure deployment in the education system is essential. This study introduced an integrated online resources and e-learning implementation (OREI) framework. In Tanzania, applying pedagogical ICT tools in secondary education is highly considered as a necessity. The need therefore for teachers’ professional development should be aligned to the overall education objectives and the opportunities of the pedagogical use of ICTs. In this study, a mixed research design used qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect data using questionnaires, interviews and document reviews from the MoEVT head office, Tanzania institute of education (TIE), Schools’ inspection eastern zone office, Morogoro Teachers Training College, Mzumbe University, four public Secondary Schools (Kilakala, Kipera, Mongola and Lupanga) both from Morogoro region. This study found that, teachers are passionate to know and use ICTs but failed due to existing external limitations (e.g. accessibility to hardware and software) and internal limitations-(e.g. personal attitudes, skills and perceptions about a technology). Teachers’ education level could not determine their ICT use competency levels. Majorities are poorly prepared in ICT use and ii could fail to mix digital and non-digital technologies in classrooms when enabled. The challenges secondary schools face in relation to ICT use are complex and should not be resolved from single direction. The uses of ICTs have mostly focused on infrastructures and less on ICT associated learning opportunities. Among the worst practices have been dumping hardware in schools without relevant e-contents, adopting ICT-related models and practices of the developed nations hoping for them to work, lack of clearly defined ICT in education implementation plan and framework. Emerging from the reviewed literature and the empirical data, we introduced an innovative framework to support the process of planning, deployment, and monitoring and evaluation of the ICTs in education in Tanzania, which is a study case. The study identified seven components of the OREI framework namely: (1) government support, (2) ICT infrastructures, (3) technology deployment, (4) policies and guidelines, (5) training and recruitment, (6) stake holders involvement and (7) the monitoring and evaluation; followed by the design based approach which led to the initial framework design. ELearning application in developing countries could only be realized when the ICT in education policies, the education vision strategic plan and the implementation framework are well coordinated. This study presents key recommendations. The government should clearly define the model of technology use in secondary education. The strategic plan should state measurable achievements to avoid entering the worst ICT investment practices. There is a need for authoritative approach to the study of the degree of ICT in education integration that makes use of such indicators within developmental models of integration of ICT in education with considerations of local circumstances. Tanzania as a nation should define levels of ICT integration and break them into goal oriented phases. For the government to know whether one model of instructional materials is a better choice than another, it must know which students are being exposed to which instructional materials. In the perspective of ICT in education planning, designing and deployment it is necessary to bring ICT into a familiar educational framework as a tool equally to textbooks and in time allow and pro-actively encourage the government to intentionally budget for them equally. It is clear that a balance is required between providing offline digital content resources, online content and online content creation tools that allow teachers and students to create and share their own teaching and learning contents.