When researching whether or not Tanzania has adopted OLPC I came across a statement from the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Training who said in 2009, “We are still far from reaching that level where every child could be provided with a laptop, in fact most teachers do not have the knowledge, therefore we want to train teachers first” (olpcnews).
I thought this was a very smart statement. When going over OLPC in class we discussed how many of the pitfalls started from how the teachers had no incentive to incorporate ICT into their lessons because they were not given laptops, they were not ICT literate, and they had no incentive to become ICT literate. So, the children were mostly using the laptops for games, as they were not introduced/regularly used in their classrooms. Focusing on training teachers in ICTs is a more important first step in my mind, so that if a project like this was ever to be introduced into the country the teachers would actually know how to use the technology and actually incorporate it into their lessons.
After further research I came across an article on an initiative that focuses on ICT teacher training in Tanzania. This project aims at implementing ICT into all teacher-training colleges in the country, in order to improve access and quality of education into the country. The goals of this project are to, “i) integrate the use of ICT to achieve educational objectives, (ii) facilitate the use of ICT resources in schools and (iii) facilitate development and use of ICT as a pedagogical tool for teaching and learning” (ictinteachereducation) From doing our short paper 1 I recalled that an important part of Tanzania’s ICT policy was involving teachers in the ICT process too.
In 2010, The East African Community(including Tanzania), signed a memo of understanding to incorporate OLPC into primary education in their schools; hopefully they did not abandon their original thinking about how crucial it is for teachers to be ICT literate first before the children receive laptops to be used in their classrooms (olpcnews).