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Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) aims to provide and maintain high quality education programmes at pre-primary, primary, secondary and teacher education levels by conducting research and evaluation, curriculum design and development, teaching and learning materials improvisation, training and providing consultancy services and professional advice to stake holders. In December, 2009 TIE collaborated with a non Governmental organization i.e. Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT). CCBRT aims at improving the quality of life of people living with disabilities, their family members and caregivers by enabling them become full members of society. TIE collaborated CCBRT to conduct a study to identify the current gaps in Special Needs Education (SNE) Teacher education curriculum used at Patandi Teachers’ College. Patandi Teachers’ College curricula in-service program have been used without being reviewed for long period. Due to that TIE decided to conduct the study in order to review the curricula to align it with competence based and integrate crosscutting issues.

Patandi Teachers’ College is the only college in Tanzania which offers both Certificate and Diploma in education in Special Needs Education teachers’ course. Special Needs Education is education which provides appropriate modifications in curriculum, teaching and learning methods, and teaching/learning materials, medium of communication and conducive teaching and learning environment to meet individual learner’s diverse needs. It is learner centred, flexible and adjustable to individual needs and potentials.

The study intended to gather information that will help in reviewing and integrating cross cutting issues mainly HIV/AIDS in SNE Teacher education curriculum (Certificate and Diploma levels). The study was necessitated by the increasing recognition that learners with disabilities have been neglected in initiatives and interventions targeting the prevention of HIV & AIDS and STIs. The appropriate knowledge on HIV & AIDS will help them in reducing knowledge gaps and improving the understanding of the dynamics of HIV and AIDS and STI’s among learners with disabilities in Tanzania.

The study also provides key information and rationale for reviewing the curriculum and highlights the key requirements in promoting knowledge on HIV/AIDS among SNE student teachers. In order to achieve the intended goals, the following process were undertaken to accomplish it i.e. Needs Assessment and Reviewing SNE Teacher education curricular in service programmes both Certificate and Diploma levels.

1. Needs Assessment was carried into five activities namely:
a) Developing and production of baseline survey tools.
b) Pre-test./tryout of the survey tools
c) Orientation to data collectors on the tools to be used during the field work
d) Data analysis and report writing
e) Editing and validating of the report
f) Disseminate of the report to stakeholders

The specific objectives of the study were:
a) To find out if the present content in SNE teacher education curriculum addresses learners’ and community needs
b) To find out if objectives in the current SNE teacher education curriculum for certificate and diploma levels promote quality education for learners with disabilities.
c) To find out if the assessment modalities in the SNE teacher education curriculum are proper in identifying and assisting learners with disabilities
d) To find out if the language of instruction used in teaching and learning SNE certificate course promote teachers’ competences
e) To review the curricula so as to align it with competence based and integrates crosscutting issues.

The study involved 81 out of 115 (70%) of the SNE experts from MoEVT, NECTA, Zonal Schools Inspectors ,District SNE Coordinators, Patandi College Principal and tutors, primary
and secondary school teachers, student teachers (Certificate and Diploma levels) and parents/guardians of children with disabilities.

Two types of instruments used to collect data were:
a) Interview schedule administered to MoEVT and NECTA officials, Zonal and District School Inspectors, District SNE coordinators, Patandi College principal and tutors, SNE Secondary and Primary school teachers and parents/ guardians of children with disabilities.
b) Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guides were used to collect data from student teachers both certificate and diploma levels at Patandi T.C.

The study was qualitative in nature with interview schedule and focus group discussion as the main instruments used. The study was collaborative; it involved experts from TIE, MOEVT,
Patandi SNE Teachers’ College and specialist teachers. This approach was sought to create capacity, efficiency and sustainability to the process of curriculum development.
The sampling procedure was both purposive and random. The purposive sampling was used for the determined respondents of the needs assessment. These include specialist teachers,
parents/ guardians and student teachers who can identify their learning needs.

The random sampling was used for tutors from Patandi Teachers’ College and Ministry of Education Officials to identify their opinions, views about what they think should be include curriculum during the review. The study was conducted in three regions namely, Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa and Morogoro.

The respondents gave several recommendations, the most outstanding ones were:
a) To review both Certificate and Diploma curriculum from content/objective to competence based curriculum.
b) To change the language of instruction for teacher education certificate level from English to Kiswahili
c) To revise course duration for teacher education certificate level from one year to two years.
d) To introduce practical assessment tools to replace paper and pencil tests.
e) To mainstream crosscutting issues in the reviewed curriculum including HIV/AIDS

2. Reviewing SNE Teacher education curricular in service programmes both Certificate and Diploma levels. During the process 26 courses were reviewed while 10 courses were introduces at both Certificate and Diploma levels. At Certificate level four courses were introduced in different area of specialization as follows:
1) Intellectual Impairment- New course introduced was Intellectual Impairment and Autism with three (03) topics and eight (08) sub-topics
2) Hearing Impairment –New courses introduced are:
a) Sign Language with six (06) topics and seventeen (17) sub-topics
b) Hearing Impairment and the Ear with four (04) topics and nine (09) subtopics.
3) Visual Impairment –New course was Braille Mathematic Notation with five (05) topics and thirteen (13) sub-topics

At Diploma level six (06) courses were introduced as follows:
1) Intellectual Impairment- New courses introduced are:
a) Physical Education with five (05) topics and fifteen (15) sub-topics
b) Psychology of Intellectual Impairment with 4 topics and 15 sub-topics

2) Hearing Impairment –New courses introduced are:
a) Sign Language with six (06) topics and eighteen (18) sub-topics
b) Adaptive Physical Education with four (04) topics and eleven (11) subtopics
3) Visual Impairment-New courses introduced are
a) Physical Education with five (04) topics and ten (10) sub-topics
b) Braille mathematic Notation with five (05) topics and twenty one (21) subtopics.

The reasons for introducing new courses were based on the findings revealed from stakeholders during the study. Most of the respondents involved in the study pointed out that graduates from Patandi are not competent enough to display the knowledge and skills gained from the college either due to lack of sufficient content or inadequate tutors. Thus, there is need to introduce new courses which were not included in the previous SNE curriculum. During the review experts were requested to make sure that the content developed should help the student teacher be competent, thus competence was considered in all syllabi during the review. Also in all levels i.e. certificate and Diploma HIV/AIDS was integrated so as to make student teachers acquire relevant information specifically on how to facilitate it to learners with special needs.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 16:56

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