26 Jul 2004
By Henry Lyimo
The Aga Khan University (AKU) plans to establish an institute of educational development in Dar es Salaam.
The move will bring to two, the number of academic disciplines run in the country by the non-profit organization.
AKU president and the founding trustee, Shams Kassim-Lakha, said the new institute would be established after the successful completion of a Professional Development Centre (PDC) project established in 2000.
Kassim-Lakha was speaking at a dinner hosted in honour of Aga Khan University International board of trustees.
AKU is currently running a Post Graduate Medical Education Programme (PGME) in Dar es Salaam since May this year and an Advanced Nursing Programme with a total of 173 students.
Some members of the AKU Board of trustees arrived in Dar es Salaam as part of their visit to East Africa where they will review the university’s nursing, medical and education programmes in East Africa.
Speaking at the function, the Minister for Education and Culture, Joseph Mungai, pledged his support for the initiative to establish an institute of educational development in Tanzania.
He said construction of the institute, to be built on the same site at the Aga Khan Academy of Excellence, could go ahead.
“I very much hope that the network will be able to arrange a ground-breaking ceremony for these existing developments in the near future because adequate land is now available for the project,” Mungai said
He said one of the problems Tanzania was facing was lack of qualified teachers, adding that this had far-reaching consequences on the ability of the nation to educate its people.
The minister said there were 430,000 students in Tanzania this year, which is a Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) of 13 per cent in 1,290 secondary schools and that the target was to reach an enrolment of two million and and NER of 50 per cent by 2010.
“I would also ask you to note that one of the very pressing needs facing this country is to add to the stock of high quality teachers, the lack of which has serious repercussions for our capacity to educate our young men and women,” he said.
Mungai said as part of government efforts to address the problem, the Chang’ombe Teachers College in Dar es Salaam and Mkwawa High School in Iringa Region would be affiliated to the University of Dar es Salaam as university colleges for teachers’ training.