Language Pedagogy and Textbooks in Lower secondary education- A Research Seminar.
The Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development in Dar es Salaam in collaboration with Bristol University UK, Dodoma University Tanzania, and the Tanzania Institute for Education, hosted a one-‐day research seminar titled "Language Pedagogy and Textbooks in Lower secondary education," on July 5, 2013.
The seminar addressed key issues for education in the context of English as a medium of instruction in government secondary schools in Tanzania. An eminent panel of experts from local and international institutions addressed the seminar. Speakers included Dr. Martha Qorro from the well known project “Language of Instruction in Tanzania and South Africa”, Professor Rubagumya and Dr. Osaki from University of Dodoma, Zaida Mgalla from UWEZO Tanzania, Dr. Neil Ingram, Dr. John Clegg and Dr. Angeline Barrett from Bristol University UK and Professor Anjum Halai, Professor Pauline Rea-‐Dickins and Peter Kajoro from the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development. Participants of the seminar included among others academics, researchers, teacher educators and members of the ministry of education in Tanzania.
The seminar was part of the Project “Language Supportive Teaching and Textbooks” that aims to: a) build system capacity for writing secondary textbooks that are accessible to second language learners; and; b) pilot new content on language supportive pedagogies for three existing in-‐service/professional development programmes. The reach and impact of the project is national as the textbooks will be distributed nationally and training units will be developed for Tanzania’s main teacher educator professional development programme. In Tanzania, Kiswahili is the national language as well as the main language of official communication while English is the second official language. In 1967 Kiswahili was made the language of instruction in all primary school education in the country while English is used as the medium of instruction in post-‐ primary education. Panelists agreed that proficiency in English is a major barrier to learning, most especially for secondary students from low socio-‐economic status home backgrounds. They went to propose several strategies that could potentially be employed to support the current language in education policy. These included looking at the level of textbooks in terms of readiness of use by students in the government secondary schools; considering use of bilingualism in examination; and providing appropriate teacher education for multilingual classrooms.
The seminar concluded on the note that the current language in education policy in Tanzania is established for the purpose of providing students an opportunity to be rooted in their culture through Kiswahili as a medium of instruction at primary levels and be prepared for the global world through English as a medium of instruction at post primary levels. However, for this policy to realize its intent of providing quality education with local and global relevance, a much greater alignment was needed in policy and practice so that the gaps could be minimized. Finally the seminar presenters agreed that language in education policy could not be seen in isolation but had to be considered in the context of appropriate teacher training, language appropriate teaching materials, textbooks and examination papers.
Grant Applications Submitted and Awards Rreceived- 2012
AKU faculty submitted a total of 121 extramural grant applications (research, consultancy, capacity building, scholarships, and training) for US$ 33.6 M. Medical College, Pakistan (MC (P)) submitted 69.4% of the applications. These grant proposals included funds for the support of six post-doctoral fellows and 16 PGME residents, indicating modest but important support of trainees, although no funds were requested for PhD students.
During 2012, AKU was awarded a total of US$ 21.1M for 64 grants, of which MC (P) was the largest recipient followed by AKU-Afghanistan. 52% of the funds were for two major FHS thematic areas: a) Infection, Immunity, Inflammation (III) and b) Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), mostly to undertake epidemiological studies (on etiology of neonatal infections, MNCH, determination of environmental pollution health hazards, etc.), and capacity building.
Research Publications: Consolidated Analysis for the Year 2012
In 2012, AKU faculty published 514 papers based on work undertaken at AKU. 91% of the publications were by MC (P) faculty. Of the published papers, 76% were research papers, 12% reviews and viewpoints, 8% case studies, 2% were surveys, and less than 2% were communications. Most papers from FHS were in two thematic areas: Non-Communicable Diseases and Infection, Immunity, Inflammation.
Pie chart below shows paper distribution by the FHS thematic area (Social and Economic Determinants of Health) where 500 of the 514 publications emanated from FHS (P and EA).
Books and book chapters
In 2012, faculty published nine books: two, single author books by ISMC faculty Dr. Abdou Filali-Ansari and Dr. Aptin Khanbaghi, and seven co-authored books: MC(P): 2, IED (P): 2, ISMC: 3. Faculty contributed forty-two chapters in seven co-edited books, and five chapters in books edited by non-AKU faculty; IED (EA): 3, ISMC: 1, and, MC(EA):1.