The delegation had spent ten days in the East African state as part of INN University’s internationalisation in teacher education efforts.
In mid-February, a delegation of four INN University staff members along with two students had embarked on a journey to the East African state of Tanzania. This trip followed a seed fund grant of NOK 60 000 from INN University’s Pro-rector for Education and Pro-rector for Research and internationalisation, for the purpose of improving gender equality and internationalisation in teacher education.
The delegation had participated in a variety of educational activities, and had the chance to visit three higher education institutions: University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Marangu Teachers College (MTC) and Vikindu Teachers College, as well as the National Accreditation Council of Tanzanian Education (NACTE), where they visited graduates of the former Hedmark University of Applied Sciences (HUAS).
Long-standing cooperation and new potential partners
INN University’s collaboration with Tanzania is a continuation of HUAS’ cooperation with institutions in the country. The first collaboration dates back to 2006, with the commencement of a NORAD Arts and Cultural Education programme project, which ran until 2011. In this initial project, fifteen Bachelor of Arts students graduated from HUAS within the subject area Community Arts. Theatre Arts as a subject was then implemented at MTC’s experiential learning school, Darajani secondary school.
Ever since, further collaboration with multiple institutions has been explored, with hopes that expanding cooperation would be fruitful in terms of research and student exchange.
During the visit, INN University staff had met with UDSM regarding a potential collaboration with their Faculty of Education and their Faculty of Creative Arts.
Among other activities, INN University’s Dr Prisca Bruno Massao had lectured on gender equality in everyday practices at MTC as well as at Darajani secondary school.
The two INN University students who travelled with the delegation have stayed at Marangu Teachers College, and will teach at Darajani secondary school as part of their practical experiential learning.
Making a change on multiple fronts
A part of the visit was dedicated to research dissemination as well as observation of local conditions.
During a four-day workshop at MTC, INN University staff members had worked on a student survey revolving gender equality, following which they presented the results to the local staff. Preliminary results show that there is some awareness of this subject among the students, but also that a lot of work remains in addressing these sensitive areas.
The delegation also had the rare opportunity to visit Gabriella Rehab Centre, which is a unique centre for children living with disabilities that was established in 2009 with the help of Norwegian donations, among others. The centre helps children acquire the necessary skills for living with their disability, and educates family members on how to maximize their quality of life in face of a challenging condition.
International coordinator Guro Hagen shares her experience as an INN University delegation member:
- This trip was a fantastic experience for me, being an “Africa-rookie”. I visited both the vibrant city of Dar es Salaam and the calmer countryside in Marangu on the hills of the Kilimanjaro Mountain; the contrast was quite impressive, as was the mountain. The visit at the Gabriella centre was very touching; they are doing such important work and it was impressive to see how far they have come and how well organised they are in the planning and construction of the new centre. We hope that the fruitful cooperation with MTC, UDSM and Darajani secondary school will keep growing – both with student exchange and with joint research. We are working on a NORPART application, which would be very beneficial for all our partners and students.
The seed fund grant was awarded to INN University’s Wendy L. Meyer, Prisca Bruno Massao, and Guro Hagen, and to Benjamin Mbezi – international coordinator at MTC. The two key operative objectives of the grant were to examine possibilities of introducing sex education as an integral part of teacher education at MTC, as well as to facilitate joint research projects with MTC and UDSM. The Delegation’s visit to Tanzania has proven to be quite productive on both these fronts.