The impact of middle school curriculum in community development in Moshi District

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University of Dar es Salaam
The aim of this study is to investigate the role and function of Middle Schools as they operated during the short span of eight years (1952-1959). This innovation was introduced in Tanganyika at the time when the colonial rule was showing signs of disintegration. It was argued by the colonial administration that the Middle Schools, together with the provisional curriculum, were introduced in African education for “African development”. The official statements about the education for Africans that are found in the colonial documents motivated me to find out the truth of the matter. I wanted to find out whether the practical and theoretical activities introduced by the colonial authorities reflected the life and the developmental needs of the locality in which a Middle School was situated. The findings of this study will highlight the extent to which the Middle School was part and parcel of the community development process, also the extent to which the Middle School curriculum was related to the needs of the community. Further, the study is intended to assess the extent to which the Middle School curriculum sufficiently prepared pupils to go back to the land so as to play a more useful part in the development of the locality where they lived. Finally, it will be possible to assess the extent to which the community was involved in planning and implementing projects that involved the school and the community. Chapter I traces the historical development of education in Tanganyika in general and in Moshi District in particular. It shows how the education offered early in the colonial period was instrumental to the perpetuation of master-servant relationships. The education provided to Africans was discriminatory in the sense of chiefs and schools for the rest of the African population, worst still, the education provided was racially discriminatory as it was offered to Africans, Asians and Europeans on a racial basis. As a result, the education intended for “African development” was inadequately planned, lacked sufficient involvement on the part of the local community and did not make use of the skills, knowledge and experiences available in the local community. Chapter II surveys Moshi District in terms of social, economic and cultural characteristics to enable the readers to know the background of the area of study. It is observed that the local people were mainly farmers growing such crops as coffee, maize, bananas, yams and beans and kept cattle, sheep and goats. A few were employed as traders, shopkeepers, civil servants and parastatal workers. While the land tenure system was based on customary law and fovoured first-born and last-born sons as inheritors of the land which was normally fertile and well developed, the middle-born sons had to move to the plains to open up the undeveloped land. This was the only land available for expansion. By the same, most of the Middle School leavers could not acquire land because they were too young and had to wait till they were married. This is a principal reason why the Middle School leavers could not take up farming soon after leaving school. The Middle School education in the 1950’s is discussed in Chapter III. I pointed out the reasons that led to the founding of Middle School and why they failed after being in operation for only eight years. It was observed that the Middle School curriculum stressed improved agricultural techniques and technical skills with the intention of making a few a pupils go on for further education while majority were to stay with their parents in the rural areas. It was expected that the school would be an agent of change to help the local people increase cash crop production. Unfortunately, this did not necessarily come true; and this is verified in a specific case study of a school (Chapter IV). I wanted to find out the extent to which the Middle School helped to change the social, cultural and economic conditions of the people living around the school. The result of the case study show that the pupils who completed Std. VIII between 1955-1959 were one hundred and eighty out of whom one hundred and four pupils went for further education to Secondary schools and training institutions. This represents 57% of pupils. Also seventy three pupils were not selected for further education but were employed directly in government offices, companies and private enterprises. The pupils who remained permanently at home to work with their parents were only three and this represents 1.6% of Middle School leavers (1955-1959). These figures show that Middle School leavers did not want to remain with their parents on the land but instead they went out to urban areas to look for paid employment. The details of the distribution of pupils who completed Std. VIII at Kilema Middle School are found in this Chapter. Chapter V looks at the school-community relations. This is an analysis of the school and the community in terms of their actual social, economic, cultural and technological exchanges and how they have been involved in projects both in the community and in the school. The findings reveal that the people were not involved in making decisions regarding the type of education provided. This information was collected from former Middle School teachers, parents, former Middle School pupils and local leaders. Out of the twenty two parents interviewed, thirteen said that the local people were not consulted regarding the type of education provided to their children, This represents 59.2% of the respondents. People mentioned that those involved in deciding on the type of education were the Bishop and the District Education Office. The people were asked about the ways in which the local skill, knowledge and experiences were utilised. Out of the twenty two parents interviewed, nineteen said that the local skills and experiences were not utilised in this school. This represent 86.4% of the total respondents. On the question of involving the community in planning and carrying out projects that concerned the school and the community, it was observed that these projects were done in isolation. The school carried out projects on their own while the community did the same thing. There were only a few occasions when both school and the community participated in joint projects. The actual planning was usually done separately without involving the other party.
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Education, primary, Curricula, Community development, Morogoro (District), Tanzania
Maina, S. J (1976) The impact of middle school curriculum in community development in Moshi District,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )