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Mar 23, 2017

Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP) project

The Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP) is a five year, Government of Canada funded, and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) administered project in Tanzania.

Bow Valley College leads the ISTEP-06: Technical Vocational Education and Training Program (TVET), with Morogoro Vocational Teachers Training College (MVTTC) and Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). MVTTC is the official Vocational Teacher’s training college in Tanzania and is expanding its capacity to train and produce more teachers for TVET institutions via the ISTEP project. This project is near the end of the second year of development and will see its first intake of teacher training learners attend MVTTC in August 2017. The selected learners will study in a Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Technical Vocational Education and Training Program, the first program of its kind in Tanzania. Collaboration with both Canadian partners, and the Open University of Tanzania were instrumental to the development of curriculum, training of tutors, and the delivery of an online distance learning program via the Moodle Learning Management System.

Curriculum developed includes an advanced entrepreneurship module in TVET, gender and inclusivity module in TVET, curriculum development for TVET, and online distance delivery in TVET. Gender and entrepreneurship were both identified as essential areas of need by MVTTC during initial project planning stages. Increasing accessibility to higher levels of education supported the progression towards online distance learning in Tanzania. The piloting of online distance learning will start in the third year of the project, with a rural college identified in Iringa, and an urban college identified in Dar es Salaam as beneficiaries for this online distance program. The gender gap with regards female instructors in TVET institutions and as trainers in vocational education, has led to the development of Online Distance Learning as an avenue to provide education to those with reduced accessibility.

While working in Tanzania, Mr. Sospeter Dickson, Head of ICT at MVTTC took Bow Valley College members on a tour of their computer labs. The facilities include language labs, a library lab, and two computer labs. Learners currently have access to computer programs and course training which includes Microsoft programming. In collaboration with the Canadian partners and the Open University of Tanzania, (who currently use Moodle in their program delivery and will help provide back end technology support), MVTTC will build on and continue to develop its programming via distance learning. This program will be the first online distance delivery program for a teacher training college in Tanzania.

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