In 2005, Tanzania introduced a class called Personality Development and Sports (PDS) into primary school curriculum. This class aims to educate students on communication, decision-making, health, sports, teamwork, citizenship, and entrepreneurship knowledge and skills. However, limited curriculum and resources existed for PDS, and teachers were not trained to teach these topics. As a result, the class was not taken seriously.
This is where TFFT’s Full Circle’s initiative comes in. TFFT’s Full Circle Program focuses on these life skills topics. We are currently piloting a program in 10 schools to better equip teachers to offer quality life skills education in Tanzanian schools. We have designed a three-part strategy to ensure that this class teaches students these important life skills. Our strategy includes: 1) an activity guide that correlates with Tanzania’s national curriculum, 2) teacher training, and 3) tool-kits containing materials to use for instruction and class activities. The success of this project has allowed TFFT to impact thousands of primary students across the country. Hilda, our Full Circle Program Manager, monitors the curriculum implementation in piloting schools. Here are her latest observations on the positive changes taking place in our piloting schools.
This past October, I had the opportunity to visit some of the PDS piloting schools, including Maua Primary, Tanzania Adventist, and Upendo Academy, to oversee the progress of PDS Full Circle curriculum and toolkit use. Teachers’ use of TFFT’s Full Circle curriculum in conjunction with government PDS curriculum impressed me. The teachers have improved at utilizing various activities to support academic topics, and students express that they enjoy learning PDS.
Teachers report the experiential teaching technique is a superior method to straightforward instruction that does not incorporate hands-on activity into students’ experience. This way, students participate front and center in the PDS learning process. Students discuss how the new teaching techniques involve them frequently and assist with strengthening memorization skills, as they learn subject matter through working with and teaching peers. I have noticed continued improvement in student attitude and experience, as PDS classes work to actively include all students.
With the PDS class, students complete tasks, identify what the outcome of the task, and subsequently analyze and relate it to daily life. Teachers have shifted to a more friendly approach in teaching PDS, making students more open to sharing concerns with teachers.
Also, the sporting goods provided in TFFT’s toolkits has facilitated friendly athletic competition in the piloting schools. Students state that having access to sports equipment improves lifestyle health. Before receiving our toolkits, some schools had never before acquired any athletic equipment. TFFT has transformed many students’ lives by providing materials and resources that the government does not.
Sparked with energy to further athletic potential, students have begun compiling materials to create local toolkits with items from home communities. Items that they have available include homemade jump ropes and traditional balls. An increase in school attendance has correlated with this recent increase in sports; some students have resumed school attendance as a result of current athletic opportunities.
Upon noticing this progress and overall success in our piloting schools, some of TFFT’s private school partners have requested Full Circle training on PDS and expressed interest in purchasing toolkits. I look forward to furthering the teacher training, specifically with an emphasis on how to provide teachers the capacity to establish and manage clubs within piloting schools. Stay tuned!