This spring, Professor of Education Charles Temple participated in a discussion on the “Future of Education in Tanzania,” which was sponsored by the Friends of Tanzania (FOT) and the Tanzania Association of D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Temple was invited by the event’s moderator and member of the organizing committee, Karumuna Kaijage ’02, an independent international development consultant who serves on the board of FOT.
The forum was proposed in response to the very poor 2013 National Examination results by Tanzania’s secondary students. Kaijage notes the event received some press coverage back in his native Tanzania as it was the first of its kind (focused on education) in the United States involving both diaspora Tanzanians and Americans that are interested in Tanzania.
“I recommended Professor Temple to the FOT Board because of his long and outstanding experience in education research and travels in Tanzania,” says Kaijage, adding he also has a personal connection to Temple. While a senior at Hobart and William Smith, Kaijage served as his interpreter for Temple’s research documents on Tanzania.
The program took place at Howard University in Washington, D.C. All speakers had extensive experience in Tanzania and spoke to the challenges and success of educating Tanzania students. The event was opened by the Honorable Ambassador of Tanzania, Madame Liberata Mulamula, who provided a perspective on the gains made in the past 50 years since Mwalimu Nyerere, the country’s first President, highlighted education as one of the three goals of development for Tanzania. Among the challenges noted by the Ambassador were providing the resources to meet the demands of universal education, including resources for students, a shortage of qualified teachers, and better training and incentives for teachers.
Temple highlighted the work of the Children’s Book Project in the Kongwa Region. The project aims to develop and promote children’s literacy and a culture of reading and writing by making quality reading materials available and training educators, among other initiatives. As part of this effort, Temple has held workshops in Tanzania for teachers, teacher trainers, and district education inspectors, which enabled them to in turn deliver 100 hours of literacy and language teaching workshops to all primary grade teachers in their district.
“The Board and all the attendees of the event absolutely loved him,” says Kaijage. “His presentation was the highlight of the forum.”
Kaijage is currently serving a two-year term on the Board of FOT that began in January. He earned a B.A. in economics from Hobart College and went on to earn a M.S. in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. He has served as a volunteer with several charity organizations, and once held a position of Secretary General of WAMATA-YOUTH, an organization committed to fight against HIV/AIDS in his native country of Tanzania.
Temple is the co-founder and director of the Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking Project in association with the International Reading Association. Currently, he also volunteers for CODE, a Canadian literacy organization, helping produce indigenous children’s literature in Liberia, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. He received his B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, and his M.Ed. in curriculum studies and his Ph.D. in reading education from the University of Virginia. He also taught at the University of Houston-Victoria.