Nowhere are the principles of self-reliance better demonstrated than by the educational campaigns which have been conducted in Tanzania under the leadership of the Institute of Adult Education in Dar es Salaam. The purpose of these campaigns has gone beyond a purely didactic purpose of spreading essential knowledge on important national or social problems. First, they have aimed at promoting rational and informed discussion and so bringing about changed attitudes towards matters lying at the centre of national social policy. Secondly, by synchronising the campaigns with practical changes promoted by government, the organisers have taken advantage of the opportunity to link education with action. Thirdly, the style of the written materials used and their relevance as demonstrated by the campaigns have notably reinforced the literacy campaigns carried out under government auspices throughout the country.

One of the most surprising features of the Third World is the widespread dissemination of the transistor radio. In 1968 Dr Graham Mytton estimated that there was a radio audience in Tanzania of nearly 8 million people out of a total population of over 12 million. As an educational tool for reaching large numbers of people at very low cost per heed, therefore, radio seems to offer exceptional possibilities. The opportunity was all the more tempting because in 1969 less than 50% of children of eligible age were receiving formal primary education of any kind and Tanzania laboured under a heritage of illiteracy among the adult population which, though never accurately assessed, must have involved at least four out of every five. It was this unlettered multitude that were being invited to play an active part in the vast schemes of self-reliant economic and social improvement promoted by TANU and the government. Radio seemed to offer a most timely means of public instruction and to cut right through the formidable difficulties created by the immense cost of institutional education, the grave shortage of finance and the difficulties of physical communication in a country half the size of Europe.

Kupanga ni Kuchagua
In 1969 the Institute of Adult Education undertook its first experiment in the use of radio by promoting a limited project to explain and popularise the government’s Second Five Year Plan under the title ‘Kupanga ni Kuchagua – to plan is to choose.’ The project involved about 250 listening groups in three Regions. This was followed by a second experiment on a slightly increased scale dealing with the citizen’s responsibility as a voter in the 1970 general elections under the title ‘Uchaguzi ni Wako – the choice is yours.’

Wakati wa Furaha
The experience of these programmes enabled the Institute to undertake in 1971 the first national campaign. In this year Tanzania was to celebrate ten years of independence and it was an occasion for taking stock of the hopes, achievements and shortcomings of this period. This campaign, under the general title, ‘Wakati wa Furaha’ – ‘Time for rejoicing’, dealt with the ancient and the colonial history of Tanzania, the rise of TANU, rural development, the cooperative movement, ujamaa villages, and the relations of Tanzania with Africa and the world. This campaign differed from its predecessors, not only in its national coverage, but also in the combination of radio programmes with organised study groups based on the use of a text and a study guide. In this way the advantages of a wide coverage could be combined with the better fixing of the educational image achieved by discussion of a book with chapters organised on identical lines to the radio broadcasts. It does not take much imagination to realise the severity of the practical problems posed by this programme. Nearly 20,000 people in over 1,600 study groups participated. The first problem was that of training the group leaders. This was accomplished by a programme organised in two stages. First, a series of six three-day training seminars were helped in different parts of the country by tutors from the Institute. Those attending with District Education Officers (Adult Education), Cooperative Education Secretaries [The Cooperative Education Centre at Moshi had considerable experience of study group work and 1,200 study groups of this kind already existed under its auspices in 1971. The Centre had a system of ‘wings’ in eight different parts of the country and five instructors were attached to each wing] from the ‘wings’ and adult education tutors [As primary school teachers in increasing numbers were helping with the adult education programme, particularly in literacy teaching, adult education had been included in the training given at the College of National Education] from Colleges of National Education. Secondly, numerous local seminars were intended to last for two days, but in some cases owing to financial constraints only one day could be devoted to them. Notwithstanding many difficulties arising from communication and travel problems and delays in the delivery of the printed materials, some 1,854 leaders were trained by this indirect system.

Almost more difficult than the training of leaders was the production of texts and their distribution. Cost was the first problem. Some of the money came out of Institute funds but this was only sufficient to pay for one copy for each of about 900 groups. Fortunately, the Swedish International Development Authority and UNESCO came to the rescue with modest grants, which enabled the Institute to print 10,000 copies of the 116 page illustrated text-book – ‘Tanzania kabla na baada ya Uhuru’ and 3,000 copies of the A4 page study guide for group leaders ‘Kielekezo cha Mafunzo.’ Distribution of this quantity of materials all over the country in small parcels presented great difficulties.

The Wakati wa Furaha campaign was of added interest, because for the first time a systematic attempt was made to follow up and assess the results. This was done by the Research and Planning Department of the Institute and the information included not only basic statistics about the groups and their members (the distribution by age, sex and educational attainment, attendance record, size of groups, etc.,) but also some measure of the knowledge gained as a result of the campaign. The knowledge-gained test was based on a very small sample of 17 goups and presented difficulties in execution. Nevertheless, Dr. Bud Hall concluded that ‘we can feel safe in assuming that the increase in the score for the post-test was in fact due to something other than chance.’

Mtu ni Afya
After Wakati wa Furaha came in 1973 a still larger campaign in health education under the title ‘Mtu ni Afya’ – ‘Man is Health’. This campaign coincided with important changes that were being made in the health services, leading to an increased emphasis on social and preventive medicine and a concentration of resources on basic health services in the villages. The principle of policy being implemented was to bring at least a rudimentary health service to people in all parts of the country before further resources were devoted to costly and sophisticated medical provision in the towns.

Mtu ni Afya was an expression of this policy. By bringing about greater understanding of the causes of ill health and the measures necessary for its control and cure, it was hoped that the burden on the new basic health services would be lightened and that there would be a substantial dividend in personal well being, happiness and working efficiency. The campaign emphasised prevention and dealt with the five commonest causes of ill health, namely, malaria, bilharzia, hookworm, tuberculosis, and dysentery.

The timely character of Mtu ni Afya was increased by the growth of new villages throughout Tanzania. Already in 1973, 750,000 adults were living in ujamaa villages, where new public health problems, were arising from the close juxtaposition of family dwellings. At the same time, an integral element in the village programme since 1969 had been the installation of dispensaries in villages alongside other social services. The new facilities for curative treatment due attention to health problems and encouraged an atmosphere in which the villager’s own responsibility could profitably be discussed.

In this campaign, the enrolment target was one million adults meeting in 75,000 groups. This formidable commitment imposed complex arrangements for the training of group leaders in four stages. A two day briefing seminar at the Institute was attended by about 30 participants drawn from the Institute itself, the Cooperative Education Centre in Moshi, TANU, UWT (the women’s organisation), the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Service, the prison service and the police force. These participants then trained over 3,000 persons in 65 three-day district seminars, who in turn trained 75,000 group lenders in 2,000 two-day divisional seminars. To make sure that the message reached the final recipients in this protracted process, the Research and Planning Department of the Institute monitored the seminars at every stage on a sampling basis in the Coast and Morogoro Regions and on Mafia island. The general conclusion was that the content and quality of the message remained virtually intact to the final stage, though it was observed that the two day period was probably insufficient for the untrained and inexperienced participants of the divisional seminars.

The documentation prepared for this campaign was much more varied and extensive than on previous occasions. One million copies each of two 48 page books were prepared in large lettering and in simple Kiswahili for the newly literate and incorporated numerous illustrations. In addition, 75,000 16 page group leader’s manuals were prepared. For the seminars a 16 page booklet was prepared, giving information about group study as applied to the subject of the campaign. Various cassette tapes of sample study groups were recorded and the group leader’s manual was used as a text at all seminars. These materials helped to ensure conformity with the objects of training at all stages.

This impressive campaign was a great success, attributable not only to the organising skill of the Institute’s officers, but also to the active cooperation of the national bodies concerned. These were the Ministry of Health (Health Education Unit), the Ministry of National Education (Directorate of Adult Education), TANU (political education division) and the Prime Minister’s office (Rural Development Division).

As with the Wakati wa Furaka campaign, an evaluation programme was instituted, this time on a much more extensive scale. A good deal more attention was given to the manner in which the Groups operated, the nature and causes of difficulties encountered, the extent of individual active participation and the practical effectiveness of the discussion method. Once again knowledge-gained tests were applied and a 20% gain in ‘health awareness’ was recorded, establishing beyond all reasonable doubt that learning had occurred. An interesting result that emerged was that the gain in ujumaa villages was 25% in comparison with l7% in other groups, but the variations within this result and the small size of the sample removed any certainty that the higher political motivation of the ujamaa communities led to more effective learning.

But the effectiveness of Mtu ni Afya was to be found in the practical results rather than in the theoretical learning. From the start much emphasis was placed on the intimate connection between learning and doing, an association much emphasised in other fields of education under the banner of ‘elimu ni kazi’ (education is work) – Groups were urged to leave behind some kind of ‘health monument’ and it was hoped that groups themselves would undertake one or more corporate projects.

Information about the widespread response to this initiative came both from supervisor’s reports of 2,131 groups and from case studies carried out in four villages in each of the two Regions. Reports showed that over 1,200 actions – cutting away of vegetation near houses, destroying pools of stagnant water, etc – were carried out in the villages reported on for the purpose of malarial control. Some 20% of the groups visited reported the digging, repairing or rebuilding of pit latrines and in Dodoma district, as a result of a decision by TANU (the ‘Bihawana Resolution’) virtually every family dug a latrine, where it had previously in many places been a rarity. The evaluation report estimated that in Tanzania as a whole hundreds of thousands of latrines ‘were dug as a result of the Mtu ni Afya campaign. An awareness of the connection between pure water and good health was another positive outcome as demonstrated by the digging of wells, and the boiling and filtering of water. Some groups decided to abandon the timeless custom of drinking from a common pot in drinking parties, discouraged spitting and the passing of a cigarette from mouth to mouth as a result of their new understanding of the transmission of tuberculosis.

Mtu ni Afya was generously supported by SIDA to the tune of shs. 1,482,000 of which shs. 745,000 went on printing.

Chakula ni Uhai
Meantime, 1974 and 1975 were the years of great hardship in Tanzania on account of the failure of the rains, leading to severe famine conditions in many areas. The government reacted by importing corn from abroad and at the same time instituting a nationwide campaign for stimulating agricultural production and increasing cultivated areas (‘kilimo cha kufa na kupona’ – Cultivation for life and death.) During this time it was decided by the Institute that a third national campaign should be set on foot in support of the national effort. This campaign like the last, was intended to issue in action. It dealt with the nature and characteristics of foods, their use and preservation and the dietetic requirements of healthy living. It considered the special dietetic needs of pregnant women and children and it brought out into the open discussion the dietary problems caused by various tribal customs and taboos. Appropriately named ‘Chakula ni Uhai’ – ‘Food is life,’ this campaign was planned as a logical extension of Mtu ni Afya. As the campaign booklet says, ‘a healthy man has the strength to produce for himself much more food. Plentiful food is the foundation of good health. Moreover, if we have good health, we are able to do the heavy work entailed by producing sufficient food. Thus Chakula ni Uhai and Mtu ni Afya have one and the same aim.’

This time SIDA helped to the tune of 2.3 million. The campaign was supported by the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Dar es Salaam, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, TANU and Kivukoni College and was organised by the Institute of Adult Education. As before, extensive work was done on the appraisal of results and the establishment of relevant data.

Much emphasis was placed on the practical outcome of the campaign in terms of increased efforts in food production and particularly in producing those foods needed to compensate for prevailing dietary deficiencies. The Research and Planning Department of the Institute has helped study groups to transform themselves into working groups devoted to food production based on sound dietary principles and plans to use the working periods for the purpose of ongoing instruction, thus providing an interesting realisation of the principle of ‘elimu ni kazi’. The first experiment of this kind was established early in 1976 at Chiwanda village on Mbamba Bay. A second similar experiment is to be started at Msindo Ujamaa village north of Songea with financial support from the British-Tanzania Society and with generous help from the Noel-Buxton Trust. The Msindo project will concentrate on the growing of fruit and vegetables and the rearing of poultry for the pot and for egg production.

Primary education campaign
In November 1974 the National Executive Committee of TANU, meeting at Musoma, resolved after long preparation that by November 1977 every child of eligible age in Tanzania should be given a chance to enter a primary school. Considering that the enrolment ratio in 1969 was less than 50%, this decision imposed on the country and particularly on the education authorities an immense task of organisation and a formidable financial commitment. One of the most crucial problems was the provision of enough teachers sufficiently well prepared sufficiently quickly. To meet this challenge, the Ministry of National Education devised a new procedure for the training of teachers. Primary school leavers with two or three years of successful work in the villages will be carefully selected for training. They will go at once into the schools, and there they will teach under the supervision of a team of trained and experienced itinerant teacher trainers, who will give them first-hand instruction in the art of teaching, the use of correspondence education and other matters. In addition, the trainees will periodically attend seminars at education centres in their own localities and will supplement their basic knowledge and understanding with the help of radio and correspondence courses.

The Institute of Adult Education is participating in the training programmes at two levels, by taking part in training seminars for the coordinators, of which there are expected to be about 3,400 for the whole country, and by organising and executing a radio and correspondence education programme for the trainees. Some eleven colleges of national education (the grade A colleges) will be actively involved by providing bases for the operations of supervisors and centres for short term training seminars. These colleges are already deeply involved in rewriting the primary school curriculum and in retraining serving teachers under the auspices of a programme known as MTUU (Mpango wa Tanzania/UNICEF/UNESCO).

Although this campaign differs in many respects from previous campaigns, it wholly preoccupied the relevant departments of the Institute of Adult Education and is the object of a far-reaching scheme of evaluation by the Department of Planning and Research. As before, the instruction makes use of a variety of instructional channels, including for the first time correspondence education. The channels used in this campaign are correspondence courses, radio education, face to face teaching in seminars, individual discussions with coordinators and practical class room experience. The main areas of instruction are national development, and the methods of teaching reading, writing and calculating. In the seminars, there is opportunity to sort out problems arising in the course of instruction by radio or correspondence and these sessions also serve to boost morale and provide an opportunity for the discussion of practical difficulties arising in the classroom.

As this campaign is now in mid stream, it is not yet possible to comment on its effectiveness. Something like 40,000 teachers are to be trained by this method over a period of three years, at the conclusion of which it is expected that they will be recognised as having the status of trained teachers. It is a formidable assignment, but one ideally suited to the multi-channel approach.

It is worth repeating in conclusion, however, that in this case, as in the two previous national campaigns, a cardinal aspect is the link between education and action. In the training of teachers there is of course the added stimulus of the prospect of a teaching career. But in all these cases the motivation of students has arisen largely from the instrumentality of the training given in providing no sense merely for education’s sake, but is expressly for the purpose of liberating the unfathomed resources of the people of Tanzania. Poor though Tanzania is seen to be in conventional terms, she possesses great potential and largely untapped wealth in her human resources. It is these hidden treasures that the radio study groups and campaigns are planned to uncover.

J. Roger Carter

Budd L Hall ‘Wakati wa Furaha – an evaluation of a radio study group campaign’ Scandinavian Institute of African Studies research report, no 13

Mtu ni Afya: an evaluation of the 1973 mass health education campaign in Tanzania (Planning and Research Department, Institute of Adult Education, Dar es Salaam) pp. 91-94.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.