University of Dar es Salaam - School of Education

Primary Contact: 
Abel Ishumi
Dar es Salaam
University of Dar Es Salaam
Dar es Salaam

The School of Education traces its beginnings back to July 1964, when a Department of Education was established as one of the several university teaching departments within a second newly set up Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, itself established in 1964, was following the very first faculty-the Faculty of Law-with which the then University College Dar Es Salaam began, in 1961, as the highest institution of learning and training in the land. In that same year, 1964, the University College Dar Es Salaam had just become a constituent college of the University of East Africa, in a federal setup together with the other two university colleges at Makerere (in Uganda) and Nairobi (in Kenya).  Before then, The University College had existed since 1961 in a special relationship with and as an external college of the University of London.

When the Department of Education was established, within the departmental nomenclature of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, it was a decision that had been made against the background of a critical shortage of graduate teachers a new nation was facing since the time of independence in 1961.  A Department of Education, was, in fact, established in deliberate disregard for the principle of non-duplication of academic programmes that had already been instituted at any of the other colleges of the University.  In Tanzania, there was a dire need of secondary school teachers and other professional education personnel for whose large number training facilities at Makerere were not adequate.

When a third faculty, Science, was opened in the next year (1965),  the student enrolment into the Department of Education was bound to-and in fact did-expand to include an intake of science students following science subjects and at the same time training to become teachers of those science subjects in schools.

Since then, the Department grew in course structure, from an initial status of "minor" departmental education courses to "major" courses by specialist streams as from the mid-1970s; in undergraduate student enrolment, from a humble 30 in 1964 to 658 in 1973; in postgraduate student intake, from 7 in 1974 to as many as 25 in 1978, 19 in 1980 and an annual average of 10 thereafter; as well as in staffing for the correspondingly expanding programmes.  In a similarly rising trend, the Department made its contribution in preparing and producing graduate teachers, from as few as 30 in the 1966/67 academic year to as many as 274 in 1969/70 and thereafter at annual average rate of 200.

Given an increasing diversification and coverage of course offerings, student intake and the requirement for concurrent academic and professional certification, it is no wonder that the need to establish a Faculty of Education was felt as early as 1968.  An even stronger need manifested itself in the late 1970s when, as a result of large increments in student enrolments as well as the wish of the Ministry of Education to strengthen and consolidate education at all levels, a move was made to argue either for a Faculty of Education based on the main campus and continuing to share its student body with the two faculties of students' affiliation, or for a full-fledged University College of Education on the same or separate campus.

In 1979 a formal proposal for a Faculty of Education was presented and discussed within the various organs of the university at the meetings of the Faculty of Arts and social Sciences Board, the University Senate and the University Council, at which levels the proposal was accepted and endorsed for operationalisation with effect from July 1980.

While the proposal was subsequently accepted by Government, the project could not take off in 1980 because of the heavy capital expenditure implied at that time, when, in addition, the country was experiencing an acute economic crisis.  In retrospect, the project had to wait for another nine years, although not everything in the project package was put in cold storage.  For, meanwhile, the work of a four-year course programme, proposed within the Faculty project package, had to be recast and readapted in order for it to be "operationalised" and covered within the 'normal three years plus one intensive term'  - something that approximated 3.5 years of academic work.  The labor pains in delivering such a compromise programme and the personal and professional sacrifices suffered by both staff and students in such an academic arrangement were, to say the least, quite considerable.

It was the concern about the deleterious effects of such a crash degree programme, coupled with the dim prospect in such a crash programme arrangement to promote quality education the country "towards the 21st century,  that the climate became much more favorable for establishing a long-awaited Faculty of Education in July 1989.  Historically, this was the eighth faculty to be created in the University, although, in fact it remains seventh after the University's fifth faculty (Agriculture) long maturated and hired off  in 1984 to become a second public university in the country.

A little more than half a year after the change of status from department to faculty - by Government Notice No. 196 - the fact was confirmed by an official inauguration by the minister for Education on March 17, 1990.  The Minister, on behalf of the Government, used the occasion to challenge the new Faculty to take on more responsibilities and tasks towards ensuring more and better education as the nation moves towards the twenty-first century.

In 2008, the University of Dar es Salaam decided to cluster existing academic units and establish new ones in order to improve operational efficiency and utilisation of resources optimally. It is through that decision the Faculty of Education was transformed to School of Education. The School of Education was officially inaugurated in 15th May, 2009.

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