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Programme launched to teach underprivileged students English language

Programme launched to teach underprivileged students English language

THE US Embassy in Tanzania has launched English access micro scholarship programme (Access) that will run for two years up to 2024. 

Access Programme provides 13 to 18-year-old students from low income communities with a foundation in English during two years of after-school classes, instruction, and intensive summer learning activities, according to the American embassy.

Speaking separately in Kigoma, Dodoma and Pemba, Regional English Language Officer (RELO) Ms Diane Millar said the Access programme strengthens English language skills for underprivileged teenagers, while also empowering them with leadership skills and a sense of civic responsibility.

“Graduates often become leaders in their schools, score better in exams, secure better educational prospects, and not only find better jobs but also create jobs in their communities,” Ms Millar, who is in charge of the US Department of State’s English language and teacher professional development initiatives in 15 East African nations, visited Tanzania from May 5 to 15, 2022.

During her visit, she met with government, education, and teachers’ association leaders, opened new programmes, conducted teacher professional development workshops as well as explored the impact of US programmes in the country.     

“Participants are more competitive for future exchanges and study in the United States and gain access to many US exchange alumni opportunities,” she noted.

In Tanzania, previous Access programmes include Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Unguja, Pemba, Mwanza, Tanga, Mbeya, and Lindi with more than 500 Access alumni.

Ms Millar also met with Tanzania English Language Association (TELTA) and Zanzibar Professional English Language Teaching Organisation (ZAPELATO) leaders and teachers, working with them to organise and conduct professional development workshops for teachers in Kigoma, Dodoma, Unguja, and Pemba and sharing information about the many free resources and programmes for teachers.

While in Dar es Salaam, she met with graduates of the Kinful programme, a US Embassy and RELO-funded initiative to improve social-emotional learning, digital literacy, critical thinking, leadership, and English language skills for secondary students in Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, and Mtwara.

The alumni shared how the programme helped make them better students, more responsible and self-motivated, confident leaders, and more empathetic. They also shared how the programme improved their English skills, especially speaking and listening.

During her visit, she also met with Ministry of Education, Science and Technology officials and university leaders in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, and Zanzibar to share information about US programmes and to explore areas for collaboration and support, especially for teacher professional development and training.

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Author: HILDA MHAGAMA

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