Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Book on The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher

The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher

Karim F Hirji

Daraja Press, 2018


This is a most valuable and absorbing reflection upon a rich lifetime in teaching. The author draws deeply upon that experience, well documented through diaries and relevant papers, to draw lessons about the very nature of teaching (and thus about the training of new teachers) which, not to be forgotten, is always affected by the wider social and political context. This book deserves an international audience because the issues raised and problems met are universal. Furthermore, the book is very clearly written, and excellently illustrated with examples, stories and critical reflections. Richard Pring, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Education, and Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. 

The remarkable life of a principled Tanzanian educator and activist told with an eye for historical accuracy but also with emotion and humor. Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Tanzania’s Ujamaa period. Peter Lawrence, Professor Emeritus of Development Economics, Keele University UK, and Lecturer in Economics, University of Dar es Salaam, 1970-72.

Through his account of four decades of teaching experience at different levels in varied contexts in post-colonial Tanzania, Karim Hirji provides us with a timely reminder of the ways in which education generally plays the role of consolidating existing structures of power – whether this be of colonialists, or bureaucratic, corrupt party hacks, or the neoliberal state and its private sector partners. As he remarks, educators face a choice, now as ever: “serve the status quo or educate in ways that will promote equality and social justice”. Dr Anne Harley, Paulo Freire Project, Centre for Adult Education, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. 


Contents

PREFACE

ACRONYMS



1. VOLUNTEER TEACHER

2. TRAINEE TEACHER

3. TUTORIAL ASSISTANT

4. A VISIT TO ZANZIBAR

5. A PRO-DEMOCRACY UPRISING

6. ASSISTANT LECTURER

7. PLANNING OFFICER

8. SENIOR INSTRUCTOR

9. THE ACADEMY TODAY

10. FUNDAMENTALS OF TEACHING

11. THE BLACKBOARD SAGA


APPENDIX A AKIVAGA CRISIS TIMELINE 

APPENDIX B AKIVAGA CRISIS IN HISTORY

APPENDIX C DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION

APPENDIX D PHOTOS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

REFERENCES AND READINGS

AUTHOR PROFILE
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FROM THE BACKCOVER

The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher is a riveting account of the bumpy first decade of the work life of Karim F Hirji, a retired Professor of Medical Statistics. Filled with a distinctive variety of eye-opening episodes, it covers lecturing at the University of Dar es Salaam, the life of a political exile in a remote rural area and the challenges of setting up from scratch a one‑of‑a‑kind educational institute in Africa. With a style that seamlessly combines the personal with the general, Hirji provides an illuminating description of different aspects of the Tanzanian political, educational, economic and rural landscape during the 1970s. Starting with a commentary on teacher training, he concludes with a critical comparison of modern university education in the nation with that of the earlier era.

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