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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 5, No. 5 (2009) open journal systems 

Increasing education access through open and distance learning in Tanzania: A critical review of approaches and practices

Willy Lazaro Komba, Mkwawa University College of Education,A Constituent College of the University o

With an area of 943,000 square kilometers, Tanzania has a population of about 34 million comprising more than 120 ethnic groups with diverse cultures and notable income differentials. Over 35 per cent of the people live below the poverty line which makes it difficult for an increasing number of people to access education at secondary, tertiary and higher education levels. The universalization of education and its worldwide acceptance as a continuous or lifelong undertaking, coupled with concerns about educational access and equity, as well as the prevailing level of poverty necessitates the use of various education delivery approaches to enable all citizens to benefit from this public good. The major objective of this paper is to document an discuss the initiatives that Tanzania has taken to expand educational opportunities at various levels using open and distance learning (ODL) approaches. The paper begins by explaining the socio-political context for ODL in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar and proceeds to recount the distance education initiatives that have been established over time using both the longstanding traditional technologies and new media media and technology. It then analyzes the opportunities and challenges in these initiatives. It ends with the proposal of how to improve both access and the quality of education using emerging educational technologies.

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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556