The need for Kiswahili as a medium of Instructions, Improving Skills acquisition in Tanzania

Yesterday, I attended an interesting talk by Mrs. Martha Qorro, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Dar es Salaam, on “Why the Use of Kiswahili as an English Medium”

One of the reason of me attending, was a conversation that i had with my fellow peers, when the bill was passed, on the use of Kiswahili as a medium of education, replacing English in the Secondary Schools.

She raised interesting points on the the need to separate language and education, that at the moment, kids who, by 2011 statistics, 99% attended Kiswahili Medium schools, are forced to start learning subjects in English, in secondary schools, taught by Teachers who, themselves don’t know english. What this does, is first of all, introducing language as a barrier to learning, A teacher who only has 80 minutes a day to make sure his/her students learn a subject, now has to teach english as well. Second since the teachers themselves don’t know english language, even the grammatically correct english taught by english teachers, is now diluted, by all the other teachers.

Also comes to the point of Content Vs Language, that the current system as it is, robes students with the ability to get content, and Its better for the country if we have citizens with Content rather than emphasizing on the Language. In which she emphasized, that English is important, and it should be taught as a subject, and not as a medium of instructions.

I personally love the Content Vs Language, analogy. From working with hundreds of students, as Bunihub, I feel, as a country we do not lack people who can talk English, but we do lack people who are competitive, who have skills that will not only propel them into getting good jobs, but also will allow them to solve community problems and thus benefit the community at large.

I am yet to be disappointed by youth who are very skilled but can’t express themselves in English, but the case right now is a majority of graduates, graduate with minimal skills.

With this in mind we have to look at the whole idea, in terms of what route will help us in impacting the necessary skills to the young generations. Then figure out another mechanism that will make them learn a universal language of communication.

Now my problem is, whatever language that will be used at this point, the subject of Content will still be an issue. Will swahili improve the skills acquisition by students? And by not using English? aren’t we robbing our next generation the ability to even access the body of knowledge that is easily available in the English?

Those are my key Questions that I still ask myself.

I would love to hear your thoughts, Leave your Comments below

Cheers to the Organizers and Mrs Marth Qorro

Advertisements

Reflections January – February 2015 – “What am I going to do about It”

When i was at school, one year, felt like a long while, and i could not wait till the year ended, so that I move to the next class. There was a sense of accomplishment when December came, when I was headed home, knowing that, come January, I will be in the a higher class.

Times have changed, Now I can’t wish nothing more than slowing down time. When I stay and think of what happened last year, am just puzzled to how quickly time has flown. Two month have gone by already in the year 2015, and I would love to share my reflections, as part of keeping myself to account, and getting to feel the sense of accomplishment, again. :), but most importantly, I would love to share my knowledge and experiences, with others, hope that we can all, not only be intaking knowledge, but also contributing to the body of knowledge.

My January did not have a great start, and I am still reflecting, on those moments, that I could not comprehend the meaning of them, I can only trust and believe that those uncomfortable moments, have made me a better person and I just hope i can get some learnings out of every difficult situation that passes my way.

1798542_369898316522137_2902648358223701225_n (1)On a very positive note, I had a chance to speak at the Youth Alive Africa, workshop, Check them out, these a group of youth Tanzanians trying to make a change, It’s so refreshing to see the efforts that are done by young Tanzanians for young Tanzanians. I am inspired so much by your work. Keep it up. I also had a pleasure of meeting other incredible young Tanzanians making a difference, Chikulupi Kasaka, Eugine Kavishe, and Benjamin Fernandes, It was pleasure meeting you all.

February started as busy as ever at Buni, after almost a month of closing, the hub was finally opened. Work had just began, and after a month of renovating the space looks amazing. I had also a chance to attending The AITEC conference with Six Tanzanian startups, Getcore Group, Moview, Soka, Guumzo, Kweebo and Ubongo. The conference was a success in terms of the opportunities that the startups had, and the connections that were built. Had also a pleasure of speaking at the conference, of the wonderful work, that the hub is doing.

It was so much fun to be among the group. Among my highlights, was the “Iron Coder” story, and “The Marathonist”

After the conference, It was time to come back to Buni and start off our internship program, Successfully started with 13 participants.

Greatest Learnings

  1. Dont try to prove people wrong or right: Many of us are very stuck, worrying about how other people perceive us, what they say, and what they think of us. Its very important to look at our motives and be the best we can be, anything else will sort itself out.
  2. Don’t complain do something:  There is so much to be done, and there are so many problems, but most of us, are so busy complaining about what is not right, and how should it be done, but very few are actually doing something about problems in our communities. To make the change, you need to be the change, one small step at a time.

Regrets

  1. Not Reading alot: As part of my personal plan, i made a goal of reading books, but this has not been a success till now, I have failed to follow up on my reading plan. This is something that i need to work on.
  2. Sharing knowledge: The world is full of knowledge, so some wonder why they should contribute into the body of knowledge, and this has been one of the areas that I have not done best, I believe everyone has something to share with the world, a different view on things, a different angle on seeing things, and these are so important, in creating a more holistic view of things. I need definitely to write and share more, that currently what i am doing.

To wrap everything up. Its such a pleasure to meet everyone that i meet almost daily in my work routine, and to partake in their efforts and struggles . Its important that we look at the problems in the society and think to ourselves, what are our roles in fixing those problems. Each one has something they can do and an important contribution they can make. So I urge everyone to think of problems in their community, and ask themselves this question “What am I going to do about it”?

Upgrading phpmyadmin in ubuntu

I found this answer very useful, if you want to upgrade your phpmyadmin to the latest version, after installing it.

Add their ppa to your system :ppa home:

From the Terminal

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nijel/phpmyadmin;
sudo apt-get update;
sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin;

graphical way:

Open Update manager / Settings / Other Software / Add / “ppa:nijel/phpmyadmin” click ok and provide password when needed, then: in Update manager click Chek and you’re ready to update phpmyadmin 🙂

*upgrading using ppa, is recomended

*adding ppa is one time operation

— You should have phpmyadmin updated.

Answer copied from ubuntu forum courtesy to Rodislav

Inserting a link to a particular position in Google Docs

To Insert a link to a particular position in google docs Follow the instructions below

1. Highlight the position/ text that you would like to be linked to, the target

2.  Create a bookmark, by following these steps

1.  Click “Insert” drop-down menu and select “Bookmark”

Inserting Bookmark

2.  The text will now be bookmarked and a window like the one below will appear

Bookmark

3.  Link the bookmark with the text you want to be the link

1.  Highlight the text that you want to be the link, Right Click and select Link option
2.  Toggle the bookmarks option, and select the bookmark you have just added

inserting the link
4.  Click Apply

Ubuntu – Using Microsoft Access with wine ( MSJET40.DLL Error ) – Fixed

After installing a program that required Microsoft Access to Work, I started getting this error

accesserrorwine

Fix for this error.

Bring Up the Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T)

$ wget kegel.com/wine/winetricks

Then

$ sh winetricks jet40

IF you don’t have MDAC, it will prompt you to install download MDAC

Please download mdac_typ.exe from http://download.cnet.com/Microsoft-Data-Access-Components-MDAC-2-7-Service-Pack-1-Refresh/3000-10250_4-10729498.html, place it in /home/$user/.cache/winetricks/mdac27, then re-run this script.

Downloading the file, placing it in the specified folder and rerunning the script should fix your problem

php files downloading instead on opening up on the browser

I faced a problem earlier,  all of a sudden, when i accessed my php files, from the browser, the browser tried to download the files instead of opening them.

Removed my lamp server and added it back again but that did not help

My Apache seemed to work fine.

So the solution to this is

1. Navigate to your /etc/apache2/mods-available/ folder

open the terminal and copy and paste the following command

cd /etc/apache2/mods-available/

2. Open the php5.conf file

gedit php5.conf

My php5.conf file looked like this

<IfModule mod_php5.c>
<FilesMatch “\.ph(p3?|tml)$”>
SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
</FilesMatch>
<FilesMatch “\.phps$”>
SetHandler application/x-httpd-php-source
</FilesMatch>
# To re-enable php in user directories comment the following lines
# (from <IfModule …> to </IfModule>.) Do NOT set it to On as it
# prevents .htaccess files from disabling it.
<IfModule mod_userdir.c>
<Directory /home/*/public_html>
php_admin_value engine Off
</Directory>
</IfModule>
</IfModule>

Add the following lines of codes to handle .php files

<FilesMatch \.php$>
        SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
</FilesMatch>

The resulting file becomes


<IfModule mod_php5.c>
<FilesMatch “\.ph(p3?|tml)$”>
SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
</FilesMatch>
# Added lines for .php files
<FilesMatch “\.php$”>
SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
</FilesMatch>
<FilesMatch “\.phps$”>
SetHandler application/x-httpd-php-source
</FilesMatch>
# To re-enable php in user directories comment the following lines
# (from <IfModule …> to </IfModule>.) Do NOT set it to On as it
# prevents .htaccess files from disabling it.
<IfModule mod_userdir.c>
<Directory /home/*/public_html>
php_admin_value engine Off
</Directory>
</IfModule>
</IfModule>

 

Restart your apache server

sudo service apache2 restart

Wamp Server remaining orange // HTTPAPI/2.0 (Solved)

Have been using wamp server for my web developments, after a period of time of not using it. It could no longer get the wamp server to start, it would always remain yellow, and never turn green.
If you are facing this kind of a problem, this post might save you hours of internet search.
1st thing – I Checked the status of the Port 80, which the apache server should be using
go to WAMP Menu > Apache > Services > Test Port 80
This was the message that i was getting Your port 80 is actually used by: Server : Microsoft-HTTPAPI/2.0

Turning off Microsoft-HTTPAPI/2.0
After a couple of google searches i found out that to disable the Microsoft-HTTPAPI/2.0 do the following

  1. Open Administrative Tools ( From the control Panel ) ( Of just type services on the search bar, in Windows 7 and 8)
  2. Click on Services
  3. locate “Web Deployment Service Agent” in the list
  4. Right click and choose Properties
  5. Click Stop
  6. Change it’s Start Up value to “Manual” ( This will prevent the service from automatically starting thereby grabing the post 80 again, once you restart your machine)
  7. Hit Apply/OK to save the changes
  8. Go to WAMP and restart all services

Problem : Could not Locate “Web Deployment Service Agent”, so this didn’t help very much

Solution to My Problem

Realized that i have Microsoft Reporting Services Running Navigated to the Services Area

  1. Open Administrative Tools ( From the control Panel ) ( Of just type services on the search bar, in Windows 7 and 8)
  2. Click on Services
  3. locate “Web Deployment Service Agent” in the list
  4. Right click and choose Properties
  5. Click Stop
  6. Change it’s Start Up value to “Manual” ( This will prevent the service from automatically starting thereby grabing the post 80 again, once you restart your machine)
  7. Hit Apply/OK to save the changes
  8. Go to wamp and restart all services

This should solve your problem