In Mtwara, all Teacher Resource Centers required renovation to accommodate ICT equipment for teacher professional development activities and ICT digital literacy training. Out of the 27 registered TRCs in Mtwara region, 18 actually exist. As such, throughout 2012, the TZ21 team worked together with the regional education office in developing renovation plans. A small committee, under the chairmanship of the Regional Education Officer, was formed to oversee the process. The priority districts which had the highest number of non-existing TRCs were visited by the REO and TZ21’s Deputy Chief Of Party for Mtwara. Meetings with District Executive Directors along with their District Council chairpersons were organized. The Regional Commissioner also called a meeting of the District Executive Directors to emphasize the importance of ensuring that all TRCs located in their districts were renovated or constructed and prepared to receive computer labs for the professional development of teachers. As a result, Nanyumbu District Council approved a total of Tshs 97 million to construct 5 TRCs at Nandete, Nanyumbu, Mangaka, Mikangaula and Michiga; and Masasi District Council allocated Tshs 57 million to complete TRC buildings at Lukuledi, Luagala, and Mwitika. TZ21 has also earmarked $1M of renovation grant funds to assist both Mtwara and Zanzibar with the renovation efforts of TRCs and selected Teacher Centers and schools. Renovation/construction of the TRCs started in mid-December 2012 and is expected to be completed by mid-January 2013, in time for the beginning of the ICT equipment installation.
Mitengo TRC in Mtwara municipality was renovated ahead of schedule and outfitted with ICT, internet, and solar equipment. Mitengo TRC was officially inaugurated by the outgoing USAID Tanzania Mission Director, Mr. Robert Cunnane, and the REO, Mr. Hipson Kipenya, on November 28th, 2012. Also in attendance were Dr. Tom LeBlanc (USAID Education Team Leader), members of the TZ21 Mtwara and Dar es Salaam staff, local school and community members, and Implementing Partners (IPs). Following the renovation, IPs Inveneo, Kicheko, ICS, and Solar Nexus rapidly and expertly installed solar panels, a battery system, and 20 desktop work stations using Microsoft WMS technology. The IPs, along with Agile Learning, International Youth Foundation, and UhuruOne, had the opportunity to present to the audience overviews of their TZ21 interventions. The event was quite a success and at Mr. Cunnane’s farewell dinner later that evening, he left the TZ21 team with the following message:
“We are working to develop Tanzania’s next generation of young leaders. The US and Tanzania are mutually accountable for this project. The only way to achieve this is through dedication and commitment by each individual involved.”