Collaboration is key in the success of the PlayMatters project

PlayMatters system actors

Oct 12, 2023

System Actors from education ministries of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda join staff from Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) and PlayMatters Consortium staff for a group photo at the TIE offices in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

The PlayMatters consortium, along with representatives from education ministries in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Uganda, convened for a three-day System Actor's workshop in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. This workshop aimed at fostering collaboration and charting a path forward for the PlayMatters project within the three implementation countries.

The workshop was an action-packed event in which project achievements, learnings, and prospects across the three countries were discussed.

Throughout the event, more than 70 attendees engaged in discussions, presentations, and interactive play-based sessions to address various aspects of the project. The workshop also served as a platform to share the achievements and learnings that the PlayMatters initiative had garnered in each of the three countries. This exchange of insights and experiences contributed to a better understanding of the challenges and successes in implementing the project's goals.

Tanzania PlayMatters

Left: Participants listen to a presentation on MEL while right participants take part in a learning through play exercise.

The workshop's agenda was centered around key topics related to the PlayMatters project, including, project achievements where participants highlighted what the project had achieved including enhanced access to play-based learning resources for children, and lessons learned that will help refine future project approaches and increase overall effectiveness.

In addition, there were discussions around future prospects, including scaling up the project's impact, collaborative efforts in the three countries and policy and implementation and strategies to integrate play-based learning approaches into formal education systems. Evaluation, monitoring and research for measuring the impact of the PlayMatters project was also discussed.

Visit to Tanzania Institute of Education

PlayMatters Tanzania

System Actors listen to a presentation at Tanzania Institute of Education during their visit.

As part of the activities of the System Actors’ workshop, the participants visited the Tanzania Institute of Education, which is charged with creating and approving educator content, to understand the working relationship and how it can be scaled for greater impact. In her address, the Director General of TIE, Dr. Aneth Komba, indicated that they are working with PlayMatters to train teachers and equip them with skills to conduct play-based lessons. She also indicated that the institute is working to approve PlayMatters materials so that they can be accessible to all teachers across Tanzania.

“The government is conducting a review of the curriculum and in the draft, we have recommended the use of games in teaching and learning of children. PlayMatters has come at the right time. I believe that if this method is used properly, we will not have a child who reaches the second grade without being able to read, write and count," Dr. Komba said.

The participants toured the resource centre and the studio to get a hands-on feel of how content is processed at TIE.

Visit to Vikindu Teacher Training College

PlayMatters Tanzania

At Vikindu Teacher Training College, participants had an opportunity to understand the shape of Tanzania teachers’ professional development and the need for creative teacher training. Student teachers took time to showcase teaching and learning materials, most of which are developed locally and how to use the same during lessons.

The principal of the college, Amina Nassoro Tou said, “Teaching and learning is a process that requires great competence to be able to identify children's talents and develop them. To achieve these goals, the education these students receive prepares them for a learner-centred approach where the student is the center of knowledge, and the teacher is a facilitator.”

What the system actors said:

And as the workshop ended, the leaders of the delegations of the systems actors from the three countries all agreed that a lot of learning had happened, and it was now time to implement the lessons.

Dr. Muluken Nigatu, CEO, Teachers and Educational Leaders Development, Ministry of Education, Ethiopia who led the delegation from Ethiopia said: “Thank you to Tanzania Ministry of Education and IRC PlayMatters. What we have learned over the last three days has been amazing. We are taking away a lot of experiences.”

Dr. Cleophas Mugenyi, Commissioner Basic Education, Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda, who led the delegation from Uganda said:

“We came as guests, but we are leaving as friends. Each one of us has learnt something but we must apply what we have learnt and for us to apply we should be willing to. And we must work on the action plans we have displayed and discussed. I look forward to getting good feedback on the progress of our plans.”

Dr. Youngson Mgogo, the Education Officer President Office Regional Administration and Local Government, on behalf of the Tanzania actors, said:

“We appreciate PlayMatters and the International Rescue Committee, for everything being done in Kigoma region. We receive the contribution in a positive way. Kigoma has a weak performance in national exams, and we think that through this new approach we shall achieve a better performance of pupils in the region. Don’t hesitate to inform on how, what and when you wish to support the government.”

Read related article here.


Some of the media work from the workshop activities.

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