Physical education, biology and fine arts? What a combination!

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By ELSIE EYAKUZE

Getting an education the first time is a privilege that too few people take advantage of the first time. Reliving the experience through digital platforms is a unique 21st century phenomenon that many of us experience together across the world. I think most adults find it difficult. Things have changed and maybe the first time around they didn’t even like school.

If anything “good” has come out of the pandemic, it must be the way it has united humans across the world via the internet as we struggle together in our struggles. I never knew I could relate to a woman in Israel who was falling apart due to her child’s online schooling until this happened. I think it was the practice of the clarinet that broke it? No matter. I could totally “push” her through the barriers of distance and all the other identifiers you can think of. I had been there, sister.

The Internet. What have we done before? How do people do without it? I was worried about the digital divide before this pandemic hit us all in the face with a bat. Not only for the purposes of freedom of expression, but for the availability of information. I thought advocacy would help, many dreamers on the World Wide Web are naïve. But the years passed and I resigned myself because what will be will be. What purpose?

The point is, hope, uh, finds a way. I sometimes sit in front of a young person whose discipline in the virtual classroom is impeccable. In fact, I feel bad about my own professionalism. Like most people who write for a living, I do what a lot of people think of as “nothing”: looking halfway, pacing, going out, watching cartoons. It’s not for nothing, it’s work. Ideas are like extroverts: being surrounded by other ideas makes them happy and healthier.

The Internet offers us all kinds of “places” to go and satisfy our souls in the company of others. And when our souls are satisfied, we go on and create beautiful things, sometimes turning the things we make with our minds, hearts, and hands into commodities.

Ah, capitalism. Good for productivity, but dear lord, rents, taxes? Forget.

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Recently while browsing a certain neighborhood newsletter online, I came across some news. Apparently the public education system in Tanzania decided to try new “combinations” of subjects. Somewhere deep in the cold, impenetrable vaults of the bureaucratic machine, a human being had heard the faint cry: Change was late.

Soon, students who want to take national exams in Tanzania for high school students entering V-form will be able to take new subject combinations. The combination restrictions remain the same, the transformative ‘novelty’ is said to struggle within these limits to deliver education fit for the 21st century. I do not know anymore. There have been so many attempts and educational reform here that even keeps a trace? Students who have been experienced over the years?

It might be different this time. Apparently, the sciences and certain arts were introduced in a new way to help students navigate the deep and unpredictable waters of the 1920s and beyond. Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Studies (PMC) are finally making use of these rational weirdos, but I’m worried about this combination. I have met people who think like machines. Uncanny Valley is even worse in real life.

French and Chinese Kiswahili (KFC), English and Chinese Kiswahili (KEC) suggest that Tanzania may be looking to strengthen its international relations with money and other types?

Physical education, geography, and economics are strangely exciting. There is something that I can’t quite place about the potential that I see in this strange bird. The outlier, however, has to be Physical Education, Biology, and Fine Arts (PBA). The practical application of this combination is not obvious, it is a misfit. Of course, I like it. After all, a mind trained in the rigors of art – art demands honesty! – residing in a body that is (hopefully) trained, fit and well nourished is a good start. The biology part? Very cool. Biology is the sociology of science, after all. I dig it.

It is said that old dogs cannot learn new tricks. This is not true. Old dogs learn new tricks all the time, in human terms that just means never losing sight of the child in you who is always hungry for new knowledge, is happy and creative, and makes friends fast. I will soon become an old dog; I certainly don’t want to learn new stuff. But times demand it. Fortunately, I have help from my old friends, my inner child and my youth.

Anyone can evolve, provided they are encouraged and encouraged to guide their foray into the infinite quest for knowledge. I should know that. That happened to me. I hope this will happen to everyone at least once in their life.

So I wish my government the best in this quest to give Young Tanzania a chance to succeed in the future. And I guess I’ll try to adapt as well. The new math is terrible, but there is a YouTube video that took me by the hand and walked me through a few exercises. It will never be comfortable, but it feels familiar to me, which is good enough.

Eyakuze is a consultant and blogger for The Mikocheni Report: E-mail: [email protected]


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