By ANTHONY MATHIAS KAYEJI 2010 HOW SCIENCE CAN BE POPULARIZED IN TANZANIA Tanzania like many other countries in the world has been making deliberate efforts towards developing and improving science education. Since independent Tanzania strived to develop the formal science education apart from indigenous science what was there even before the colonial eras. The indigenous sciences is not much given priority due to the reason that it has no systematic procedures to its approach and also it is not formalized into well organized body of knowledge. In response to science and technology Tanzania was obligated to train manpower for implementation of science and technology. And these efforts should start right from pre-schools up to tertiary level. The main focus should base on the identification of the problem, followed by development and testing of hypotheses around the problem, such data generated and analyzed and conclusion or discoveries are made (Popper, 1961). Learners need to get experience on how to build a scientific method that works for them by working with a variety of variables, proportions and other activities that can enable them generate hypotheses and conjectures and develop logical, scientific reasoning (Adey and Shayer, 1985). Again the authors argues that the science education can accelerate the rate of thinking of learners if it is used to teach learners how to recognize and measure variables, control some variables while varying others and design a fair test of their hypotheses and hence use the scientific method in the day to day teaching and learning process. Regardless of all the attempts, currently it is observed that the objectives for improving scientific literacy is not achieved, science enrollments are relatively down, achievement in certain grade level is declining and teachers morale is low. In the past the more intellectual able students were the ones who were selected to pursue science and mathematics in the secondary schools. But nowadays more of these students are no longer interested to continue with science when they join universities. As it has been pointed out in Tilya and Voogt (2001), argue that the performance of Tanzania secondary school in physics and other science, and mathematics education has been disappointing. The statistics of poor performance in sciences in recent years is more alarming than in the past. However the main purpose of this write-up is to endeavour to alienate the plausible cause for the students to loose interest in continuing with science study at high learning institutions, and point out the possible problems with universities which tend to deter students from doing science at university level. Nevertheless suggestions on what should be done to popularize the study of sciences and mathematics will be provided. The approaches of this paper will be to describe what science and technology is all about? Secondly to explain why in the past intellectual able students were selected to do science and mathematics? Why not now? Third is to describe the problem with doing science at university level, lastly is to suggest the way science and mathematics can be popularized. Science is derived from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge" or "knowing"; hence is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding of how the physical world works. Using controlled methods, scientists collect data in the form of observations, records of observable physical evidence of natural phenomena, and analyze this information to construct theoretical explanations of how things work. The methods of scientific research include the identification of the problem, generation of hypotheses about how natural phenomena work, and experimentation that tests these hypotheses under controlled conditions. The outcome or product of this empirical scientific process is the formulation of theory that describes human understanding of physical processes and facilitates prediction Barke (1986) defined science as both a method by which knowledge is gained and the knowledge that results from that process the constellation of facts, theories, and methods collected in current texts. It is clear to use different words for scientific process and scientific knowledge; scientific process or method, entails observing a problem, formulating hypotheses, gathering data, testing hypothesis and forming general conclusions. It is based on constant challenges of assumptions; replication and validation of experiments and a willingness, to reject old explanations in favour of better ones. Scientific knowledge consists of the explanation, theories, and laws that have been produced by the scientific process. Schmandt (1984, p.26) pointed out that when science is done well , it provide not only facts for policy makers but also a language and reference point that allows for informed discourse. Science is categorized into separate disciplines of study such as; astronomy, biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Traditionally were classified into two groups like life science and earth science. Today, they are usually jointly referred to as the Natural sciences (biological science) and Physical sciences comprise mathematics, physics and chemistry. There is no way that mathematics can be separated from science because it involves an objective, careful and systematic study of an area of knowledge. Mathematics which also includes statistics and logic, is vital to the empirical sciences. Therefore major advances in Mathematics have often led to major advances in the physical and biological sciences. The Mathematics is essential in the formation of hypotheses, theories, and laws, both in discovering and describing how things work (natural sciences and physical sciences). Technology; can be defined as a body of knowledge about the production of goods and services such as Infrastructures, Various machines, Computers, Communications, Weapons, Energy sources, Food products, Medicines, Agricultural products, Genetic engineering, and Security (forensic purpose). Unlike science, which aims at understanding reality, technology is intended to put knowledge into practice to alter and control the material conditions of life; or to create a reality according to our design. Because technology is based on knowledge, it is common to assume that technological application must follow scientific breakthroughs. Technology serves as an enormous repository of empirical knowledge to be scrutinized and evaluated by the scientific as well as a source of tools and techniques from scientific inquiry. In general, scientific methods and knowledge play a complex yet crucial role in the process of technological innovation, and demands for answers to practical problems often pull scientific advances. NOTE: Science and Technology are tightly coupled. A scientific understanding of the natural world is the basis for much of technological development today. When we talk about Technology actually we are referring to the application of scientific facts, ideas, theory and principles in engineering various products. As it has been pointed earlier that, in the past more intellectual able students were the ones selected to do science and mathematics in secondary schools which is contrary to the present time where more of these students are not continuing with sciences and mathematics when they join university; these may due to the following reasons; First, the reason to why the more intellectual students were selected to do science and mathematics in secondary schools was due to the nature of the subjects (science and mathematics) which were believed to be difficult, more demanding and involve high mental ability. So due that myth all students seemed to be academically able were allocated to pursue sciences and mathematics in their High school studies while those students who were seem to be academically weak especially in mathematics were advised to do arts combination in their high school studies. By then students who were taking science felt more prestige and superior against those who were taking arts subjects who felt more inferior. So that time more of the students worked hard so that they may be selected to do sciences and mathematics in their high schools and when they join the university. The second reason was due to societal perception upon sciences and mathematics disciplines. At that time sciences discipline were much valued by the society and those who were doing work related to science were much respected in the community like doctors, engineers, mechanics and so forth. Therefore even parents used to encourage their children to study sciences so that they may become doctors or engineers. For that case students were motivate to cling into sciences and mathematics. The third reason was due to good policy concerning science and technology education. The policy stipulated by the ministry of science, technology and high learning education seems to attract more students to study science instead of art subjects, because it shows that studying science would bring good future. For instance at 1960s a main objective was to help students acquire the process skills of science such as; observing, hypothesizing, measuring, experimenting, analyzing and interpretation of data, controlling and manipulating variables, correct handling and use of scientific apparatus and making inferences and concluding(Ajeyalemi,1990). In practice much of what is described as science and technology education in Tanzania today is nothing more than information-giving by teachers and memorization of the presented information otherwise expected to be taught with emphasis on experimentation. Another objective was provision of adequate incentives to Science and Technology personnel and involvement of local expertise in consultancy services (MSTHE, 1993, p.24). This was also unfulfilled as supported by Adegoke (1988) argues there is little doubt that the salary and reward system for scientists is poorest in Africa where, in most cases, scientists are rated and paid less than their contemporaries who studied the humanities and are engaged in administration. Therefore scientists have to be adequately remunerated and in addition, extra incentives must be provided to keep them glued to their work. However lack of fulfillment of the stipulated policy turned into a burial grave for science and technology in Tanzania. Since students do not see future in science and scientists and technological experts are neither motivated nor respect any more. After the discussion on the factors that led students who were intellectual able to be selected to do sciences and mathematics in secondary schools; on the other hand currently it has been observed that there are more of these students not continuing with science when they join Universities. The reasons which ascertained to cause these are; 1.Poor science and mathematics background; Most of the students who are taking science in Tanzania they do not have concrete background in science and mathematics due to number of reasons. In Tanzania, Knamiller et al (1995) show that, schools are hardly able to provide children with the experience to generate and test hypotheses, let alone to recognize variables and manipulate them. There many reasons for this including the following; first children are rarely given the opportunity to conceptualize the basic cycle of scientific method used by scientists. Instead they study science blindly, out of context, and with one main goal to pass examinations. Secondly children rarely do experiments in school. Even if they do experiments the experiments are confined to verification of existing theories (normal science) rather than experiments aimed at testing their own theories and conception. Most teachers have been taught in similar manner and are not able to use the scientific method. The way science is treated in Tanzania do not encourage the students to continue with science and mathematics at the high levels because they have no enough skills and proper knowledge about science. Students may pass chemistry, biology ,physics and mathematics but have little understanding of the concepts they have learned other than committing the definitions, laws, and principles to memory. As a result they tend to diverge into other courses which are not pure science per se. This is not only for secondary students but also to the graduate students very few who dare to do postgraduate master in science, although their first degree were of science due to the same reason. Therefore poor background in science and mathematics affect students from pre-school to the university level. 2. Lack of motivation to both students and science and mathematics teachers; since students are not motivated for science and mathematics now there is a decrease number of students opt for science study in higher education; possible reasons for this are the high intellectual requirements compared to other studies, the boring image of science in high schools and the importance for many youngsters of economic benefits which are not associated with science. Students will desire to be effective and perform well in his or her academic studies for the sake of interest, enjoyment and self-expression reasons. Capel (1999) argues that conducive school environments motivate learning behaviour. Factor like future expectations, family backgrounds peer groups, teachers and school culture where students and members of the staff are subjected, may motivate learning of science and mathematics. So students are not motivated by any of the mentioned groups. Teachers as an important implementer of science and technology education, should be highly motivated by providing them with the necessary teaching materials, conducive teaching environment, good salary, housing ,medical services, transport and respects. In supporting Malekela (1993) argues that, teachers have to work in a rewarding intellectual environment. World Bank(1991) articulate that, teaching force that is unmotivated and demoralized by deplorable working environment lowers the morale of teachers compromises the quality of education(science and technology education) as their morale is depressed. UNCSTD (1978) argues that this decline appears not only to be due to inadequate teaching facilities and materials, but also to the lack of science and technology teachers. The factors contributing to the status quo are the low level of motivation among teachers and pupils and inappropriate curricula. 3. Change of Labour market demand; currently there are emergences of many NGOs which provide employments to many Tanzanian with very attractive remunerations and most of the employment provided do not involve scientists instead those who studied arts courses are employed. So one may ask why I should toil to study science and mathematics which are so demanding, difficult and too abstract while I can study political science, public administration, and international relationship and get good job with high salary than the scientist doctor or lecturer from NGOs. However, more of the scientist students are flowing into non-science course where there is a promising future like; Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Public Administration, Master of Business Administration, Political science and so forth. In addition to that there is introduction of multi-parties system which has sensitized many people to engage in political issues. Politicians are the one holds administrative positions, decision making positions, and law making. Since are the one who control everything their life are not like of scientists. For that case more scientists are opting to become politician rather than being a scientist in the third world which is to abstract and does not pay. A good example I have many of students from Mzumbe schools who studied PCB and PCM are now studying Commerce, Finance, Accounting etc. Not only that but also in Tanzania there are many scientist Professors and doctor (Prof. Sarungi, Prof. Kapuya, Prof. Mwandosya, Prof. Msolwa) who forsake their profession and join politics because of science in Tanzania is not rewarding and frustrate people. MSTHE (2003) pointed out that inadequate incentives for science and technology is discouraging effective professionalism across all sectors. We need mechanism for controlling brain drain if there is to be effective and successful application of science and technology for socio-economic development. The widespread outflow of qualified scientist and engineers from inter and intra country stems from dissatisfaction with local compensation schemes and inadequate scientific support as opposed to the grater intellectual recognition and better earning opportunities abroad. The related problem is that the scientific and technological professions are perceived to be of a lower status than others such as managerial and politics as the latter seen to be more rewarding. The nature of science ant technology offered in Tanzania do not reward people when compared with the energy and efforts spent during acquisition of that skills and knowledge. So, this makes students to repel from doing science and mathematics ant the University level. 4. Demanding nature of science and mathematics subjects; these subjects are much demanding in terms of time, work (experiment), costs in purchasing laboratory materials and critical thinking skills. MSTHE (2003) articulate that in order to prepare student for science and technological application in their career and throughout their lives, it is vital to equip them with critical thinking skills (emphasizing concepts and process and not just rote learning, i.e. memorization) a solid foundation in written and spoken language, mathematics and basic science is necessary. The high intellectual requirements of science and mathematics compared to other studies, and boring image of science in high schools, real accelerate the rate of students escaping from doing science at the university level. However, as it has been point out on the general reasons to why able students are no longer interested in doing sciences and mathematics when they join universities. Now the following are the problems entailed with doing science at the University level. First problem is related to the University curriculum; it is contents based curriculum with little attention to the applied aspects. This is a carry-over from secondary sciences. The university programmes are overloaded with a lot of courses which have to be covered within a short time. For instance a student taking Bachelor of Science he or she must cover about 90 units within three years. So, in order to reach such amount of units, many courses have to be covered and most of the courses in science disciplines have 1-2 units and few might have 3 units. If the units are not achieved from the core courses then the student will have to opt from the elective courses. The implications here is not how much the student acquired but how much he or she has covered. Some of the courses offered are even irrelevant to the learner, that no where the learner will apply them in all his/her life. As a result both lecturer and student strive to cover the intended contents within the limited time i.e. semester. In most cases the contents are superficially covered, since the lecturers always opt to use PowerPoint in teaching, this favours the lecturer and jeopardizes the student. Ajeyalemi (1990) argues that the general weak background of students in secondary science and the esoteric nature of University science courses all contribute to the production of graduates, who lack entrepreneur skills and are ill-equipped for work in productive sectors or for self employment. Second problem is concerning with pedagogical issue; most of the science lecturers at the university level have no pedagogical skills. Teaching is merely based on giving information by lecturers; the main method used is lecture method and sometimes is no longer lecturing rather displaying slides on the PowerPoint. On the issue of practical; they are treated separately from the theory part. Sometimes student do practical of a certain topic which is not yet covered probably will be taught in their third year. Therefore it become difficult for the learner to associate the practical and theory, since are treated separately. The impact of this is to produce graduates who are incompetence and not experts on their area of specialization. Ajeyalemi (1990) added that theoretical approach is further encouraged by the emphasis it receives in an examination. The result is that most of the graduate from the system can only read and memorize scientific and technological information but may not be able to link in, do, or, use science and technology as their counterparts in developed countries. Thus why every year scientists are graduating but still the country has to hire experts from abroad such as contractors for road maintenance, power maintenance, rain maker from Thailand and so forth. Third problem is lack of well equipped laboratory; most of the universities are suffering from shortage of modern and sophisticated instruments/equipments which are required in the science laboratories for doing experiments and various scientific researches. For instance in the University of Dar-es-Salaam there some instruments missing which are very important for research, some of the research analysis can not be done in the country unless are taken to the neighbours country like Kenya. So this kind of problem tend to hamper the performance of some experiments and researches; hence drawback the improvement of science and technology in our country. Fourth problem is lack of quality control; at the university level there is no close follow-up as to see to what extent a certain course have been achieved. The lecturers are given full autonomy upon the courses they teach; so they can treat it in the way they like. This depends on the commitment of the particular lecturer concerned. Some courses are extensively covered and others are superficially covered or poorly covered. For instance the same course can be taught by different lecturers at different years, you will find in one year there is mass failure while in the other year students performed well. The reason behind, there is neither fairness nor uniformity. So this sort of prejudice makes students to run away from pursuing sciences at the university level. There is a notion that when you take science at the university level you can be discontinued due to lecturers biasness. Fifth problem is expensiveness and demanding nature of science; science courses at the university level requires laboratories, instruments(machines)/apparatus and chemicals and all these need money to purchase, it should be remembered that these equipments and chemicals are very expensive to buy. Thus it is a burden to running the science laboratories. Due to these expenses the cost for studying a science course is also high compared to the social courses. Likewise to study science courses one have to devote much time for studying theoretical part and do experiments of a particular discipline. Sometimes has to spend about 2-4 hours in the laboratories doing experiments and it is not quarantine to get results sometimes you need to come back the next day. Most students tend to opt for courses which are affordable to pay and the course which are less demanding regardless they will get employments which pay than those who studied science. As it was pointed earlier that Science and Mathematics are inseparable disciplines. The student who is capable in mathematics will be also capable in science subjects. Therefore if real Tanzania has an intention of developing science and technology, in her efforts should include mathematics too. The following are the suggested ways in which science and mathematics can be popularized, these are; Science Curriculum innovations; The science and mathematics curricula (syllabi) have to be revised from content based to context, teachers-centered to learners-centered .The curricula should emphasis the social context of science and technology, knowledge-utilization , problemsolving, logical thinking (reasoning) and decision making ,ethics and value; and technological assessment. Some of the syllabus contents which seem to be of less important have to be chopped out so as to reduce the load to be covered by the students within a certain period of time. This is because the present contents can not be covered effectively within the required time; hence teachers tend to rush up in order to touch at least each part. These changes should affect all level of studies that is from pre-schools to University level. Curriculum innovation should involve all stakeholders for effective implementation. Ottevanger (2001); McKenney (2001) suggested that curriculum innovation succeeds only if there is a pioneer group of teachers to carryout (or catalyze) the innovation until they produce a new generation of transformed teachers able to carry out the innovation Teachers quality and adequacy; Teachers are the key play in implementation and strengthen of science and mathematics in Tanzania. Teachers are like the heart of the education system coordinating and bringing life to the education system. Therefore science and mathematics teachers as an important human resource they have to be motivation. To my suggestion their salaries should be relatively high compared to the art teachers and better working condition. Most of teachers use traditional way of teaching that is teachers-centered method; therefore teachers have to be well trained either in their pre-service courses or in-service training. By so doing teachers will be up-to-dated. Lastly adequate number of teachers should be supplied to all schools and Universities. Improvement of Science Laboratories; the government has to make sure that at least there simple laboratories in primary schools, also it has to ensure that each secondary school has got laboratory with adequate chemicals and equipments, also rehabilitate the old laboratory. For the university level there should be modern laboratories with up-to-date and sophisticated instruments, machines and adequate chemicals. In addition to that the government has to employ the laboratory technicians so as to reduce the burden to the subject teacher; of course teachers are not trained to work in the laboratory. UNCSTD (1978) specified that the government should develop a national centre for research and development of simple local school science teaching equipments and to resume the training of laboratory assistant/technicians or school who will assist in doing some minor pair to school equipments. This has to apply from secondary level to University level. Education; Both society and students have to be educated on the importance and necessarily of science and technology in the development of the country. We have to combat with the notion that science subjects are too tough and have no future in Tanzania, when we manage to change the negative attitudes of the society and students towards science subjects I hope science will be improved, but much of our efforts have to be directed to female students because have extreme negative attitudes that they can not pursue. Introduction of science centers: It is my suggestion that the government has to introduce science centers which have the entire necessary requirements including well equipped laboratories, good supply of books, good living environments, well trained lab-technicians, and well paid selected skillful teachers. These centers should target the Olevel and A level students. Only students with extreme exceptional ability in science have to be selected to join such centers. The centers have to act as a national engine to generate scientists, researchers, thinkers and discoverers. The government has to accept to spend much so as to create highly qualified scientists, the centers they shouldnt be treated as how the government did to our special schools which now. Conclusion; Conclusively it can be argued that; during this era of science and technology many countries are competing in having new innovations and discoveries which are sold as technologies. Tanzanian has to use all means in order to improve science and technology. This will only be possible if more efforts will be directed in investing in our young generation encouraging them to study science and mathematics. So, the government has to be ready to train more scientists and technological expertise at any cost. Now days there are good number of students escaping from studying science and mathematics, prominent scientist are leaving their profession into politics, science teacher are leaving classes to join banks, PCCB, army, business and so forth. This is because of recklessness of our government which has despised scientist and honour politician. So they have even decided to go abroad to seek greener pastures rather than getting withered in inconsiderate country. But, it is not too late we still have a chance to rectify the situation. I urge the Tanzanian government to make deliberate efforts to rescue this country instead of merely words. REFERENCE: Adegoke, O.S. (1988). Management of science for development in Africa. In Thomas.R.Odhiambo and T.T.Isoun (1988).Science for development in Africa .Nairobi: Icipescienc Press. Ajeyalemi, D. (Ed.). (1990).Science and technology education in Africa. Lagos: University of Lagos Press. Barke, R. (1986). Science, technology and public policy. New Delhi: Affiliated East-West Press. Capel, S. (1999).Learning to teach in the secondary school: A companion to school experience. London: Routledge. Knamiller, G.W., O-saki, K.M., and Kuonga, H.C. (1995).Science teachers understanding of the science embedded in traditional technologies. A study to inform teacher education .Research in Science and Technological Education, 13(1), 67-76. Mckenney, S. (2001). Computer based support for science education materials developer in Africa. Exploring potentials. Doctoral dissertation. Enschede: University of Twente. Malekela, G.A. (1993). A report on sector study on basic and secondary education in Tanzania (mimeo).Dar-es-Salaam: UNDP\ UNESCO. Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, (1993).The National Science and Technology Policy for Tanzania (Draft may 1993). Dar-es-Salaam: University of Dar-es-Salaam Press. Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education,(2003). Science and Technology Sub-master plan (2003-2018), vol 1. Dar-es-Salaam: University of Dar-es-Salaam Press. Ottevanger, W. (2001). Teacher support materials as a catalyst for science curriculum implementation in Namibia. Doctoral Thesis .Enschede: University of Twente. Popper, K. (1961). The logic of scientific discovery. London: Blackwell. Schmandt, J. (1984).The age of high technology: The role of regions and states. Texas: Unwn Hyman. Shayer, M., and Adey, P. (1979).Toward a Science of science teaching: Cognitive development and acceleration. London: Heinemann. Tilya, F., and Vogt, J. (2002). Teacher preparation and support in the use of microcomputer-based laboratories (MBL) for physics teaching in Tanzania. In K.O-saki, W.Ottevanger, C.Uiso. J.van den Akker (Eds), Science education research and teacher development in Tanzania. Dar-es-Salaam: TEAMS Project. UNCSTD, (1978).Science and Technology for development: African goals and aspirations. In the United Nations Conference: Report for a Symposium held in Arusha Jan 30-Feb 4, 1978.Dar-es-Salaam: Tanzania National Scientific Research Council World Bank, (1991). United Republic of Tanzania teachers and the financing of education. Washington D.C: World Bank.