A few years ago, graduates in Tanzania were the most assured people in the country of getting all good jobs that were available. It was uncommon to find a graduate with an added advantage of a good performance searching for a job unsuccessfully.
Drastic changes have taken place in today’s world. An increasing number of people are enrolled in and graduate from different universities, changing demands of employers. The evolution of science and technology means there is a demand for those with more skills. Employers are looking for workers that have a flexible mindset and can problem-solve. Graduates have found themselves in a tougher job market than in the past.
A study posted in the Journal of Education and Practice provides evidence of the skills gap especially among young people in the country. The study highlights that a higher youth unemployment rate in the country does not always mean the absence of jobs but the inability of youth to acquire the available jobs.
It is clear that there is a high need for schools to watch changes and demands of the labor market so that they can rethink, reposition, and re-engineer their methods in line with the changing requirements of the labor market and those of the local communities.
Having this fact in mind, in 2017 Opportunity Education introduced a special course at Mtakuja Secondary School called Thinking By Design.
Thinking By Design is a Quest Forward Learning course that asks students to use the design thinking process to solve relevant problems in their communities. Throughout the course, students are challenged to think outside of the box by picking community problems and devising solutions to them.
Thinking By Design is a Quest Forward Learning course that asks students to use the design thinking process to solve relevant problems in their communities.
Thinking by Design equips students with the ability to identify different problems that exist in their communities, and provides them with the know-how to go about solving those problems. Through Thinking By Design, students develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes on how to go about different life challenges and capitalize on them for their advantage.
This special course has transformed the mindsets of the youngsters at Mtakuja Secondary School, a Quest Forward School in Moshi-Kilimanjaro, from reluctant thinkers to problem solvers.
The skills that these students are developing in Thinking By Design are skills that employers and the job market at large are looking for from their employees. In today’s world, every employer is looking for an open-minded employee, one who can spot a problem and devise means on how to go about solving a particular problem.
Thinking By Design does not just prepare learners to be potential employees in the future, but also it prepares them to be people with creativity and initiative who can start their own personal projects even when the jobs are hard to find.
From the look of things, and projection of what the future will bring, I see Quest Forward Learning and the Thinking By Design course as the antidote for all the current challenges that the graduates are facing after they have finished their course of learning.
Read more about what Quest Forward Learning looks like in Tanzania here.