Communication and Journalism Curricula in Africa: The Case of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
Ochilo, Polycarp Omolo
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This is an incisive scientific evaluation of the existing curricula in journalism and communication training institutions in East Africa. The study pays close attention to most of the crucial elements of a good curricula, including the aims and objectives of the courses, the teaching methods adopted, the assessment methods of the courses and the flexibility of the courses to accomodate community, national, regional, continental and international needs. The aims of the study were five-fold: To provide emphirical evidence on the orientations, objectives and scope of the existing curricula in journalism and communication training in East Africa; to suggest variousways of re-modelling the curricula; to access the quality of training offered to journalists so as to find out if they are being adequately funded and teachers well remunerated and; to generate fresh data on journalism and communication training in the region which can be used by policy makers and implementors in shaping future training needs. Field survey research design was used to collect data from 51 various media practitioners from media organisations, broadcast stations, newspapers, training institutions and governmental departments. A total of 19, 21 and 22 respondents from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya respectively were interviewed. The study raises concern over two pertinent issues: the fact that the training institutions have less teaching staff and that the curricula used are relatively old with the newest having been drawn in 1994. The author suggests that there ought to be regular review of the curricula to make them responsive to the ever-changing media demands. Three track approach to the review of the curricula are recommended. They invite Unesco and other stakeholders to commission further studies aimed at a comprehensive improvement of the curricula so that the beneficiaries may be able to face the various complex communication challenges facing their communities and countries; the region, continent and the world.