SC State University Continues to Make History

Monday, August 25, 2008

 

President Karume signing first copies of the Chemistry TextbooksOnce again, SC State University made a historic international impact on secondary education, when President George E. Cooper through the textbooks and learning materials program (TLMP), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), officially handed over 648,000 mathematics and chemistry textbooks and other learning materials to the President of Zanzibar, Dr. Amani Abeid Karume.

The books were developed collaboratively through a partnership with USAID, The Zanzibar Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT), and faculty and administrators at SC State University.

During the ceremony which was held at the Mwembeladu Secondary School more than 5000 students, parents, supporters, and government officials both from the United States and Zanzibar were present for the historic event.

“In the future, by using the textbooks being handed-over during this ceremony today, and being serious about your educational opportunities, one of you could one day stand where I am, and become the president of this great country,” said President Amani Abeid Karume.


According to the Honorable Minister Haroun Suleiman this will be the “first time in the history of Zanzibar that there will be a student to textbook ratio of 1 to 1,” he stated.

TLMP is funded under President George W. Bush’s African Education Initiative that aims to expand the academic opportunities of African students. In total, SC State has received $5 million from the program to write, produce, and distribute the textbooks and other learning materials. SC State is the only university in South Carolina and the only U.S. university working with secondary education.

At the program’s conclusion, which should sunset in September 2008, but has been awarded a no-cost extension through March 2009 to complete project objectives. At this time, SC State and its partners will have provided more than 1.5 million textbooks and learning materials in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics at the secondary level for the students of Zanzibar, Tanzania.

“It’s a great day for the children of Zanzibar,” said Dr. Sarah Moten, Chief, Education Division, Africa Bureau/USAID. During the ceremony, Dr. Moten read at letter from U.S. First Lady, Laura Bush, which recognizes SC State for its great work.

Also, in the letter, the First Lady said, “as a former teacher, I am especially pleased that the books being presented today are tailored to the culture and curriculum of Zanzibar.” She also said that, “students must have access to appropriate resources, schools, and skilled teachers in order to receive the greatest benefit from their education.”

Representing SC State and joining President Cooper, were the principal investigator, (interim vice president for Research and Economic Development) Dr. Leonard A. McIntyre, project manager Lamin E. Drammeh, lead writer for the chemistry textbooks, Mr. Elbert Malone, director of University Relations and Marketing, Erica Prioleau, and special assistant to the president, Mr. Edwin Givens.

“This program has allowed us to build capacity for both the SC State team and the Zanzibaris involved with this process, said Dr. McIntyre, principal investigator. He continued “further we have been able to provide those working on the team with experiences that have helped them to acquire a skill set needed to write textbooks that they otherwise would not have developed. It has been a very rewarding experience for all involved,” he concluded.

During his address, Dr. Cooper, stated that “as SC State looks towards the future, I am confident that through this collaboration, we have made a significant investment in the students and have contributed positively to the future of Zanzibar.” He also said, “as SC State embarks on expanding its internationalization program, we will model our process, program, and implementation after what we have done in Zanzibar,” he exclaimed.


Prior to the handing-over ceremony, President Cooper and the SC State delegation, met with President Karume at the Zanzibar State House and presented him with his official SC State University alumni certificate, making him an official “ SC State Bulldog.” The honorary Doctor of Laws degree was conferred upon President Karume on May 9, 2008, during SC State’s spring commencement ceremony where he (President Karume) delivered the commencement address at SC State.

Also during the day, President Cooper signed a Memorandum of Understanding, a partnership between SC State University and the Government of Zanzibar through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to explore opportunities that will foster a productive and meaningful relationship.

The partnership will specifically focus on implementing programs/activities that will allow Zanzibar through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and SC State University to enhance and expand on its efforts to fulfill its mission through a shared vision.

Specifically, the Government of Zanzibar will support the following initiatives:
*Presidential Scholarship for Zanzibar students to attend SC State University
*Expansion of the textbooks program to address the needs of pre-high school level
*Provide a Kiswahili professor to the Department of Foreign Languages in the College of Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

And, SC State University will support the following initiatives:
*Activities that strengthen capacity building for sustainability
*Teacher training
*SUZA management
*Workshops, seminars and conferences
*Administrators, students and faculty exchange program between SC State and State University of Zanzibar (SUZA)
*Pursue opportunities to expand TLMP work through partnership with the MoEVT.

During this visit to Zanzibar, SC State officials, who are the special invited guests of President Karume will visit Karume Technical College, as well as five primary and secondary schools (who are currently utilizing the biology textbook handed over in January 2008), meet with TLMP officials to dialogue about project expansion, and several other official meetings.

For more information on SC State’s Textbooks and Learning Materials Program (TLMP), contact Dr. Leonard A. McIntyre, via email at lamcintyre@scsu.edu or at (803) 536-7175.