An exploration of the role of open distance learning in facilitating teachers’ professional development

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Marriote Ngwaru


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Teachers’ professional development is a key component in improving the quality of teachers so that they can impact on their practice as well as improving learner’s performance. However many teachers in Tanzania are in the teaching profession with old skills and those who are qualified still have low capacities that needs continue professional development to meet the reforms in the education sector. One of the forms of teachers’ professional development is through open distance learning that ensures reaching masses of teachers who cannot access convectional studies for professional development for different reasons. This study sought to explore the role of open distance learning in facilitating teachers’ professional development in Northern Tanzania. The study revealed that open distance learning plays a major role in facilitating teachers’ professional development by offering access to various teachers’ education programmes such as Bachelor of education Arts etcetera. Similarly the study found out that through teachers training in an open distance environment, teachers develop skills such as schemes of work preparation, teaching, and school management as well learners’ guidance and counseling. Moreover findings concluded that open distance learning provides opportunity for teachers to work as well study, hence teachers apply the knowledge they gain immediately at their workstation. Teachers’ service policy is strict in granting teachers continue professional development opportunities out of their work stations. The policy requires teachers to spend some time at work station before seeking any professional development opportunity. However this study findings are clear about the continue learning opportunities available for teachers through open distance learning. Therefore this study recommended the policy makers to consider channeling teachers for continue professional development through open distance learning because teachers would continue with their work at respective work stations concurrently with studies which may not interfere with learners studies.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library