Asseny Muro & Patricia Mbughumi

interviewed by Joan McFarland


Joan McFarland, CCLOW's New Brunswick Director, interviewed Asseny Muro, principle academic officer at the National Correspondence Institute operated by the Ministry of Education of Tanzania and based in Dares-Salaam. Joan McFarland also spoke with Patricia Mbughumi of the Institute of Swahili Research at the same university. The interview took place at the conference, "Women, Education, Development: A Feminist Challenge to Adult Education", held in Montreal this fall.

JOAN: Could you tell me a little bit about the work you do?

ASSENY: Through my work in adult education, I became aware of the differences between men and women, and that women need more attention. That's where I started. This culminated in my choosing to pursue women's studies for my M.A. program at the University of Dares-Salaam where, luckily enough, I was sponsored by a special women's fellowship and the Ford Foundation. I went into villages for about a month, saw and tried to analyze and review women's participation in adult education in relation to production in the villages.

JOAN: Patricia, is there a women's studies program at the University of Dares-Salaam?

PATRICIA: We have a women's research and documentation program, housed at the University of Dares-Salaam sponsored through the International Council for Adult Education.

JOAN: Asseny, could you tell us about your study and report.

ASSENY: Last year, women from different institutions - from the agriculture ministry, from the university group, from the Ministry of Education, from the nutrition institution - and from other adult education institutions, as well as women's organizations in the country reviewed the new post-literacy curriculum with the intention of giving it a women's orientation.

PATRICIA: We had a group of about 20 women Tanzanian experts. I was involved in the valuation from the very formation of the technical framework. That is how I became involved in the issue of adult education.

JOAN: This was your first contact with that work?

PATRICIA: Well, I had also been involved in trying to prepare materials for "concretization."

JOAN: Whose idea was it to do the study? How did it get started?

ASSENY: The Swedish International Development Agency, has been sponsoring literacy in the country, and it was SIDA' s policy that the program should bear in mind the problems and interests of women. And I think the Ministry of Education and SIDA agreed that this was an issue that should be pursued. The Ministry of Education agreed that they would put into action the outcome of the study and review.

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