Curriculum development to support tourism and support the Professional Tour Guide School (PROTS)


LOCATION Arusha, Tanzania

PERIOD 1992 untill now

OBJECTIVE • Curriculum development to support tourism and Support Professional Tour Guide School
• Development of a syllabus for the training of tourist guides national

PARTNERS • Tanzania Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife
• EMACO (Environmental Management and Consultation)
• PROT’s School (Professional Tourguide School) in Arusha

WITH THE SUPPORT OF • Flemish Government: Ministry of Development
• NGO ACT (now Trias ngo)
• Belgisch Technische Coöperatie (BTC)
• Het Verbond van Belgische Ondernemingen (VBO)
• Het Vlaams Economisch Verbond (VEV, nu VOKA)

BUDGET Own finances

FINANCES Own finances and support of the Flemish Government: Ministry of Development

DESCRIPTION 1997 – 1998:
At the request of the Belgian NGO ACT, the Living Stone group was enabled (in the framework of a project on improving the living conditions of the local population) in the development of a training program “Train the Trainers”. The goal was to enhance the knowledge of local trainers in active training methodologies. This training program was prepared and implemented in collaboration with EMACO, a local training institute (Environmental Management Consultants). Subsequently, both from the basic and politically (ie Tourism Minister Zakia Meghji), the emergency was formulated to improve the quality of trainings in tourism. And to stop the diversity in tourism schools, which use random curricula and random diplomas. The development of one syllabus for the training of tourist guides is a national objective. There was consultation with the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources, with TATO (Tanzanian tour operators), and with the Mweka College for wildlife.

The ‘Syllabus Project, was carried out with the support of the Belgian Ministry of OS (Cabinet Staatstecretaris Boutmans) by Living Stone, EMACO and PROT’s School (Professional Tour Guide School – ° 1995), one of the best tourism schools in Arusha. During 8 months workshops, with Tanzanian and Belgian guest trainers, and practical tryouts during field trips took place. The Tanzanian Ministry of Tourism followed the evolutions and the syllabus ‘Basic Tour Guiding Course’ was enthusiastically received by Mrs Zakia Meghji, Minister of Tourism. She confirmed the need for this work at national level and supported the need for better tourism training in parliament. The Belgian Ambassador to Tanzania and the head of the Belgian Cooperation (Attaché) supported the project.In 2000:

Living Stone received the biennial FEB VEV Price International Partnership for Sustainable Development, for the cooperation in Arusha (Tanzania) with eight schools in tourism. This Prize is a recognition of the global dimension of sustainable development and the importance of international cooperation between various sectors.

2000- 2001:
Further implementation of the project, with the support of the government Boutmans. By December 2001 the syllabus was developed and became a ready one year curriculum for tourism schools in Tanzania. The support from the government ensured the continuous implementation in the schools and the homologation of diplomas. Mr. Nzuki, Assistant Director of the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources and Manager of the Training Institute of the same Ministry, asked in his speech during the second workshop of the syllabus program on behalf of mr. Luhanjo, Living Stone explicitly to work with a team for the training of tour guides. In a final resolution was also announced its intention to establish an association of trainers in tourism schools. Again, Living Stone was asked to join the association. Both initiatives, the curriculum team and the association, have as main objective to further elaborate and implement the syllabus project.

2002 – 2006:
Intensification of cooperation with the PROTSchool and international networking. Living Stone employees underpin the curriculum and give guest lectures. Thus, PROTS director Isoba was involved as a trainer at the St. Lucia Wetland project in South Africa whose training guide was coordinated by Rita Daneels, founder / director of Living Stone Dialogue (co-financed by the Flemish Government).

June 2006:
Audit of the PROTS (by Exchange vzw) and development of a comprehensive business plan for the next five years. This plan contains a contextual and a content analysis, based on three possible strategic future scenarios.

RESULTS Het curriculum vormde de eerste aanzet voor verschillende pogingen van het ministerie om de opleidingen en curricula te standaardiseren in een National Curriculum for Tour Guides. Steevast kwam men daarbij terecht bij PRoTS, die, mede dank zij de samenwerking, hieromtrent heel wat autoriteit heeft verworven.Jaarlijks zijn er 150–tal (kandidaat)gidsen die de opleidingen volgen . Er worden praktische stages ge-organiseerd voor de jonge afgestudeerden bij verschillende reisorganisaties.

The curriculum formed the initiative for various attempts by the Ministry to standardize the courses and curricula into a National Curriculum for Tour Guides. It was a joint project with PRoTS, who, thanks to the collaboration, gained much authority. There are yearly about 150 candidate guides for the course. Also practical courses were organized for young graduates from various travel companies.

CURRENT SITUATION LSD further supports the PROT-school in terms of adjustment and programming, through ad hoc interventions and initiatives.The PROT school is located in Arusha, the starting point for most international tours in Tanzania. By training young people their job opportunities improve in the sector. The school still finds great importance to the internships for the students, and has for some years a program for students who want to gain a qualification at a higher level (in the direction of nature conservation). Some courses are organized with the Joker-groups: for many young graduates it is a way to test their knowledge of the real terrain (led by an experienced wildlife guide). The school helps graduates to find employment through their own blog pages on the website of the school.