Co-operative Education in Africa: Case of Moshi University College of Co-operative and Business Studies, Tanzania
Keywords:Co-operative Education, Co-operative movements, Co-operative Colleges, Africa
Co-operative education is one of the seven Co-operative Principles that requires â€œeducation, training and information to be provided to members, leaders, employed staff and the general publicâ€. The origin of the co-operative education is in the United Kingdom. Later on co-operative education spread to other countries including Africa where it was first introduced during the colonial administration. The development of co-operative education in Africa is associated with the growth of co-operative movement. As co-operative movement was growing, the need for co-operative education also increased and hence the establishment of specialized co-operative training institutions.
This paper attempts to discuss provision of co-operative education in Africa, available opportunities, and the challenges involved by drawing the experiences of the Moshi University College of Co-operative and Business Studies in Tanzania. The paper identifies four categories of co-operative education providers, namely: University Colleges, specialized Co-operative Colleges, Departments or Centers, and University based Institutes/Directorates/Departments. Because of these diversities, curricula and practice of co-operative education varies between countries. In some countries, programmes are accredited by accreditation bodies that are not co-operative in nature, while in others programmes are not accredited especially those that are of short-term in nature that are offered through seminars, workshops, Tailor Made Programmes, to mention a few.
During the 1980s through the early 2000s, co-operative education experienced crises as co-operative organizations themselves. However, the resilience that co-operative movements have shown in addressing global financial and economic crises recently has sparked the renewed demands for co-operative education. The re-newal of co-operative development model spearheaded by both the United Nations and the International Co-operative Alliance has enhanced the demand for co-operative education. Despite the renewed interest in co-operative education, there are also challenges that training institutions face, which relate to limited research in co-operative education, limited development of co-operative theory and documentation of practices, development of institutional capacities in offering co-operative education, financing and development of human capital. These challenges call for concerted efforts between institutions, the movements, and governments.
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