Arusha — Tengeru-based, Community Development Training Institute (CDTI) in Arumeru district is in the process of being upgraded to became a higher learning institution, a status that is set to be realized in three year's time.
The Kilimanjaro Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Ms Ndeshukurwa Abel Sumari, who is also the Director of the CDTI Board of Directors, pointed out recently that the ministry concerned, had already appointed a task force which is currently working towards that goal.
Ms Sumari explained that among the task force responsibilities, is to suggest necessary CDTI reforms strategies required for the institute to offer first degree accreditations in Community development studies, which is the CDTI flagship curriculum.
The reforms are also to include the institute management structure, staff needs, land needs, curriculum improvement, identification of the institute revenue sources, improved buildings and other premises, plus the overall infrastructure needs.
CDTI is the only local institution offering Community development studies in the East African region. However, foreign expatriates have been enrolling for a similar course at the MS-TCDC in Usa-River.
Community development experts despite being Socio-economic development catalysts in any country, Tanzania had only about 40 per cent of them posted at ward level by the last fiscal year which ended in June 2005. At the moment the country is begging for 1,800 more experts to fill the vacuum. This according to the CDTI board director.
"With the current trend of the number of graduands, it may even take us a decade to fill the gap contrary to the community development policy directive, which calls for each village to have at least one expert," she said, stressing that over 13,000 experts were required to realize the dream being stipulated in the policy.
" Community development experts were key players in devising and implementing various national development programmes." she said, attributing achievements registered by the Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP), Tanzania Social Action fund (TASAF), environment, water and hygiene and the HIV/AIDS programmes, among others to enormous contribution from the few community development experts available.
Owing to the death of the former CDTI Principal, Mr Isaack Chimile, shortly before the 2003 graduation and lack of resources in the following academic years, the institute could not conduct a graduation ceremonies for the past three years.
Enumerating the CDTI achievements so far, the Principal Salum Salenge said the institute had since 2002 been increasing the number of courses it offers as well as the number of enrolment, the latter had jumped from only 215 in 2002/03 to over 700 at the moment.
Mr Salenge was optimistic that the number of students enrolled at the institute would rise to 1,000 in three year's time. He, however, noted that insufficient land and lack of infrastructure and information and communication technology facilities was frustrating the CDTI development plans.