Benjamin Mbezi completed his Master in Public Health (Master i Folkehelse) at HUAS in 2015. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Welfare in Tanzania, Benjamin`s home country, have now implemented in the curriculum for teacher education some of the recommendations from his Master thesis.
Benjamin Mbezi is currently teaching research methods and health related subjects at Marangu Teacher`s College in Tanzania, but before this he has been the first student from Tanzania at HUAS Master in Public Health. HUAS and Marangu Teacher`s College have a long history of cooperation and Benjamin was granted a prestigious scholarship in 2012 to attend the one-year program Norwegian Language and Culture for International Students and in 2013 to start the Master in Public Health.
He completed the Master in June 2015 and returned to Marangu Teachers’ College to resume his teaching career. For his master thesis, he investigated the knowledge of tutors on Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in Tanzania. In September 2015 he sent his thesis report to the Ministry of Education and to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Tanzania and in December 2015 he presented his findings at the dissemination seminar on Adolescents’ health organized by Tanzania Public Health Association. In his thesis Benjamin stressed the importance of and made recommendations for the inclusion of SRE in the curricula for teacher education.
On January 29th 2016, Marangu Teachers’ College received the guidelines from the Ministry containing the amendments to be made in the Teachers’ College Curriculum which were to include topics related to SRE. Elements of SRE are therefore now compulsory for all teacher students in Tanzania. “I was very happy to see how my thesis has made a small contribution to the improvement of SRE policy in the curricula for teacher education in my country.” says Benjamin. “I can just say that this has been achieved also thanks to HUAS!”
It was Benjamin`s work as youth advisor at his school, at the Kilimanjaro Children Health Association and at 4H Marangu Club that motivated him to continue his studies with a Master in Public Health once he completed his Bachelor. He found that the Master in Public Health matched perfectly his interests and was happy to be able to come back to HUAS as a student (he was a student at HUAS for the first time already in 2007 thanks to a cooperation project called NORAD).
Benjamin enjoyed his stay in Norway and the time spent as a student here: “Studying and living in Norway is wonderful. Experiencing four seasons of the year and modern lifestyle makes Norway a beautiful place where to study. During my Master I stayed at Campus Elverum, which has a good environment and social life for international students, great facilities and a big library! As international student at HUAS I experienced excellent mentoring from the Professors who were always ready to devote time to their students.“
Benjamin is now looking forward to pursue a PhD in Public Health if he can get a sponsor to fund his research. When asked about his topic of interest for his PhD Benjamin says: “I am interested in researching the dissemination of Family Planning Information in Refugee camps in Tanzania as my country has been hosting many refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and Congo DRC for many years.” A very relevant topic in nowadays world situation.
We at HUAS wish Benjamin good luck with his future career and congratulate him for having succeeded in contributing to policy changes with his research!