Tainted Waters.

Drugged water

pharmaceuticals in drinking water

Last week I attended Advanced Placement Environmental Science Educators Training at Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw University is located  in the north-western part of the massive metropolis called Atlanta. During the training I learned different inquiry (lab) based methods of teaching advanced placement environmental science to students. It was a great week filled with fun experiences.

As a part of the experiential learning for the training, the training participants visited the Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) sewage treatment plant. While there, we discussed the advantages of an MBR over traditional sewage treatment plants. In the middle of this discussion, a person asked a question about pharmaceuticals. I vividly remember the question: Do MBR sewage treatment process remove pharmaceuticals in the treated water?

That question actually made me think twice about where the medications (such as pills, injections, topical creams, etc) that millions and millions of people take everyday ends-up. In fact, it is a known fact that what goes in must come out. Which conforms with the law of conservation of mass. Only a small portion of the medication that we ingest is actually metabolized. The rest is released to the environment through our urine, fecal matters,  through perspiration, and many other means. The questions I asked myself while reflecting on this issue was: where do the by-products go to after we flush the toilets and/or when dumped in landfills after they expire? Are there microbes or natural phenomenon that break these pharmaceuticals down?

Expired drugsPharmaceuticals are the biggest incoming environmental and health challenge of our time. There are millions and millions of people taking a variety of medication each single day. All these pharmaceuticals finally end up in our waterways. In  addition, most of the pharmaceuticals have long half-lives (Brausch et al.2012).  Furthermore, there are few natural microbes capable of metabolizing these toxic chemicals. Thus, they stay in the environment longer increasing the likelihood that their concentrations in our waterways will continue to increase each passing year and possibly reaching toxic levels in a not so distant future.

The effect of pharmaceuticals to human and other animals is not very well documented as of yet. However, several studies done on fish have shown negative effect to fish population exposed to elevated levels of pharmaceuticals in rivers, streams, and lakes (Daughton & Temes, 1999; Boxall et al. 2003a; 2004a; Floate et al. 2005). Furthermore, some studies have confirmed that in some species male fish have actually turned into female when their habitats were exposed to high levels of pharmaceuticals for long durations(Brodin et al. 2014).

What the low concentrations of pharmaceuticals found currently in drinking water doing to the human body is currently a mystery.

Admittedly, the pharmaceuticals are in minute concentrations right now. However, since none of the water treatment plants can remove them off of our water supply–we are running the risk of their concentration increasing over the next few years to toxic levels and harming us if they are not doing so already.

No Government Plans to Eliminate Pharmaceutical in Our Drinking Water

Right now in America there are no legislation to deal with pharmaceuticals in drinking water or the water that goes into the streams, rivers, and lakes. At the same time, trace amount of pharmaceuticals have already been recorded in many urban and suburban water supply systems.

What is America going to do with this impending health and environmental problem?

I do not know about you, but I would rather not drink unprescribed pills in the water I drink. That’s just me.

With all the hormones, antidepressants, and other different types of medications in the drinking water supplies; no wonder–people can no-longer stand each- other.

And you are wrong even if you drink bottled water–you are still taking in pills!

Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center: Progressing Towards 2017.

Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center is housed in a one and ahalf roomed house near the police post in Turiani, Morogoro. Currently the center has over 800 different books. The books are mostly in English. In addition to the English book, Kibogoji was able to secure over 100 books from the Tanzania Publishing House (TPB) that are mainly in Kiswahili and a few of these books are bilingual (Swahili and English).

At Kibogoji, we understand that kids in our village are academically struggling especially in Math, English, and Swahili. Thus, the center’s short-term goal is to improve reading, writing, and arithmetic skills for children in our neighborhood. Kibogoji also believes that books are windows to the world unseen. Thus, reading books will expose our children to the world far from theirs.

A book reading, writing, and math refresher programs will be implemented. This intensive reading, writing, and arithmetic program will start this coming January, 2017. Through this program we will be able to close the math, reading, and writing gap for our children.

We will measure the impact of our intensive program using both formative and summative assessments. In particular,  a pre-and post-test assessment tool will be used to measure growth. The assessment tools we will be using in this program are rigorous, scientifically designed, research based, and evidence based . In addition, assessment during learning, rapid response systems, and on going reteaching strategies will be used throughout the six months to make sure all children  are learning at highest standards.

As we embark on this journey to help all kids have access to quality education. We hope, all well wishers will support this effort. We are looking forward to 2017 to be a great year in ensuring access to quality education for all our children.

As an educator, I believe “Building Stronger Children is Easier Than Repairing Brocken Men.” Therefore, to create a just society we must build stronger children and equip them with sellable skills. At the time when we are settling in in the 21st century, the skills that would be highly needed include: Great presentation skills, Writing skills, Math skills, and Information Technology Skills. Thus, these are the core competences we are intending to build for the children of Turiani at the Kibogoji Center.

Happy Holidays!!

To help Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center, Inc continue this wonderful work, donate here.  Your contributions are tax deductible. Thank you!!

Laura Pili Fundi: Little House on the Prairie.

Little house on the Prairie


Laura Pili Fundi

   The tittle of my book is Little House on the Prairie. The author of this book is Laura Ingalls Wilder. The main characters of this book are: Laura, Mary, Ma, Pa, Baby Carrie, and Jack, their dog. The main characters in this story are related because they are in the same family.  The story takes place on the prairie near the creek, in Kansas. I know they are in the prairie in Kansas because at the beginning of this book the narrator describes being in the big woods of Wisconsin before moving to Kansas to the prairie.

This book begins when they are in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. The Big woods of Wisconsin was good while they Ingalls family was growing up. However, many people started moving over to Wisconsin because of immigration. The Ingalls family did not enjoy having all the people living around them. They decided to move west. Their journey was a success. There were no injuries and everyone was safe the whole way. But there were many difficulties during their journey such as crossing the river. Crossing a big river back in the 1800’s would normally take a week or 5 days.

The person telling the story is no one in the book in fact, it is the narrator. The main character of this book is Laura Ingalls. Laura is a very cheerful person, respectful, and is very brave. She was being brave when Ma and Baby Carrie were in the house with the Indians. She ran towards the house to see what was going on while being respectful towards her dad by not letting jack off his leash to go attack the Indians. I think the author wants us (the person reading the story) to think Laura is a very respectful child. I know this because whenever her parents tell her to do something she does it and does not hesitate or argue. I really like Laura because she is cheerful, respectful, and brave which is very good of a personality.

When there was a fire, Laura, Mary, Ma, and Pa did the right thing. They all worked together to keep each other safe. Laura helped pa get all the buckets filled up with water. Pa and Ma poured the buckets of water on to the fire. While Laura, Baby Carrie, And Jack waited by the house to stay safe. Now I know what to do on a real emergency with a fire.

This book connected me with the world of the 1800’s. Because in the 1800’s many things were the same like in the book: Little House on the Prairie. Like when they crossed the river in the 1800’s, I took about as long as I takes to across the country today by a car. This also reminds me of the 1800’s because in the beginning of the book, the narrator explained that people back then went in wagons to get to places. Also when they were on the prairie, Indians roamed around. Moreover, wild fires were a daily existence and you had to put them out yourself. It also reminds me of the 1800’s because getting food you had to hunt and you had to make a well to fetch your own water from.

Difficult, but, fun life­­—–it was.

DICOTA: 2016 National Land Policy Stakeholders’ Feedback.

The Diaspora Council of Tanzania (DICOTA) is pleased to release the feedback of  2016 Tanzania National Land Policy. The document reflects the many comments DICOTA received and, results  of the proposed land policy  interpretation. We would like to take this opportunity  to express our appreciation to all who responded to the call to action and provided feedback.

To read the synthesis go here: http://dicotaus.org/2016-land-policy-stakeholders-input/

DICOTA Seeks Stakeholders Input for the 2016 National Land Policy in Tanzania.

The Tanzania Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development has released the 2016 National Land Policy draft and is seeking stakeholder input.

The Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America (DICOTA) is soliciting feedback from the diaspora to submit to the Ministry. To view and comment on the draft policy please visit: http://dicotaus.org/2016-land-policy-stakeholders-input/Please provide input no later than Thursday December 1.

DICOTA will then compile the responses and submit to the ministry. If you wish to submit your comments directly, please visit the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development website for further instructions.

Virtual Specialist Interview Resources

As you begin the process to become the science virtual content specialist or any content specialist for that matter. You will normally be asked to start the interviewing process by creating a short video describing your experience for the position. Below is a video I made to give an example of what you could do. 

Then, you will be asked to create an interactive online lesson. Below is an example of such a lesson to help you in this process.

Today I will teach you an introductory chemistry lesson. In this lesson you will learn about the States of Matter. Click here. for the lesson plan.

 Before I begin my presentation. Please take five minutes to write down what you already know about the states of matter. Please click here for the pre-assessment document to start jotting down your answers.

Please upload your answer for me to have an idea regarding the levels of prior knowledge you already have on this topic.

Okay. Now you have shared with me your responses on the pre-test. I will begin my PowerPoint presentation to help you learn more about the four states of matter.

 Click here. to watch the power point presentation. As you are watching, the presentation. Please fill in the lesson outline that goes along with the presentation. Click Lesson Outline to download it.

Because I know students have different learning modalities and styles. Once you finish watching the PowerPoint presentation. Click here for an interactive activity that will help you to learn more about the states of matter in an interactive way.

In addition, click here. to watch a video discussing the states of matter. This will help to solidify your understanding of the concept.

Once, you have watched the video. Make sure to complete the posttest found here.

Thank you very much for participating in this lesson today. If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to send them my way: skfundi@hotmail.com  Click on the box below that says “comments.”

Changing Realities of Relationship Structure and Marriage in the Modern World.

The world is rapidly changing. Men needs to change their customs and thoughts to accommodate the changing realities and circumstances for and of women. It is a normal occurrence in the developing and the developed world nowadays to see women increasingly becoming financially independent than men. This is something that men may be afraid of. Unfortunately, the train has already left the station.

Men can’t stop these new trends. Therefore, must adapt to the new realities by changing their customs and thought process regarding relationship structures and marriage. Men must confront their pre-existing notion about they are position in relationships with women in an increasingly becoming women dominated world.

I know it is tough for men to do so. History has been on the side of men for centuries. The books ( both holy and non-holy) that men wrote to keep women in subjugated positions are starting to lose meaning. Men are scared of the new world they are about to venture in. Perhaps, at this juncture, I suggest men to celebrate women’s new found ranks in our societies and embrace the changing economic and relationship landscape. Because to keep resisting what we know we cannot stop is living a lie.
The fact that they are more girls than boys in most colleges (Rocheleau, M. (2006), Pew Research Center, (2014) and National Center for Education Statistics, (2012)  is a tale tell sign of what is to yet to come. Simply put, women will be spearheading most economic and job ranks in the near future. It’s just a fact. It may sounds scary for some, but, facts must remain so. In most society and especially here in the West, women are enjoying this new found space in their lives. And, men must start realizing that their hegemonic stronghold towards their relationships with women must change.

As I write this, there are a number of unmarried women in Tanzania and the USA , for the simple reason that men are either afraid of them because of their financial freedom and/or job titles. Men needs to come to term with the current economic and women empowerment realities. Otherwise, many fine women will be left out to live their lives in sex-less, relationship-less, and child-less environment. Just because they were able to gain financial freedom or higher job titles than men. That to me is shameful. I believe strongly in the idea that men don’t have to subjugate women to be complete.

I know, this concept is hard to digest coming from a testosterone dominated society. Furthermore, the research in future marriages and income suggests that our daughters will more likely become financially independent more so than the men who will marry them. My question is: should the men who are not independently worth run away from our daughters? I think not.

There is a need to define success, relationship structures, and marriage differently so that they may go along with the changing world. Again, I am not advocating for men to depend on their women. What I am saying here is in order to have a balanced family life that imparts value to kids (the rounded child concept), sometimes it is necessary to have one of the parents take a more direct role in the kids’ upbringing, thus losing ground in the financial aspect of the relationship. It can be the father or the mother. Which one?  It doesn’t matter. Does it?

There is a lot of negative impacts (socially, economically, and behaviorally) associated with kids’ upbringing when both parents decide to climb the corporate ladder. The research on children development is very clear on this. Most families are starting to realize the consequences of letting kids either raise themselves or being raised by a house girl or boy. When parents take on time consuming and stressful jobs to be financially independent, because of insecurities in their relationships, the kids suffer as a result. Thus, we must ask ourselves: what is good for us as parents and also what is generally good for our kids? There are many viable paths to all these completely complex life choices. I, for one, stays put……

Fully Funded Scholarships For Tanzanians

2016 Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study in the UK (Fully Funded) Application Deadline: 19November 2016

Please apply… & don’t forget to share the opportunity

1. Australia Award Scholarship (http://australiaawardsindo.or.id)
2. LPDP Scholarsh hip (http://www.beasiswalpdp.org/index.html)
3. DIKTI Scholarship a. Dalam Negeri (http://www.beasiswa.dikti.go.id/dn/)b. Luar Negeri (http://beasiswa.dikti.go.id/ln/)
4. Turkey Government Scholarship (http://www.turkiyeburslari.gov.tr/index.php/en)
5. General Cultural Scholarship India (http://www.iccrindia.net/gereralscheme.html)
6. USA Government Scholarship a. (http://www.aminef.or.id/index.php)b. (http://www.iief.or.id)
7. Netherland Government Scholarship (http://www.nesoindonesia.or.id/beasiswa)
8. Korean Government Scholarship (http://www.niied.go.kr/eng/contents.do…)
9. Belgium Government Scholarship (http://www.vliruos.be/4273.aspx)
10. Israel … … xxx
11. Sciences Po France (http://formation.sciences-po.fr/…/the-emile-boutmy-scholars…)
12. Utrecht University Netherland (http://www.uu.nl/…/grantsandscholarships/Pages/utrechtexcel…)
13. Prasetya Mulya Business School Indonesia (http://www.pmbs.ac.id/s2/scholarship.php?lang=ENG)
14. Brunei Darussalam Government Scholarship (http://www.mofat.gov.bn/index.php/announcement)
15. Monbugakusho Scholarship Japan (http://www.id.emb-japan.go.jp/sch.html)
16. Paramadina University Master Fellowship Indonesia (https://gradschool.paramadina.ac.id/…/paramadina-medco-fell…)
17. PPM School of Management Indonesia (http://ppm-manajemen.ac.id/beasiswa-penuh-s2-mm-reguler/)
18. University of Twente Netherland (http://www.utwente.nl/internationa…/scholarshipsandgrants/…/)
19. Sweden Government Scholarship (http://www.studyinsweden.se/Scholarships/)
20. Chinese Government Scholarship (http://www.csc.edu.cn/laihua/scholarshipdetailen.aspx…)
21. Taiwan Government Scholarship (http://www.studyintaiwan.org/taiwan_scholarships.html)
22. United Kingdom Government SCholarship (http://www.chevening.org/indonesia/)
23. Panasonic Scholarship Japan (http://panasonic.net/citizensh…/scholarships/…/requirements/)
24. Ancora Foundation Scholarship (http://ancorafoundation.com)
25. Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship Japan (http://www.api-fellowships.org/body/)
26. AUN/SEED-Net Scholarship (http://www.seed-net.org/index.php)
27. Art Asia Major Scholarship Korea National University of Arts (http://eng.karts.ac.kr:81/karts/board/list.jsp…)
28. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Japan (http://www.apu.ac.jp/home/life/index.php?content_id=30)
29. Seoul National University Korea (http://en.snu.ac.kr/…/gradu…/scholarships/before-application)
30. DIKTIS Overseas Scholarship (http://www.pendis.kemenag.go.id/beasiswaln/)
31. Honjo International Scholarship Foundation Japan (http://hisf.or.jp/english/sch-f/)
32. IDB Merit Scholarship Programme for High Techn… read more

Life time: a concept I learned volunteering at a senior citizen’s living community.

There are 24 life hours in a day. You sleep for 8 of them (recommended). That leaves you with 16 hours. Lets say you spend 4 hours for your commute, shower, eating, and other none important issues of the day. Now you are left with 12 life hours.

These are your life hours for a day. Twelve hours only. You have a choice. You can either sell most of those hours to the highest bidder ( climbing the corporate ladder for what is called success) or enjoy them yourself (with your kids, your family, and also for traveling)while selling just a few to your work.

I learned this important life lesson while volunteering at a senior citizen’s retirement home. That life comes with a fixed amount of time. And that life is about experience over things…….things that you sell your life time for. Things like titles and material wealth. Both comes at a cost called your life time. You have to sell your life time to achieve them.

To live a full life, you have to realign your value system.

I am not anti success or anything. However, balancing your life time is important. Don’t sell all of your life time to the highest salary or to accumulating only material wealth. When the time comes for your life’s curtains to close on you. Something called regret, oftentimes shows up.

And I know so much about life’s regret through my experience volunteering at the senior home. Most of the elderly I met regretted not spending their life time with their kids, family, and also not spending their life time traveling. No one regretted not having money. Because money did not have value or meaning to them when the only thing they were waiting for was death. Life time had value, unfortunately, there was not much of it left for them.

So, while you have plenty of your life time, spending it with your kids, family, and do travel to have the experiences that you will cherish while waiting for the time for you to leave this earth.

Please spend your life time wisely.

Dr. Shaaban K Fundi

CHAPTER THREE: Education Ideologies

CHAPTER THREE: Education Ideologies

You may be asking yourself, why am I talking about education ideologies while discussing the education system in Tanzania? The answer is simple. Human knowledge is socially constructed. In order to create solutions related to education, the context under which those solutions are created is important. In addition, to create solutions to educational problems, one needs to know Continue reading