Building a Primary School

Why does Ngaramtoni need a Home of Hope Primary School?

A Home of Hope primary school situated in Ngaramtoni will bring great change to the lives of many children in this community. With ongoing support from PROJECT NEEMA, this primary school can provide a top quality primary level education for many children of Ngaramtoni who otherwise would not have access. Unfortunately some children in Tanzania must work to help their families get by and are not able to attend school. Most children do attend primary school, but they go to crowded government schools and only around half of these students graduate and go on to high school.

Home of Hope Primary School will be run with a focus on quality education, ensuring that students gain a level of education that gives them the ability to excel at high school and ultimately gain access to a college education that will enable them to better their lives and those of their families, the community of Ngaramtoni and the country of Tanzania.

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Facts & Figures

The State of Education in Tanzania

According to the United Nations Development Programme, children in Tanzania can expect to receive 9.1 years of schooling. This is likely to be 2 years pre-primary and 7 years primary education. This gives Tanzania a low ranking of 152nd in the world. In comparison, children in Switzerland can expect 15.6 years, United States 16 years and New Zealand 18 years.

This is considered low human development and this statistic does not even account for quality of education.

In 2001, government primary school tuition fees were eliminated leading to a massive increase in enrolment from 59% of school aged children in 2001 to 95% in 2010. However, since this increase was not matched by a proportional increase in resources (e.g. teachers, classrooms and textbooks), the quality of education has suffered.

Completion and Pass-rates: Declining quality standards are evidenced by poor completion and pass-rates. In 2010 only 53% of 13 year olds had completed primary school. Furthermore, in this same year, only 53.5% of children who sat the Primary School Leaving Examination passed

Student-Teacher Ratio: In 2000, the mean student-teacher ratio among primary schools in Tanzania was 47:1 (slightly above the country’s set benchmark of 40:1). However, in 2007, the mean had risen to 63 students per teacher. The mean ratio for rural schools is especially worrying at 71:1.

Resources: In 2007, 14% of Standard 6 pupils did not even have all three of the basic learning materials that are considered necessary for effective participation in classroom activities (at least one exercise book, a pencil or a pen, and a ruler).

Furthermore, a staggering 97% of Standard 6 pupils did not have sole use of a mathematics textbook (which is a government target).

In striving for the admirable goal of universal access to education, the quality of education is suffering. This is where private schools like Home of Hope Primary School can step in.

Swahili versus English

Another way Home of Hope Primary School will benefit students is ensuring that they are adequately prepared for high school. 

In Tanzania, primary school is taught in Swahili with English taken as a subject alongside Maths, Science etc. However, high school is taught entirely in English. You can imagine how hard it is for children to make the transition from taking classes taught in Swahili to classes taught in English – a language that they have not fully grasped.

At Home of Hope Primary School, like the majority of private schools in Tanzania, classes will be taught primarily in English. This will prepare the children in such a way that they can flourish at high school. Swahili will still be taught as a subject and as the children will likely still speak Swahili at home, this language will not be lost to them.

Sources

United Nations Development Programme (2011). International Human Development Indicators. Country Profile: Tanzania. Retrieved April 20, 2012 from http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/TZA.html

United Nations (2011). Delivering As One: Education Factsheet. Retrieved April 20, 2012 from http://tz.one.un.org/index.php/what-we-do/education?showall=&start=1

Southern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) (2011). Policy Brief Number 2:
Quality of Primary School Inputs in Tanzania Mainland
. Retrieved from http://www.sacmeq.org/downloads/School%20inputs/TAN_School_Inputs_15Oct2011_FINAL.pdf