Earlier this month Max and Elly started preschool so in honor of that important milestone, this week’s 5 Photo Friday theme is education.
Kakasii and I highly value education and make it one of our highest priorities to provide our children with a quality education. That has been challenging at times as the education system in Tanzania is quite lacking. I’ve been so frustrated a number times as we’ve encountered poor school administration, lack of professionalism in school leadership and an inadequate number of qualified and committed teachers.
But despite these issues, Ombeni, Godson and Brenda have been diligent in their learning and have achieved significant milestones in their educations.
Ombeni graduated in October from the University of Iringa in central Tanzania with his Bachelor of Laws degree. He is currently interning with a local law firm as a prerequisite for entering law school at the University of Dar es Salaam.
Godson graduated in November from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a diploma in Purchasing and Supplies Management. He studied at the University’s Arusha campus but had to travel to Nairobi for his graduation.
Brenda graduated from Secondary School Form IV at Usa River Academy in September 2013. She took her national examinations in November of that year and then had to wait several months to get the results (efficiency does not seem to be a hallmark of the Tanzanian education system).
She started Form V classes at a boarding school near Moshi last year but we weren’t satisfied with the education she was getting there so she came back home to Arusha and has been receiving private tutoring to finish out the term. She will begin at the Arusha Meru International School in February as a day school student so she can live at home with us (we miss her too much when she’s away at boarding school!).
In Tanzanian education, secondary school is roughly similar to U.S. high school, but has six grade levels instead of 4. Some students end their education at Form IV, but those wishing to pursue university education complete Forms V and VI, which are considered advanced levels and intended to prepare students for university.
And now our littlest scholars have started their education journey! Max and Elly started preschool earlier this month at the Tanganyika School. They absolutely love it! There were tears the first few mornings at drop-off and then Max just suddenly announced one evening, “Mommy, tomorrow when you take me to school I’m not going to cry. I can hug you in the car and go into the school with the teacher.” The next morning or two after that there were quivering bottom lips but no tears. Now days they happily jump out of the car and head into school with little a thought about leaving Mommy home alone all day. (Now I’m the one crying!)
And last but not least, another significant education milestone for our family was taking on the volunteer administration of ELIMAA School. In the few months since we’ve taken on this project, it’s been amazing to see the progress the students are making. These sweet little children have big dreams for their lives and ELIMAA School is the foundation upon which those dreams can be built!
Will you partner with us in making their big dreams come? If you enjoy reading my blog and the adventures our family has here in Tanzania, we would truly appreciate your support with a donation to ELIMAA School. Our goal is to raise $3,000 in 2015 to cover the operating costs of the school–because of our volunteer support of the school we are able to operate on only about $250 a month.
Your gift to ELIMAA School will help us pay the teacher’s salary, provide hot porridge each morning to the students, cover the rent on our school building, and access safe water for cooking and drinking. Most importantly, your donation will give these children a chance at a better life and a chance to build a better Tanzania as they grow into adults.
Thank you for supporting ELIMAA School!