Targeting Education – A field report from FCF’s manager of community development
FCF has launched an important, new education program in its target communities. Below is a report from the manager of FCF’s community development activities in Tanzania. This report provides exciting new details about FCF’s efforts to improve education in Tanzania:
Through the student sponsorship program in all our target areas, we have gained experience and learned a great deal in regard to the insurmountable challenges and inadequate quality of the education system in Tanzania. It is impossible to overstate the degree to which the education system is behind – in terms of infrastructure (classroom, teacher’s houses, laboratories, and libraries), number of teachers, academic resources, quality teacher training, to name a few. Nowhere is this more true than in the remote and rural areas neighboring the reserves where we work.
Source: Data from The National Examinations Council Of Tanzania (http://www.necta.go.tz/)
Some statistics to give you a quick snapshot of the education system’s challenging reality:
- About half the students in these public schools failed the O-level (10th grade) national exam in 2011 and only 6% (those with averages of C and above) will qualify for A-level (11th&12th Grade).
- In these selected schools, out of 1,608 students who took the O-level national exam at the end of 2011, only 102 will be eligible for high school. These results are characteristic of the whole country though especially severe in rural areas.
- Those who go on to become primary school teachers come almost exclusively from the group who only achieved D averages at O-level but nevertheless are eligible for teacher’s training course. This perpetuates the cycle of poor primary school education, the foundation of education.
Focusing on sponsorship alone without addressing the need for improvement of creative learning and academics is ineffective. In response to these great needs, FCF has involved school boards and district education departments in prioritizing the needs of the schools. This involvement assists FCF in making decisions on how best to direct funds in order to have the most impact in improving education.
Currently, we are receiving proposals from selected public schools and implementing projects that provide library and teaching resources, laboratory apparatus and chemicals for science studies as well as other renovation projects. Incoming proposals highlight many opportunities for our involvement. While we are overwhelmed by the needs and know that we cannot bear the burden of the feeble education system – we are seizing the opportunity to make an impact in the quality of educational experiences for the children growing up in these communities.
-FCF Community Development Manager
As these dynamic new programs are launched, FCF is eager to make strides toward improving the education system in Tanzania and investing in its future leadership. In particular, FCF is hoping to support a project that involves construction of a mini-science lab that would provide the basic science needs for an O-level secondary school at a cost of less than $10,000. To learn more, please visit our website at www.friedkinfund.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.