A £10,000 ERSF grant to EdUKaid had been used to set up and run a re-primary class and provid basic primary school resources at Mgao School in Mtwara, Tanzania.

Government policy in Tanzania has stipulated that all primary schools should have a pre-school class for children aged four to six years old. Children are to learn simple sums, Kiswahili, the alphabet, some simple writing exercise and even some basic English vocabulary.

“In practice, however, for many schools in Tanzania resources are so limited that funding is insufficient to extend to pre-schooling,” said EdUKaid Development Manager Liza Kendall. “This is especially marked in rural isolated areas of the Mtwara region where typically pre-primary schooling consists of a group of children gathering under a tree.

“There is no specific training for pre-school teachers provided by the state so ‘teachers’ are often untrained and uneducated helpers, but frequently there may be no-one ‘attending’ to the children at all.”

EdUKaid has been working in the rural Mtwara region of Southern Tanzania since 2003. Since that time we have provided schools with basic resources, such as books and desks, built up a child sponsorship scheme to enable the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children to be able to go to school and are developing a teacher training initiative.

The Assistant Headteacher of Mgao School, Mr Harad, commented that the pre-primary classroom, “… had made a big difference. Children are happy and learning. Teachers in the primary classes are happy because the children who come to them will have learned more. When the children move up next year, the teacher will expect higher abilities.”

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