Children in Loongung’, a village in the north-eastern Simanjiro district which is inhabited by 3000 people, will get a long-desired primary school.
Loongung’ is about 300 km away from the country’s capital Dodoma and has never received social support from the state since the independence of Tanzania in 1961.
The United Republic of Tanzania lies in eastern Africa and has a population of approximately 55 million, which is composed of several ethnic and linguistic groups – 125 different languages are spoken in the country. Tanzania is famous for the Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain (5,895 metres above sea level).
Regarding the educational situation, there is an enormous gap between cities and rural areas and between the various ethnic groups. Many children attend classes irregularly, as their parents cannot always afford the necessary tuition. Especially in the northern villages, a large proportion of children cannot go to school at all. Most of the state-run schools in rural areas neither have electricity nor running water.
The new school will consist of two classrooms and sanitary facilities and replace the lessons under the tree in front of the teacher’s house, where they have been learning since 2015. For the villagers, the education under a thorn tree, which was originally planted to provide shade for the teacher’s goats, did not contribute to the reputation and attractiveness of the existing “school”, as they know the school in the neighboring Looltepes, which is unfortunately too far away for a daily walk. This is the reason why guarding the herds seems to be better for the children than attending school.
At the moment, there are approximately 500 children living in the immediate vicinity of the school, but only 115 children of the village are going to school or kindergarten. The lessons were initially intended as a kindergarten for Loongung’ and have extended to a primary school with two classes. This primary school is now an unrecognized mini-elementary school. As more children are expected to attend classes in 2018, there will be a new class. The only teacher of the village has no idea how to structure the lessons to accommodate all pupils and teach at the same time. 75 children are expected to come, 49 boys and 26 girls.
The aim of this project is therefore the provision of a permanent school with sufficient classrooms and toilets for at least 567 pupils and their teachers, which corresponds to the educational standards and ensures a safe and healthy learning environment.
As a start, two classrooms will be constructed and equipped with 46 pupil’s desks and there will be 16 separated toilets for boys and girls. The children will attend classes in different shifts, one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon, until hopefully more classrooms will be available.
The primary school construction will have a major impact on the learning environment and encourage children to read, write and calculate. In addition to the improvement of learning and teaching conditions, our project target is to increase school attendance and consequently support the social and economic development of the village.