As this sign I saw recently in a local secondary school illustrates, there is a lot of talk about the importance of education for the future of Tanzania.
Yet class size is often 80 or more pupils even in the early grades, and the number of students sometimes outstrips the number of classrooms available- and leads to "outdoor classrooms" like the one below.
Textbooks are scarce, and the national failure rates for government mandated examinations at various levels often top 50%. Astoundingly, failure at any level mean the end of a child's education.
The only answer to inadequate education that communities have been able to envision are supplemental after school or weekend classes- called "tuition"- to better prepare students to succeed.
You have urged us to continue to support our students in whatever ways are available, and we've tried a variety of solutions to source tuition classes and individualized tutoring for Pamoja kids over the years. Finally, we decided that running our own program makes the most sense, and hope you will agree.
Our sponsored kids will attend free classes on Saturdays and school breaks, and extra spots will be filled by local children whose parents will pay a nominal fee that we hope will cover much of the cost of the program.
We've nearly completed construction of our classroom and will be ready to host the program by Easter break.
Thanks to you, we think every one one of our kids will be star performers next time exams are administered.
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