Like many children in the UK, our kids at the Children’s Village have gone back to their classes.
These children are lucky to be going to a primary school with similar class sizes to the UK.
However, many children in Tanzania are not so lucky.
Dozens of children struggle to hear in lessons, crammed in three or four to a table – and that’s if they can even get a seat. Many are forced to sit on the floor, sit cramped at the back, as they desperately try and follow lessons on a blackboard.
For many, primary school can be a testing time.
It’s important because here they learn English – an essential skill to master if they want to go on to secondary education.
Ten of our children left the local, and incredibly over subscribed, local school in December. Five were successful with applications to start at a local secondary school with high standards. Two have moved to Dar es Salaam to begin apprenticeship courses. Three have moved to a less academic school in Dar, as they were not accepted by the secondary school and were considered too young to begin an apprenticeship.
At Malaika Kids we recognise the importance of getting children up to speed with English quickly. We run a pre-primary class where our kids can learn to count, draw, speak, read and write English – and often dance and sing as well!
However, we face many of the problems that others do across the world.
Two of our children at the pre-primary class with Special Educational Needs were initially turned down by the primary school of our choice, which we pay for in order to secure a child a place in a class with fewer children. It seemed that these children were headed towards the local school and a class size of 150. However, after considerable pressure from our staff, the primary school has relented and has agreed to put in place a special programme to help them to keep up. This type of work is essential to give our kids the best possible chances for their futures.