Waangwaray Primary School is 5 km east of Babati on the upper slopes on Mount Kwaraa. Originally a rural community of subsistence farmers, town encroachment is such that half the catchment area is now considered to be sub-urban.
In 2006 when LTT first came across the school it was in a terrible state of disrepair with run down classrooms a farm producing low yields and a school that was considered to be the worst in Babati. We meet with the School Development Committee and started the slow process of creating a development plan that has brought us to where we are today.
When academic performance is poor there are always underlying contributing factors. At Waangwaray we started with the basics:-
- Renovating the poor quality of the existing classrooms and teachers offices.
- Completing the building of half started classrooms and half started teachers houses.
- Adding 4 new classrooms to reduce classroom over crowding
- Building toilets for students and teachers alike with hand washing facilities with accompanying lessons.
- Buying enough desks to have a one desk to 3 students ratio
- Buying tables and desks for teachers.
- Ensuring safe storage at the school.
- Building a library and stocking it with reading and reference books.
- Installing electricity.
- Buying text books to have a one per desk ratio per subject per year group.
- Building a kitchen with fuel efficient stoves to reduce work place hazards, the carbon footprint, and the amount of time spent by students collecting firewood and in a small way address the local deforestation problems
- Installing computers and training teachers to use them
- Ensuring good uptake of the kindergarten by supporting the teachers wages
- Ensuring the school adopt a feeding programme.
- Developing of a pro-active and re-active maintenance plan to ensure that all assets are well maintained.
- Ran an English Language Teacher Training programme with some of the teachers
- All Year 7 students now have access to solar lanterns to assist them with their homework
Improving self reliance
It is not easy to run a school on the poor level of funds provided by the local authorities even when topped up by contributions from the community. A school, by which we mean the teachers and the community can either accept the situation understanding that they are a victim of circumstance or they can take the attitude that they will try and do what they can to change the status quo and generate money for themselves using the resources available to them. The Livingstone Tanzania want to work with the second set of people and work with them to realise that dream.
To start an income generation programme that suited the resources of the school we helped to improve the school farm. We
- drilled a borehole and established a 20,000 litre water reservoir.
- built a livestock area for cows, goats and chickens
- built fish ponds
- established a market garden section
- planted fruit trees (Bananas, oranges, lemons, pawpaw, mangoes, avocados, guava, passion fruit.
- planted firewood trees
- encouraged the students to engage in farming activities to learn new skills
- established a hardship garden for the poorest of students to grow plants to sell so that they an be included in the feeding programme
- established a loans programme whereby the school loans funds to the teachers and the profits fund the school kitchen costs
- established a tree nursery
- Established a chicken and egg business run by the students. click HERE for more information
- The water has allowed the school to be transformed.
- The farm, having won Best Farm Award from the Babati Town Council 2010 and Most Entrepreneurial Student Farming Programme in Tanzania by Teach a Man to Fish 2010 , has been handed back to the school and is now totally run by the school and is self sufficient.
- Hundreds of students have learnt new farming skills
- Community members have been inspired by the farm to change the ways in which they farm.
- The teachers are more motivated and have higher expectations of their students than before.
- Academic performance has improved.
- Kindergarten up take has doubled which is such a vital part of early learning.
- The school uses at least 50% less firewood than before which slows down the rate of deforestation.
- The school cook is working is less harmful environment
- School meals will have improved the diet of the students which will assist them in their personal development
How you can help
A donation of any size towards any of these projects will help move them forward so that we can create the environment that allows us to exit the school.
- There is a need to built two more classrooms to deal with future increase in numbers.
- We want to introduce tablet education to the teachers to see if they approve if the different teaching and learning methods, then follow that with a trial and if successful roll out tablets to enable each child to have access for 1 to 1.5 hours a week.
- We want to install some solar panels at the school to help reduce their dependency on the unreliable grid supply and to reduce the on going costs to the school of the water pump and use of computers.