‘The school library at Mayega Primary School is the best in Busega District’. This is not the idle boast made by headteacher Ernest Damiano but a stark reflection on the facilities in the district’s schools. It would not surprise us at all if no other primary school had a library.
So, why is the situation so much better? It started through the close links forged between Mayega and Lhanbryde Primary School in Moray. The Scottish school donated two full reading schemes and Busega Scotland trustee Jenny Wallen arranged an air shipment to Tanzania. These resources are now in the fledgling Mayega library. The bookshelves were paid for by pupils fundraising in Lhanbryde.
The Tanzanian school is relocating desks into their library to create a quiet reading space. It will be directly supervised by the teacher responsible for academic progress, who will work in the library. The room doesn’t have a door yet but Ernest plans get one from selling the school’s cotton crop!
Further books have arrived, following a shopping trip by Ernest and Christine to bookshops in Mwanza. Many different types were purchased; dictionaries, text books and reading books, with some in English and others in Kiswahili. The funds came from a London IT company and their staff.
Despite what seems a modest injection of resources, Ernest is predicting an improvement in his pupils grades over the next few years. For Mayega, the library is a significant step forward but sadly for primary schools in Mayega District, it is a unique one.