The national Standard 7 school examinations are incredibly important. Progress onto secondary school is barred without a pass and that’s the end of education. This puts enormous pressure onto pupils and schools. League tables are as prominent in Tanzania as the UK. The schools in Simiyu Region respond to this situation by testing and testing and trying to get pupils comfortable with examination questions and conditions.
The regional mock results for Mayega Primary School were released last week and made very good reading. Mayega Children’s Centre have four pupils in S7 – one boy was fourth in his class and got an A grade, while the other three children were in the top 13 and received B’s (but were all within 5% of an A). There are 75 pupils in S7.
Results like this were unheard of at the Centre a few years ago, when failure was ever present. Much credit must go to Mwalimu Reni (the teacher at the Children’s Centre) and Patron Emmanuel (who is also a trained teacher). Both work part-time at the Primary School. Behind the scenes is Busega Scotland trustee Jenny Wallen, who collaborates with the Centre and School to help improve attainment and has worked at Mayega on two occasions.
We firmly believe that there is a learning culture established at Mayega Centre. The children believe they can succeed and there is help at hand to support them.