Polska pomoc

 

Laboratory of life – practical education of students and teachers

Tanzania introduced compulsory primary education in 2002, which is the stage at which most children complete their education. Secondary school education is a privilege, and secondary school graduates can find much better paid jobs than those with elementary educations.

Students living in rural areas have limited access to education. One such area is the Mwamapalala Mission in the Simiyu Region. The key problem of Mwamapalala secondary school students was a low rate of passing the state practical exams. In order to remedy this, it was necessary to organise additional classes preparing young people for those exams. For this purpose, it was necessary to have properly equipped school biology and chemistry laboratories. The Mwamapalala school premises assigned for those labs needed to be adapted for those classes.

At the same time, social inequality between women and men is a major problem in Tanzania, especially in rural areas. Therefore, one of the tasks of the volunteer was to conduct sex education, including on prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as psychological workshops for girls and boys.

Laboratory of life – practical education of students and teachers

The project was implemented between 20 July and 31 December 2015 in the rural northwestern part of Tanzania, in the Mwamapalala Mission of the Simiyu Region. The volunteer stayed in Tanzania between 1 August and 29 October 2015.

In addition to this Polish Aid volunteer, the project included another volunteer of the Society of African Missions, Charity and Voluntary Centre “SOLIDARNI” with medical qualifications, who provided support for the sex education and STI prevention workshops.

Project beneficiaries included secondary school students and teachers of the Mwamapalala Mission. The direct purposes of the project included

  • improving the learning environment for students by re-equipping and repainting the school biology and chemistry labs;
  • encouraging students to deepen their knowledge of natural sciences and thus improve their preparedness for exams through the introduction of ancillary school activities with the “Anatomy and Physiology – Invisible Body” software procured within the project and the establishment of a biology and chemistry circle;
  • enlightening girls and boys on gender equality and the dignity of the human person in the course of the psychology, sexual education and STI prevention workshops (in addition, family planning workshops were provided to teachers);
  • encouraging and motivating youth and the local community to pursue education.

The project aimed to implement the following priorities: 10 – education and vocational and social activation, 13 – education; and Millennium Development Goals 2 – universal primary education, 3 – promotion of gender equality and social advancement of women, and 6 – reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases.

Laboratory of life – practical education of students and teachers

The project resulted in modernisation of the school biology and chemistry laboratories. The volunteer procured approximately 38 pieces of equipment and reagents that were needed in order to prepare students for final exams; as a result, the school no longer has a problem carrying out practical exams.

The refurbished labs triggered the decision of about 500 students in grades one through four to deepen their knowledge of natural sciences. There is a chance that this will translate into positive exam results in the future. The volunteer was able to arouse the students’ interest in biology and chemistry through the organisation of a biology and chemistry circle and by conducting activities with the “Anatomy and Physiology – Invisible Body” software and a multimedia projector.

All students in the school were made aware of gender equality and the dignity of the human person. One sex education and one psychology workshop were conducted separately for girls and boys.

The local community’s awareness of the value of education increased, among others, as a result of the open day at the biology and chemistry laboratory organised by the volunteer, school teachers and 20 of the most engaged members of the school biology and chemistry circle.