Ask a young child about school and it is usually their teacher that they think of first. Their teacher has a special significance in their life and often leaves a long lasting impression on them. There are now four teachers at Arise School – Martha, Bernard, Joy and Jacob. All have nationally recognised teaching qualifications – a Diploma or Certificate in Early Years or Primary Education – and varying levels of experience. They work together to ensure a caring, nurturing and safe environment in which the children can learn and develop.
Martha was the first teacher, appointed when the school opened in 2012 with 11 children. She has overseen the growth of the school and knows all the children individually. Frequently, she makes home visits to assess their family circumstances or to follow up on any concerns the school has. Martha currently teaches the Pre-Primary class and works closely with Jacob, the Nursery class teacher, to give extra help and tuition where needed.
Jacob is the most recent addition to the team. Watching him, both in the classroom and the playground, his natural rapport with young children is very clear to see. This year, he has the challenging task of introducing a class of 37 children from three years of age upwards to life at school! The week we were there, Jacob was also the duty teacher on the rota and in school by 6.30 a.m. each day to oversee breakfast served to the children. The duty teacher also undertakes playground duty during the day and takes responsibility for the Saturday Kisimani Club. Quite a tall order!
Transition through school in Tanzania is determined by performance in school tests rather than age. The move up to Primary School is an important one and classes have children of different ages. At the moment, there are two primary classes.
Joy teaches Class 1. She first came to the school in 2013 on placement whilst studying for her Certificate in Primary Education. We met Joy then and were impressed immediately by her bright personality and the warmth and care she showed for the children. It was no surprise to find that, following completion of her training course, Joy had been successfully appointed to a vacant post!
Bernard, an experienced teacher, joined the staff in 2014. He is responsible for Class 2 and has the task of focussing the children on their studies as they begin to make their way through Primary School, determined by a nationally set curriculum and exams. The 22 children in Class 2 this year include most of our very first children who started when the school initially opened. It was great to see their enthusiasm and enjoyment of learning.
Once breakfast has been served, at 7.50 a.m. every day there is a whole school assembly. Arise School welcomes all children whatever their religion or faith. As in all Tanzanian schools, on a daily basis, they share in singing the Tanzanian national anthem “Mungu ibariki Afrika” (God bless Africa). Very appropriately, when introduced following independence in 1961, the anthem was intended to be inclusive of different religious views. Overseen by their capable and caring team of teachers, even the youngest of the children were joining wholeheartedly in singing the anthem – their country’s future!
Please help us to continue their education. A one-off donation of £100 will pay a teacher’s salary for one month.