Whilst the children at Arise School are taught in English, those attending government (state) primary schools in Tanzania are taught in Swahili, the national language. However, when they move to secondary school at the end of Class 7 every lesson is taught in English, the official language.
For many of these young people, having first learned a tribal language, English is their third language. This makes it very tough for them. Many are seriously disadvantaged, especially if English is not spoken at home, and they then get poor results in their exams.
As a result, following a request for help with their English from a couple of the young people concerned, Arise School has recently taken the initiative of introducing a short English course and an Introduction to Secondary Studies course for a group of young people from the local community who will be starting secondary school in January, the beginning of the new school year in Tanzania.
The Arise teachers understand the need for these children to have extra tuition in order to get off to a better start at secondary school and they have willingly extended their working day to assist them. Twenty two young people are now attending every day for two hours from 3.30 p.m. when the Arise pupils finish. They also attend on a Saturday from 8a.m. to 5p.m. The small fee they pay goes towards some extra remuneration for the teachers concerned.
It was great to meet the young people during our recent visit to the school. They were keen to attend and eager to get started with their lessons. They have embraced the initiative which, if it proves successful, has much scope to be developed in future years. It is another way in which Arise School is fulfilling our shared aspiration that it should be a resource for the community when not in use by the Arise pupils – another excellent example of Arise School contributing to the community.