A key priority for the Chole community is for every child to have an education. The Kindergarten sets small children on this path, and the Health Centre serves to keep the young bodies and minds healthy and ready to learn. The Learning Centre provides English Language tuition, remedial teaching for those failing exams and other important skills such as IT familiarisation. However ensuring secondary schooling and then a university or college education is a constant challenge. Neither are free in Tanzania and even the small (by western standards) amounts needed are often beyond the resources of poor families. The community therefore endeavours to award bursaries to any child applying, subject to conditions set out below, and the Trust is proud to provide the funding to sustain this effort.
The secondary school system on Mafia Island, about 1km from Chole, provides schooling up to Form IV (equivalent to ‘O’ levels) and involves parents paying about Tshs 175,000/- (£80, US$120) per annum, after which a child must travel to a school on mainland Tanzania, where the cost rises to about Tshs 400,000/- (government) - 900,000/- (private) (£180, US$270 – £400, US$600).
The Harambee Committee awards bursaries of Tshs 200,000/- to allow children to commence secondary education, and further bursaries of Tshs 700,000/- for children passing into Form V; the bursaries include a modest living allowance because children have to live away from home. The bursaries subject to strict eligibility criteria. To qualify for assistance a child must:
Be living on Chole
Have attended the Chole Primary School
Have passed Primary School Standard 7
Continue to attend school and pass exams for continued funding
Show a report to prove attendance and qualifications prior to receipt of any funding
Write a thank-you letter to the committee after receiving funding
Generally not be receiving support from any other source.
A child failing an exam is no longer eligible for support, though if the parents can fund a successful repeat year he or she can be reinstated into the bursary programme on providing a report confirming he or she has passed.
After completing Form VI students return for a period to teach in the Learning Centre, thus repaying the community for the support that has been given to them.
The success of this programme is shown by the steady growth in the number of children supported by the Trust in secondary education:
|Forms I - IV |
|Forms V +|| || || || || || |
Note: Until 2009 the Women's Front of Norway supported secondary schooling for most girls. However after that support ended the Trust took over that responsibility, putting further pressure on resources.
Further details behind these figures are available in the Harambee Committee's 2010 report.
An analysis of the 2012 figures between boys and girls will be available in due course. In addition to the bursaries above a further 5 pupils have been budgetted for Certificate Courses in 2012.
University and College
As children have progressed through secondary school some of them have qualified for Higher Education at university or college, entering a world beyond the imagination of their parents and their peers.
Two students from Chole are already nearing the end of their degree courses at the University of Dar es Salaam. One, Athuman Tawakal Rajab, is studying for his B.Ed in Social Science and Anthrolpology; you can read his remarkable story of determination and persistence here. The second, Selemani Mohammed, in studying for his B. Ed in Education.
In 2011 8 students were funded for university or diploma courses, and the Harambee Committee has budgeted for a total of 10 from the autumn of 2012, though it will not be until the middle of the year before it is clear how many have been accepted for places. University and diploma course students have traditionally received bursaries of Tshs 2,000,000/- (£885, US$1,340) towards their university fees, but as the numbers expand this has placed considerable pressure on available resources, so in 2011 the Committee introduced the idea of the tertiary education bursaries being treated as loans, to be repaid within three years of graduating.