Secondary schooling up to Form IV (equivalent to ‘O’ levels) is available on Mafia Island, about 1km from Chole, after which a child must travel to a school on mainland Tanzania to continue education. Secondary schooling is not free in Tanzania. Up to Form IV parents pay about Tshs 500,000/- (£150, US$230) per annum, rising to about Tshs 1,000,000/- (government) - 1,500,000/- (private) (£300, US$460 – £460, US$700) for Forms V and VI, towards direct fees and expenses, living costs, stationary and tuition.
Even these small amounts are beyond most families, so the Harambee Committee awards standard bursaries of Tshs 300,000/- for Forms I to IV (though top students receive Tshs 1,300,000 to allow them to attend better schools), rising to Tshs 1,300,000/- for all children passing into Form V. The bursaries include a modest living allowance because children have to live away from home and are 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 impact of this programme is clear from the number of children supported by the Trust in secondary education:
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.
In 2013 and 2014 Form IV pass rates dropped very sharply right across Tanzania, resulting in adrop in the number of pupils qualifying to continue secondary education. The reasons are complex, and apply right across the country, but include difficulties with English language, which the Chole Project is attempting to address by introducing structured computer based English language teaching in the Primary School (please see the separate section).