The story of Kilimamoja Secondary School’s science laboratories started in 2012 with a presidential decree. In order to comply with the science syllabus, all of the country’s public schools were instructed to build fully-equipped science laboratories – at their own cost. Imagine the pressure of an order like this on a remote rural school supported by a small community of largely farmers and livestock herders.
By 2016, with the official deadline fast approaching, the money raised from the community had covered a building structure of just four walls and a roof. It was then that the school approached Africa Foundation who, in partnership with &Beyond’s Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara Tree Lodges, had been involved with the community since 2012.
Things moved quickly thanks to a generous donation from the Tara Getty Foundation. The initial structures were finished, and in 2017, three science laboratories – for physics, chemistry and biology – were completed and equipped with concrete workbenches, plumbing, gas piping, electricity, sinks and a blackboard. Each has the capacity to seat 45 students.
On 07 September 2017, the Uhuru torch, Tanzania’s national symbol that celebrates stand-out developments, came to the Kilimamoja Secondary School. The Uhuru torch race, a 195-day marathon, travels across the country, stopping to attend events identified by the Presidential party as very important. Hundreds of villagers gathered at the school, together with the Africa Foundation team, &Beyond staff members, school teachers and students, to witness this momentous event.
In the past two years, these celebrated facilities have triggered a number of positive changes that have been supported by Africa Foundation and its generous donors:
- The enrolment at the school has grown by almost 30 % since its establishment in 2007.
- A dining hall, also used as an assembly and exam venue, with the capacity for 400 students, has been built. [School lunches for all students are served, with parents supplying the ingredients.]
- There is now a girls’ dormitory, with the capacity for 64 students. This option provides an environment conducive to studying, and eliminates the long and tiring daily walk between home and school.
- A boys’ dormitory is pending completion later this year.
- Additional ablution facilities are earmarked for the next school project.
As observed by Celestine Mrema, Second Master, the laboratories have brought big change. More and more students are doing well, and many are set for tertiary education. Some may even be the lucky recipients of an Africa Foundation CLEF bursary.
Kilimamoja Secondary School is going from strength to strength. This bright light in education is set to shine for generations to come.