Creating Hope: EDUCATION

“Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 As we remember and honor the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. this week and reflect on the messages he preached, we recall his emphasis on the importance of education for children.

Currently in sub-Saharan Africa, effective education for children is sadly still bleak.  As noted by a recent BBC article entitled “In School and Learning Nothing” (Oct. 3, 2017), a United Nations report suggests 88% of children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa will enter adulthood without a basic proficiency in reading. The UN referred to this as “staggering” and a “learning crisis” and the World Bank warned that millions of young people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving an inadequate education that would leave them trapped in low-paid and insecure jobs, and these failures represented “a moral and economic crisis”.

But why is there such a huge divide in the output of the children in school in developed more affluent regions of the globe versus less developed regions such that a basic level of proficiency in primary school was reached by 99% of pupils in Japan, but by only 7% of pupils in Mali, for instance?  The short answer provided by researchers: Quality of the Education and Lack of Testing.

There were several other key reasons cited as potential contributors to this education crisis including malnutrition and poor conditions of the students leaving them in no condition to learn, lack of supplies, under-qualified teachers and teacher absenteeism.

To all, this should be a "wake-up call for far greater investment in the quality of education".

CITY OF HOPE

We have built City of Hope on the belief that far greater investment in the quality education is imperative, and will empower our children with hope, character and opportunity they would not have otherwise had. 

What is City of Hope doing to ensure we provide a road to success for our children?

Teachers and Courses

We have highly trained teachers and teachers who are trained in English (in government schools the primary grades are taught in Swahili).  Our teachers engage in training at the beginning of each school year and we are currently building teacher housing to be able to encourage and retain our current teachers as well as continue to recruit top quality teachers going forward.

We offer all of the Tanzanian curriculum with the addition of technology and agriculture and we have the best science labs around with water, sinks and gas and a hood for chemistry. 

Nurturing and Encouraging Environment

In Tanzania, if a child fails a national test or becomes pregnant, they are not allowed to continue their education.  We are committed to keeping that from happening.  At the City of Hope we are integrally involved in our children’s learning and lives, providing role models and leadership opportunities for them to garner self-esteem. From our Executive Director, our Children’s Manager, our  Headmasters, Deputy Headmasters and around 30 teachers, all are committed to seeing our children succeed. We also have a student council and students taking leadership for things such as the school grounds, cleanliness of the school and student issues (our Secondary School Motto is Learning for Leading”).  This keeps the children invested in their education.  

Standardized Tests

We are elated to report that our Standardized Testing scores are in for our Form 2, Standard 4 and Standard 7 exams:

- Class 4: We ranked 1st in our Ward, 2nd in our District, top 5% in the region and top 15% in the nation

- Form 2 (equivalent to 10th grade): 87% of our students scored the highest grade (A) and we were ranked 2nd out of 25 schools in the District

- Class 7: Our students scored in the top 2% in the region and top 5% in the nation

What are we doing differently that allows for these results?  We believe it’s the care in the quality education and attention that we are able to provide.

WE DID IT!

City of Hope re-convened its school for the year this month (Jan 7) and we are extremely excited to report that we now have all Four Class Levels offered at our secondary school!  City of Hope now has a total of approximately 600 students in our primary and secondary schools combined. 

We look forward to continuing to grow and provide the education that allows the children to learn, grow and reach for the sky.  We are proud to provide a safe and effective environment for quality learning, such that these children will be ready to fulfill their dreams.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ashley Gendron