Gerezani Primary School has its first internet connection! With the help of Seva Shayo, a university student studying technology, Reading Around the World installed the first-ever internet connection at the Gerezani Primary School in Dar es Salaam, helping the school implement a Digital Age Learning Environment (DALE). The router is capable of handling 14 internet connections and currently serves 3 iPads with educational apps used by the teachers to help improve English phonics, pronunciation, and reading ability. As a result of the library and technological resources donated by generous supporters like you, the 400 students at GPS are improving their English skills. English language proficiency scores have risen from 2.0 to 2.99. The increased English fluency will give these students a better chance to pass the entrance exams to go to secondary school.
In Tanzania, although 95% of school age children attend primary schools, only 35% continue their studies in secondary school. By age 13, nearly 2 out of 3 children drop out of school. This is in part because primary school is taught entirely in the children’s native language of Swahili, but when children transition to secondary school, ALL subjects – math, history, science, etc. – are taught entirely in English. In the short time they are in primary school, without access to engaging English language materials to help them, students are unable to cross the bridge to secondary school. The language barrier is an important contributing factor that prevents children from continuing their education. The high drop out rate in turn has become a contributing factor to the nation’s poverty. With your help, children can escape the cycle of poverty to a more prosperous life.
The big challenge of our generation is not can we fill the world with greater technology. The big challenge of our generation is can we fill the world with greater humanity.
– Social Good Summit 2015
During the short time that we have been working with and praying for the nation of Tanzania, a lot of good things have happened in education. Following our meeting with the United States Embassy in July 2014, the following Spring 2.5 million science textbooks were donated by the United States to help students in secondary school. In December 2015, the Tanzanian government announced that they will be fully funding secondary school education. The people of Tanzania are hungry for learning, and the students are eager to improve their lives and make Tanzania a nation that contributes to the good in the world.
In 2016, RAWLI will continue to work on bringing Tanzania a DALE. We have already begun collecting laptops, computers, tablets and technology equipment. We hope to find a corporate sponsor who will contribute class sets of laptops, so all students can have the same equipment to work with. Once we have connected them to the internet, we will be recruiting student mentors in the United States who will donate a half hour of their time twice a week to become cyber PALS (Peer-Assisted Learning Services) for students in Tanzania. In addition to helping their PALee improve English language fluency, the exchange will benefit both the US volunteers, and the Tanzanian students by developing compassion for diversity and increasing cultural awareness.