Photos from Tanzania Schools, 2014

Jim Blair and Henry Hamburger

People ask, "How was your trip?" or "How are things over there?" For those who might ask, hoping for good news, let it be known that in Tanzania (and Kenya and Uganda) there are some fine secondary schools with excellent leadership. We see talented and dedicated teachers, working in difficult circumstances.

For its part, TEAA asks what their highest priority needs are for academic materiel. Some needed items that have been supplied are mentioned in the photo captions below; for a complete list of what we've done over the years, click Grants.

Moringe Sokoine Secondary School, Monduli

Headmaster Kwayu Ndesamburu greets us in his office. Under his leadership, O-level enrollment is growing, thanks to good results on the national exams, especially in science, a national emphasis area.

In Joseph Mwanisawa's chemistry class a quantitative analysis of a reaction is carried out in groups while he circulates, providing pointers. Some groups then send a representative to the board to record a partial conclusion. Thus we witness tutoring, peer interaction and active learning.

TEAA has supplied computers over the years. Students are using this one to learn some chemistry from a digital encyclopedia.

Extraction of metals: Lead ions gain electrons (reduction) to form lead atoms. Bromide ions lose electrons (oxidation) to form bromine atoms. The bromine atoms combine to form molecules of bromine gas.

Decommissioned microscopes obtained by TEAA-er Leal Dickson from Michigan State were transported 8,000 miles for us in a computer shipment by the World Computer Exchange.


Efficient use of chairs

Notre Dame Academy, Njiro

The long-anticipated dormitory is now complete and will permit the school to accommodate its planned enrollment of 320, starting in 2017. Waste from the dorm feeds a biogas generator.

Classrooms formerly housing students have been liberated by the completion of the dorm (above) and are now serving their intended purpose. That's Headmistress Sister Mary Shaija at left in the foreground, showing a TEAA visitor around.

40 new tablets, donated by the Opportunity Education Foundation, are linked together on this rack when not in use, to form a local net and allow downloading of content, thereby providing every student in form 2 with the equivalent of a textbook for every class.

Nkoaranga Secondary School, Usa River

Headmistress Margaret Mbise - shown with TEAA visitors Jim Blair (right) and your faithful webmaster - reports that the new industrial-strength photocopier recently purchased with TEAA funding enables the copying of material from reference books or the web. This can supplement a textbook, letting it survive a change in the national curriculum.

Science lab equipment is organized but inadequate. Those quaint kerosene-based heaters are there because gas lines are not, so Bunsen burners are regrettably not an option.

Elimu ni mwangaza. (Education is the light.) This exhortation is also a reference to the Mwangaza Center, founded by TEAA-er Shoonie Hartwig. The school uses materials devised at the center that assist teachers to help students improve in English language in the context of studying other subjects.

Kilakala Girls Secondary School, Morogoro

Headmistress Tabitha Tusekelege and her deputy, Obeid Sitta, spent a great deal of time with us, guiding us around the school, explaining things and providing useful transportation.

LCD projector funded by TEAA is used here in a computing class to project an ongoing spreadsheet session. Students were shown how to find ranks, sort rows and specify conditional operations. This dynamic use of the projector, instantly showing the results, would be difficult to equal on a chalkboard.

Let everyone see and hear clearly! The back rows have been abandoned as an entire chemistry class gathers to see the preparations and demonstration: potassium liberates hydrogen which then burns suddenly to produce a loud "Pop! sound."

Science models, so often hidden away with other lab equipment in cupboards and small storage rooms, are here out in the open, available for their intended purpose: to be examined at close range.

Auxin actions: Another projector in use, this one showing geotropism in roots and shoots.