* Village of Magulilwa
* Education in Tanzania
* Creation of MASS
* A Community School






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Village of Magulilwa and Beyond

Magulilwa, Tanzania is a village of approximately 3,000, located about 30 miles from the nearest town (Iringa, the capital of the region).  The people of Magulilwa believe strongly in education, but lack the resources to send their children to private school or build a school on their own.  Imagine in today's world living without running water, electricity, or education.  Most students leave school at the age of 12 to join their families to provide day-to-day necessities like food.  Many families eat one meal a day, usually ugali (white corn maize boiled).

Apart from providing an opportunity to the people of Magulilwa village to get secondary education,Magulilwa Area secondary School also provides an opportunity to the children from surrounding villages to get secondary education who otherwise would not get it due to the shortage of secondary schools in their villages and in Tanzania in general.

 

 

Education in Tanzania

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The Tanzanian government provides free education for primary school children (equivalent to K-6 in the U.S.).  The village of Magulilwa currently has 2 primary schools.  Upon completion of primary school, students take a level 7 exam to determine whether they can continue on to secondary school.  If a student scores high enough on their exam, they have a couple options:

  • Option 1: If a student scores high enough (relative to students all over the country who take the same exam), they are eligible to attend a government school.  Government school tuition is free, and students pay approximately $20 per year for room and board. Only about 1 or 2 students from each primary school throughout the country are able to attend a government secondary school each year.
  • Option 2: If a student scores high enough on the level 7 exam, they can take an entrance exam for a private school.  If they pass this exam and are admitted to a private school, they pay approximately $300 for tuition, room, and board.  Only an average of 2 students from a village like Magulilwa are able to go to private school each year.

These options are only available to the small percentage of students who receive a high score on their exam.  Because of the limited number of schools in the country (government and private) a student must have a high score in order to continue their education.  Because of this, most students’ formal education ends at age 12.  Only 2% of the Tanzanian population attends secondary school.

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The Creation of Magulilwa Area Secondary School


Partnering from across the ocean, but close to the hearts of many...

Magulilwa Area Secondary School was created to offer an opportunity for more children to continue their education.  The school opened in January 2006 and offers an opportunity for 70 children to continue their education beyond primary school each year.  For Magulilwa, this makes a significant difference (see Education in Tanzania).  The creation of Magulilwa Area Secondary School is the fulfillment of a dream of many people from the village, including Evaristo Sanga, who grew up in Magulilwa, and now works in Minneapolis, Minnesota to fulfill his village’s dream.

The proposal for the school was presented to the village of Magulilwa in July 2004.  Many had promised to build a school in the past, but none had delivered.  However, this time, the dream has become a reality.  As Suleimu Mwilongo, age 12 said to Mr. Sanga when he visited the school in January, "Thank you very much (asante sana) for remembering us and building the school."  The villagers are grateful that he remembers his roots.  He hopes this opportunity for education will help students improve their lives, and to become leaders in their communities.

Funding has come from many individuals, church groups, and school groups.  It takes a village to raise a child, and this global village is reaching out to many children today and for the future.  The villagers may not have the financial resources, but they are contributing. This includes making bricks, preparing the land, and giving what they can (the village donated 59 acres of land as well as existing buildings).  Students from the village are able to live at home and therefore pay only for tuition, making school an affordable option for them.  Those who need boarding facilities or food are now provided with an option for both.  Scholarships are available.

Now, because of a dream, generous support, and hard work, the first 76 students have started on a path which will lead them to new opportunities.  This year, the school has 6 teachers (5 paid, 1 volunteer) who support the vision.  The first year students study Chemistry, Mathematics, Geography, History, English, Biology, Physics, Civics, and Kiswahili.  In response to recent changes (July, 2006) in the Education sector of Tanzania, two additional courses have been added, Commerce and Bookkeeping. Typically, secondary schools have a religion class and AIDS/HIV education, even in the government schools. The churches provide the religion teachers and the government provides the AIDS/HIV educators. As the school continues to grow, religion and AIDS/HIV courses will be added.


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Magulilwa Area Secondary School
A Community School

This school is a collaboration between the village community, a member of the village who now lives in Minnesota, and many individuals and congregations who have generously supported this idea, and have helped to make it happen, including several missionaries who have visited the area.  Like many villages, Magulilwa is made up of people of different faiths.  Students from all regions of Tanzania and from all faith backgrounds are welcome to attend. As a community-based school, Magulilwa Area Secondary School is not affiliated with a particular religious denomination, but is influenced by members of the village, of all different faiths.  It takes a whole village to raise a child, and it is important to attend to the whole person: body, mind and spirit.  The faith communities within the village are and will be offering their guidance and input as the school community develops.  The village government, representatives of the primary schools, members of faith communities, and American supporters have come together to serve the students of the Magulilwa Area and to carry out its mission: “To foster lifelong skills, challenging students to learn, to explore, and to grow, as responsible community members.”

If this is something that interests you, we encourage you to contact us for further information.  Please join us through prayer, volunteering or financial contributions to make this opportunity a life-long experience for yourself as well as the members of this village.

 

 

Mtoto Kwa Mama Hakui (Kiswahili)

Education is the mother of children, without it you will not grow!(English)

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