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
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
- 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.
The Creation of Magulilwa Area Secondary
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.
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