“I once visited Arise and immediately I sensed a difference, it was as if I was breathing difference. I will always remember the friendly greetings and smiles of the students. This was so much unlike other schools, and I have visited many” Local Community Member
To understand the value of a school like Arise, it needs to be seen within the overall context of education in Tanzania.
In government primary schools, there are often over 100 children in each classroom.
Two or three children may share a desk and resources are generally in short supply.
Breaking the Norm
Corporal punishment is the norm.
In particular, children from poor homes whose families are unable to afford school uniform, shoes or stationery may be beaten and sent home.
They may be too frightened to return to school and drop out of education. But, at Arise Community School, things are different.
Corporal punishment is forbidden. Learning is without fear.
At Arise, by engaging with them as individuals and giving them the individual support they need, the teachers aim to enable the children to reach their full potential.
They are alert to health needs or home circumstances that may impact on the child’s education. They see the whole child.
“We teach children to be kind and humble, and help them to grow as people.” Headteacher, Arise School
Teaching methods in many Tanzanian schools continue to be very traditional, including teaching by rote. Teachers at Arise understand the learning needs of each pupil and tailor their education accordingly.
Each child has his or her own desk and chair. They all enjoy two meals a day.
The classrooms are kept clean and in good order. Trees, tropical plants and flowers have been planted in the school grounds, providing a green and pleasant environment for the children. The children enjoy going to school. They are happy and feel safe at school. They want to learn.
In addition, unlike government primary schools which teach in Swahili, the national language in Tanzania, all lessons are taught in English, the official language.
This will give the Arise pupils, especially those who are from homes where English is not spoken, a huge advantage when they go on to secondary school or higher education where all lessons are taught in English.