In Tanzania, all school pupils, throughout the country, are required by the Government to sit national exams. At primary level, there are two sets of exams: firstly, at the completion of Standard 4 when pupils are usually about 10 or 11 years old, and, secondly, three years later at the completion of Standard 7, their final year of primary education.
In January 2020, Arise School became a full pre and primary school for the first time. It was the first time there had been a Standard 7; the first time that Arise pupils would sit these important exams.
Like all exams, at both levels, the exams require a lot of hard work and effort and it is an anxious time for the students. This is particularly so as, in Tanzania, they are not allowed to move on to the next level until they have passed their exams. Success at Standard 7 leads to the award of the National Primary School Leaving Certificate. Without this, pupils are unable to continue their education at secondary level in a Government school.
On top of this, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was an especially difficult and unusual year for both pupils and staff. Like all schools in Tanzania, Arise was closed from mid March until the end of June. Although the Arise students were set homework by their teachers, the poverty of the local area and the circumstances in which many of them live are such that it was very difficult for them to continue their studies during the closure.
Pleased to return to school when it reopened, all efforts by pupils and staff focused on catching up on missed time. Not only was the school day extended, lessons also took place on Saturdays as they prepared to sit the exams.
In October, 36 Standard 7 pupils sat their exams in five subjects. They receive an individual grade in each subject and an overall, average grade. Four pupils received Grade A average, 28 received Grade B and 4 received Grade C. No pupils received Grade D or E, both of which are passes. The results placed Arise 5th out of 31 schools in the local District.
This was an amazing achievement given it was the first time any pupils from Arise had been entered for Standard 7 exams. All were awarded their School Leaving Certificate. Thanks to the ongoing support of their ACE sponsors, they now have the opportunity of moving onto secondary education and started at their local school in January.
Then, in November, 44 Standard 4 pupils sat their exams. They each sat exams in six subjects and, also, received an overall grade. 34 students were awarded Grade A average and 10 received Grade B. Arise School was placed first out of 34 schools in the District – another tremendous achievement!
We were delighted to receive both sets of results. Our warmest congratulations go to all the pupils and staff for their amazing efforts and tireless hard work to achieve such excellent grades, especially in such an unusual and difficult year. Our very best wishes for their future success go to all the “Arise Superstars” as they begin the next stage of their educational journey. We are so proud of you all!