Africa's Children in Education

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Bringing Everyone Together: Arise School Daily Assembly

Many of the children at Arise School are there by 6.30 a.m. They know that breakfast is served at 7 o’ clock and there is no way that they want to miss it in spite of the long distances that some of them have to walk.

Once breakfast has been served, at 7.50 a.m., a whole school assembly is held in the school grounds. As in all Tanzanian schools, there is an assembly on a daily basis, with children and staff sharing in singing the Tanzanian national anthem “Mungu ibariki Afrika” (God bless Africa).

Arise School welcomes all children, whatever their religion or faith or none. Very appropriately, when introduced following independence in 1961, the Tanzanian national anthem was intended to be inclusive of different religious views and perspectives. The children are taught the words as soon as they start in the nursery class. Overseen by their capable and caring team of teachers, even the youngest of the children join wholeheartedly in singing the anthem – their country’s future! You can see a short video of this on Facebook and on the blog that we posted last week.

The children also sing other songs of praise that they have learned in class. There is no musical accompaniment and different children often take a lead with the other children joining in. They always put so much feeling into their singing. They are a delight to listen to.

As in all schools, during assembly, any notices are given out by staff. Although it only lasts for 10 or 15 minutes, some of the children begin to get a bit restless and, as they are standing up, the lines begin to fall apart! However, as assembly finishes, the teachers bring them back into line. They hold their heads up and march single file to their classrooms, one class at a time.

There are now 172 children attending Arise School. Over the years, we have watched the daily assembly increase in numbers and seen the children grow in confidence as they join so wholeheartedly in the singing. Anyone who watches the assembly cannot fail to be moved by it and, in particular, by the opportunity these children now have, not just of an education but, also, to be part of their school community.

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