The transition to secondary school is difficult for any child, but particularly in Tanzania, when they suddenly need to start learning in English. From having a few teachers speaking Swahili to many new subjects in a new language this is a big challenge. Many students struggle to understand their teachers and start to drop behind and lose interest.

This year, we are supporting schemes in 8 schools who have been teaching over 700 students for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week since the end of September, thanks to a grant from the Eddie Byers Fund matched by an anonymous donor.

So rather than having 3 months with nothing to do, these students have been meeting their secondary teachers, finding their way around, making new friends and learning the English they will need for the next 4 years. The emphasis has been on English through games, songs and group works, making it FUN!

Teachers from each school share ideas, resources, challenges and success via a WhatsApp group. So approaching half way through the programme they have been taking stock of how it is going so far. Successes include it is particularly benefitting girls and low income families, students enjoy the programme, can now have discussions in English and are better prepared for secondary school. Challenges include insufficient resources including classrooms and desks for the large number of students attending, and students having to walk very long distances to and from school, often in the rain.

But everyone is agreed that this scheme is making a real impact and we hope to repeat it next year.

If you would like to know more about this project, or to donate to allow us to expand it to additional schools please contact Janet [email protected]