The Faculty of Education Class of 2022 is currently raising funds to rehabilitate at least two classrooms at the Utemini Primary School in Singida, Tanzania. It is the latest in a series of projects by teacher candidates in the service-learning course “Vulnerability, Marginalization, and Education” taught by professor Clinton Beckford.
“The experiential component of the course is the Global Community Engagement Program, which provides opportunities for teacher candidates and graduate students to engage in community service projects locally and internationally,” says Dr. Beckford.
TeachJamaica and TeachTanzania involved student travel to the two countries, made impossible for the past two years by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monies raised since 2020 were diverted to complete the construction in Singida of two large classrooms, a staff room, and a washroom, alleviating crowding pressures that saw some classes at the school hold more than 75 students. The effort was supported by funding from the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918).
Head teacher Baraka Henry Mazengo of Utemini Primary School calls it a “remarkable and unforgettable” contribution.
“Our school has 1146 registered students and 16 classrooms but only 10 were functional,” he says. “The completion of these two classrooms now make 12 classrooms usable.”
Even so, students attend in shifts, Mazengo notes.
“Our school still has big challenges. We have 240 desks, so only 720 students have desks and 420 have to sit on the floor.”
Among the urgent needs he has identified are: rehabilitation of more classrooms, a sustainable program providing children at least one hot meal daily, and electricity for the two recently completed classrooms.
Education students are soliciting donations to fund more classrooms at the Utemini Primary School. To learn more about this project, contact Beckford at firstname.lastname@example.org.