In the second half of 2021, Bugando and Kamena Secondary Schools, the first government high schools in Tanzania’s Geita District, admitted their first cohort of form five students for the 2021/2022 academic year.
“The quality of Kamena and Bugando Secondary Schools’ infrastructure, including its classrooms, libraries and laboratories, as well its exceptionally strong teachers, place these schools among the best in the country,” says Geita District Council’s Acting Education and Academic Officer, Navaya Alphonce.
When the schools were being built, they looked to others in the area to see what deficiencies were hindering pupils’ learning. One issue that the schools’ administrations prioritised was employing as many teachers and support staff as possible in order to keep learning levels high. The schools also established on-site dormitories for children whose families live in remote areas, so that their education wouldn’t be affected by these distances.
“We were concerned to learn that Geita District Council, which is one of our host communities, had no government-owned secondary schools,” says Geita mine Vice President for Sustainability Simon Shayo. “In fact, few learners from these areas have had the opportunity to attend well-equipped high schools before now. As soon as we received official approval from the Geita local authority to provide infrastructure for Kamena and Bugando, we set about executing these projects as quickly as possible.”
Geita’s contribution amounted to approximately $125,000, and was used to build classrooms, dormitories, a borehole and cafeterias.
“This project is in line with Geita’s commitment to supporting sustainable social and economic development projects that will outlast our mining activities,” Shayo continues. “We are proud of our comprehensive programme of direct investment with the Geita community, which continues to be borne out in the areas of education, infrastructure, agriculture and construction.”