Macedonia Nursery & Primary School …
Existence of privately owned schools in Tanzania has now become a common phenomenon. This trend covers all levels of education – from pre-school/nursery to primary and secondary education up to tertiary level of education.
Recently, I participated in a parents’ meeting at Macedonia Nursery & Primary school located at Segerea Bonyokwa area, about 2 kms from Segerea Prison, in Dar es Salaam.
Among many issues discussed during the meeting, general school progress was top on the list of agendas. Parents had the opportunity to question a number of things in relation to general progress: legal certifications (a report by the administration showed that the school scored 82% following an evaluation conducted by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training); teachers’ and other staff qualifications; extra-curricula activities; future plans; discipline matters on both teachers’/staff and pupils’ sides; water shortage problem; lack of school textbooks as well as supplementary books etc.
Generally, the discussions were very engaging, with parents contributing opinions and ideas as well as critiquing some of the shortcomings.
Generally, there is a need for the government to find means of supporting these schools – for instance – it may help top up their salaries, support individual teachers’ initiatives to advance their careers through further education, providing schools with water supply systems etc.
On the other hand, owners of these schools ought to ensure that they make use of professional school management systems to ensure provision of quality education and proper fostering of pupils’ talents; intellectual growth; spiritual growth; and physical growth. By accepting pupils into their schools they assume great responsibilities over the well-being of the children under their care but also of the future of the nation.
Parents ought to fulfill their duties and responsibilities as well as make use of their right to question whatever they think does not go well: make a close follow up of intellectual, behavioral and physical growth of their children. They have to ensure that they are close to their children to give them parental guide and emotional support. They further have to make sure that they promptly pay fees due over their children.
Teachers have a very important role in all what has been said above. They ought to strive to see that they inculcate the culture of learning and questioning in pupils; building pupils’ confidence in what they do/dream to do; show pupils that they can do many great things and that only the sky is the limit. This group is key to general development of an individual child as well as that of the entire nation – it bridges the parents with the administration and the children in the process of monitoring individual child’s growth.
Generally, schools are institutions and so even privately-run schools ought to show features of being an institution. Delegation of authority should be done to avoid what others have come to term as ‘one’s man/woman show’. We should remember that institutions are expected to live much much longer than we do. Continuity of a school depends very much on ensuring that a school operates per se as an institution.