Two-Year Secondary School Preparation Program
The free secondary school preparation program is Good Hope’s most visible program, and has been designed to provide an education to students who do not have access to free, government-funded secondary school. When children in Tanzania finish primary school they are required to write their Primary School Leaving Exam. This exam is used as a barrier to block students from receiving further education – students that fail the exam (49.4% in 2013, as reported by the Human Rights Watch) cannot access further education unless their families pay for private school education (which is cost prohibitive for many families). All students at Good Hope either failed their national examination, or did pass this exam and could not afford to go to secondary school right away.
Unfortunately, once a student is out of the governmental school system, she/he cannot join government- funded secondary school education. Good Hope provides them with an opportunity to stay engaged in education. Year-round local and international volunteers teach English, Mathematics, Computers, Geography, Science, Fine Arts, and Healthcare in our youth center.
Good Hope currently provides free education for around 30 students in three classes, divided based on to each student’s current English written and speaking skills. Most of our students are between 13 to 18 years old, and come from very diverse social backgrounds and education levels. Some students are orphans living with family members, some are living with HIV/AIDS, and some are tasked with demanding household-chores that leave little to no space for education.
Good Hope’s Two-Year Secondary School Preparation Program provides a stepping stone for the marginalized youth that we support. After finishing the program, many of our students receive a private sponsorship to go to a private secondary school or attend a vocational training centre.
Beyond the Classroom
Good Hope students are great dancers and soccer players, and so, we often make time during the day dedicated to sports and dance. This gives our students recreation and a chance to refresh and have some fun. It also teaches them teamwork and confidence. The students also use this time to plan dance routines for frequent community fundraisers (called Cheza Friday). Cheza means “dance” or “play” in Swahili, and these fundraisers are a great way to show off the students’ talent, while raising money for Good Hope! Furthermore, the Good Hope students also train for, and participate in, the Fun Run of the annual Kilimanjaro Marathon.
The Breakfast Program gives the Good Hope students nourishment for their bodies, as well as their minds. Every school day at Good Hope, the students receive a nourishing breakfast with tea, and seasonal foods such as fried banana, flatbread (chapati) or a fried bun (mandazi); and a fruit such as an orange, avocado, or sweet banana. Without this Breakfast Club, many of Good Hope’s students would not have access to a meal in the morning.
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Student Sponsorship Program
In 2012 Good Hope initiated the Student Sponsorship Program, which connects sponsors with current Good Hope students, allowing the students to do something that has always seemed impossible: go to private secondary school (or a vocational training centre).
Although most of the students at Good Hope have failed the national examination that they are required to take once they complete primary school, they can be very resourceful and determined. In Good Hope’s Two-Year Secondary School Preparation Program, students have the opportunity to catch up on the schooling they have missed, and above all, learn English so they are ready to continue with their education. English is the language of instruction in Tanzania’s secondary schools, but is only marginally taught in primary school.
Good Hope identifies students who are well-prepared for further formal education, helping students choose vocational training directly after the preparation program, or secondary school. Even though the students have been denied free secondary school education under the governmental system, they can repeat the national examination and then attend a private secondary school.
Our Secondary School Partner
Good Hope has partnered with St. Theresia Secondary School. This private secondary school is a boarding school, which creates a nourishing learning environment, allowing the students to focus solely on their education, without the pressures of demanding family homes. Good Hope continues to support our former students who attend to the St. Theresia Secondary School by working closely with their teachers and visiting the school regularly. Currently 30 former Good Hope students attend this school, divided between four school levels (Form 1 to Form 4).
After Form 4
After four years at St. Theresia, the students write their final examinations and finish junior high school. If the student finishes with good grades and passes the national examination, he or she may be chosen by the government to re-enter the governmental schooling system and join high school (Form 5 and Form 6). Currently about 50% of our students finishing junior high school are chosen to enroll in government high school.
In Tanzania the government is invested in the students’ career choices. Some students may have chosen core subjects in junior high school that are more suitable for a vocational training rather than governmental secondary school. Therefore some students get an offer to join a government college program. Some other students, however, may continue with a one or two years vocational training supported by their sponsors.
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Community Social Work
Good Hope’s work is closely rooted in Moshi’s community. The Good Hope team visit the homes of all students , so the team can understand the children’s upbringing and family environment. Good Hope offers close counselling to the students and their parents or guardians.
Good Hope also makes home visits to those people in the community who are living with health challenges (cancer, heart problems, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease and paralysis) and are homebound. During these visits our team provides comfort, advice and transportation to medical care. These services offer human contact for those who would otherwise be isolated from society.