Education How ?
Education is a very important part of the child’s development for its future as a useful member of society.
Of course, there are examples of people who did even very well in their life without having received what we call “proper education”. But this is the exception and should not be used as an excuse for neglecting this part of the development.

Several times we have been asked how we will build a school and how we will accommodate and pay for teachers, and out of necessities we have been forced to answer, that we will not be able to provide what is regarded as a proper school.
The reasons are many and it is the basis for the following discussions:
Primary Education:
It is noted that Tanzania, as well as other developing countries, has adopted the policy of compulsory primary education and that the international donor society has pledged to support this move.

However:
We will start with the sad news:
We must face the facts and realise that for the near future there are several difficulties when it comes to implementation; and it is anticipated, that the educational system in Tanzania will be very hard pressed when it comes to the policy goals and there are difficulties, especially when it comes to finding qualified teachers:
It must be realized, that many of the best teachers, who graduated in the past, but did not get employment in the profession, now are economically better off in employment outside the profession.
Almost half of the children of school going age are not attending school.
It is: They have not got the chance for proper education.
If these children shall have formal schooling, the number of active teachers should be almost doubled.
Most schools are understaffed with too many students in the classes. Often students are “just” asked to do private studies.
An alarming number of teachers die from AIDS, leaving the educational system with too many holes to be filled.
Whenever a graduated teacher will be employed in the proposed project, he will be taken away from something else and in this way the total national outcome will not improve.

All these are the realities faced not only by Tanzania and not only by our project.
It may look as everything is hopeless and that we should just give up.
OK the situation is DESPERATE and we must look for solutions, which otherwise would be unacceptable.

Then: What may be regarded as the good news:
The Ministry of Education has embarked on a courageous initiative where children, who have “lost the chance” get what may be described as alternative education in a new environment: Non Formal Education (NFE), previously known as Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET).

First of all: The traditional prestige has been abandoned: No school uniforms, “traditional buildings” of cheapest absolutely local material. Motivated staff is given a short course and can as a matter of fact provide good service.

This project is still under development and it is the aim of the ChildVillage Project to cooperate with the NFE/COBET project – hopefully to the benefit of both parties.

A few details related to the ChildVillage project have already been agreed upon:

Teaching Staff:
As mentioned in other parts of these writings, the main part of the staff will be pensioners and widows and it is expected to recruit suitable new and retired teachers. The latter will be given a reduced workload.
These teachers will, together with their wives/husbands, at the same time act as “substitute parents”.

Legal status of the school.
The education in the project will, just as other activities, by necessity be funded by donations. The school in the project may in this way be regarded as a “private school without school-fees”; only for children in the project.
At a later stage, it may be considered also to admit other children and even to give “Adult Literacy Education”.

Syllabus and Methods:
In order to obtain a relevant syllabus and efficient methods, it is expected that the project will utilize experience gained and material developed by the newly started programme: Non Formal Education (NFE); previously known as Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET).
This unit, which is under the Ministry of Education, will provide basic education to the almost 50% of the children in Tanzania who, for different reasons, lost their first chance for primary education.

Classrooms ?
As discussed in other parts of this writings, the buildings will be relatively small one-room buildings with a fairly big veranda.
In the costal tropics, such a veranda will be the “everything-room”.
With small groups, teaching will easily be accommodated in the veranda. As a result, there will be no need for special classrooms.

All children will start at the same level.
It should be remembered that children, who will be admitted to the project, will be those who have already lost the chance for formal education.
In this way all children start at the same level. This will ease the teaching and, especially, the preparation of teaching materials.

Innovative material:
Some groundbreaking material is under development. It will enable motivated children to help as part time assistant teachers – of course teaching small groups only.
It is difficult to teach – some teachers will never really learn it and some people are “born as teachers”. With proper help and material and with a very narrow syllabus “unqualified” staff has been seen to do a good job.

Social Awareness:
As discussed in connection with “Small Steps Towards Democracy”, the family-groups should have time and opportunities for creation of a feeling of democracy through decision-making.
At the same time the “Substitute Parents” should discuss and thereby help teaching the very difficult subject, which is usually known as “Social Awareness”.

Further developments:
After the first major evaluation, which is scheduled to take place after about two years, it is expected to start skill-formation, thereby training larger and motivated children in one narrow practical subject. It may best be described as “Mono-Technique”, aiming at Brigade-Activities as introduced in Botswana by Patric v. Rensburg and described in his book Report from Swaning Hill.
Education How ?
Education is a very important part of the child’s development for its future as a useful member of society.
Of course, there are examples of people who did even very well in their life without having received what we call “proper education”. But this is the exception and should not be used as an excuse for neglecting this part of the development.

Several times we have been asked how we will build a school and how we will accommodate and pay for teachers, and out of necessities we have been forced to answer, that we will not be able to provide what is regarded as a proper school.
The reasons are many and it is the basis for the following discussions:

Primary Education:
It is noted that Tanzania, as well as other developing countries, has adopted the policy of compulsory primary education and that the international donor society has pledged to support this move.

However:
We will start with the sad news:
We must face the facts and realise that for the near future there are several difficulties when it comes to implementation; and it is anticipated, that the educational system in Tanzania will be very hard pressed when it comes to the policy goals and there are difficulties, especially when it comes to finding qualified teachers:
It must be realized, that many of the best teachers, who graduated in the past, but did not get employment in the profession, now are economically better off in employment outside the profession.
Almost half of the children of school going age are not attending school.
It is: They have not got the chance for proper education.
If these children shall have formal schooling, the number of active teachers should be almost doubled.
Most schools are understaffed with too many students in the classes. Often students are “just” asked to do private studies.
An alarming number of teachers die from AIDS, leaving the educational system with too many holes to be filled.
Whenever a graduated teacher will be employed in the proposed project, he will be taken away from something else and in this way the total national outcome will not improve.

All these are the realities faced not only by Tanzania and not only by our project.
It may look as everything is hopeless and that we should just give up.
OK the situation is DESPERATE and we must look for solutions, which otherwise would be unacceptable.

Then: What may be regarded as the good news:
The Ministry of Education has embarked on a courageous initiative where children, who have “lost the chance” get what may be described as alternative education in a new environment: Non Formal Education (NFE), previously known as Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET).

First of all: The traditional prestige has been abandoned: No school uniforms, “traditional buildings” of cheapest absolutely local material. Motivated staff is given a short course and can as a matter of fact provide good service.

This project is still under development and it is the aim of the ChildVillage Project to cooperate with the NFE/COBET project – hopefully to the benefit of both parties.

A few details related to the ChildVillage project have already been agreed upon:

Teaching Staff:
As mentioned in other parts of these writings, the main part of the staff will be pensioners and widows and it is expected to recruit suitable new and retired teachers. The latter will be given a reduced workload.
These teachers will, together with their wives/husbands, at the same time act as “substitute parents”.

Legal status of the school.
The education in the project will, just as other activities, by necessity be funded by donations. The school in the project may in this way be regarded as a “private school without school-fees”; only for children in the project.
At a later stage, it may be considered also to admit other children and even to give “Adult Literacy Education”.

Syllabus and Methods:
In order to obtain a relevant syllabus and efficient methods, it is expected that the project will utilize experience gained and material developed by the newly started programme: Non Formal Education (NFE); previously known as Complementary Basic Education in Tanzania (COBET).
This unit, which is under the Ministry of Education, will provide basic education to the almost 50% of the children in Tanzania who, for different reasons, lost their first chance for primary education.

Classrooms ?
As discussed in other parts of this writings, the buildings will be relatively small one-room buildings with a fairly big veranda.
In the costal tropics, such a veranda will be the “everything-room”.
With small groups, teaching will easily be accommodated in the veranda. As a result, there will be no need for special classrooms.

All children will start at the same level.
It should be remembered that children, who will be admitted to the project, will be those who have already lost the chance for formal education.
In this way all children start at the same level. This will ease the teaching and, especially, the preparation of teaching materials.

Innovative material:
Some groundbreaking material is under development. It will enable motivated children to help as part time assistant teachers – of course teaching small groups only.
It is difficult to teach – some teachers will never really learn it and some people are “born as teachers”. With proper help and material and with a very narrow syllabus “unqualified” staff has been seen to do a good job.

Social Awareness:
As discussed in connection with “Small Steps Towards Democracy”, the family-groups should have time and opportunities for creation of a feeling of democracy through decision-making.
At the same time the “Substitute Parents” should discuss and thereby help teaching the very difficult subject, which is usually known as “Social Awareness”.

Further developments:
After the first major evaluation, which is scheduled to take place after about two years, it is expected to start skill-formation, thereby training larger and motivated children in one narrow practical subject. It may best be described as “Mono-Technique”, aiming at Brigade-Activities as introduced in Botswana by Patric v. Rensburg and described in his book Report from Swaning Hill.
Low Costs See How
Limited funds and an overwhelming number of children in need of help.
The situation can best be described as DESPERATE

Therefore it is the aim of our project to stretch the available funds as much as possible in order to help as many children as possible. However, we also want to give the children a start in life, in such a way that they can continue their life when they leave the project and hopefully help to start a positive circle for themselves and for the country.

It may look, as if we want to eat the cake and still have it.

Before you turn to the cost-estimate we will show some of the discussions through which we came to a solution where we will drive forward on the road without falling into any of the two ditches.

  • We must avoid expensive and luxurious projects for prestige.
  • At the same time we must create something, which is more than “just survival”.

A lot of important discussions have centred around this problem and it is the reason for the following:

How Perfect? – How Good? – How Much?
First it must be realized, that the very few children who can be helped by the project will only be a drop in the ocean. It can even be argued, that the project will be a failure if support for future duplication will not be available.

The Dilemma:
In many aspects of life, it may be argued, that a demand for THE PERFECT will destroy the chances for THE GOOD.
This dilemma is the reason for the following discussion, which may easily be regarded as unfinished.

The too perfect, as seen in some prestigious, but well-intentioned projects, will easily give the children a false start in life.
The perfect is where you, for instance, provide beautiful uniforms, first class accommodation, fully qualified teachers etc.
It will unfortunately drastically reduce the number of children who can be helped.
The good is where all of us would like to aim, if the situation was not desperate.
The just good enough will probably indicate a situation, which is better than the alternative, which is “nothing”.
Among other things it will involve:

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