Safari English Club

the site: unguja ukuu primary school

installation: November 2015 ongoing

team and partners: rotary club of Zanzibar in stone town, brighton and hove soiree rotary club, Ann dieckmann, caroline Richardson, Shafii Mwita Haji

project manager: ann dieckmann

We run an after school English club to improve the literacy and language skills of 95 students in the village of Unguja Ukuu.  Most of the students are aged 10 - 13 years old and are preparing for the primary school leaving examinations.  Success in these examinations determines what secondary school they attend.  Previous to our intervention, no students from the village had ever passed these examination.  One year after our first intervention and two students won scholarships to government boarding schools on the main land.  Again, with in a year, all students have progressed to the next level of fluency in spoken English. This skill is the passsport to educational success and future employment.

As school runs from 7am to 1pm, we provide lunch for the students who stay after school for Safari English Club.  The meal consists of beans and rice and is cooked by the deputy headmaster's wife.  We also focus on study skills and run other activities that help the students build confidence in thinking and expressing themselves.

We have an advanced class of 15 students who attend the local secondary school.  This year 6 of our students have passed their Form 2 examinations which means that they can stay at school past the age of 15.  The students say that the English language skills they have learnt in our classes helped them pass their examinations.  This year they are participating in a national debate competition that will be held in Dar es Salam and they have completed a "Work Readiness" course that we developed. They also appreciate the focus on computer literacy and are able to borrow laptops under our "Computer Loan" scheme.

We have an ongoing programme of sending qualified teachers to support local teachers at the Safari English Club.  To find out more, please see the "Volunteers" section of the website.