Watching them ‘struggle’ against sleep that pins them to their soft warm beds; calling them once, then twice and then for the third time. There’s no way in polling them out of bed. And then gradually, watching them lazily get up in the morning to have their breakfast, getting their satchels ready for another day of school. What in the west may be considered as being something of the norm, in other parts of the world, it is almost a target. But beware: we are not describing an inappropriate comparison between the place where a European rather than an African child sleeps, not even for the evident difference in food and facilities. Oh no! It ha sto do with the gap that divides the two realities which is part of the essence in the growth of a nation: the school.
In Tanzania, for example, the distance that lies between the central modern cities and the villages located in the immense wide open spaces. Measuring 947.300 square kilometres, it is the 31st largest country in the world. It is as big as Nigeria and Egypt, and three times the size of Italy, located on a high plateau. In order to get to the “outskirts”, it takes 8 hours drive; and it is almost improbabile that there could be teachers adquately qualified enough willing to commute evry morning to go and teach the young Africans. Unless…
“We thought that the only solution would be to create the conditions so that the teachers would stay near to the school –says Tullio Attilio Dariol, from the Onlus Pharmacists in Aid who spoused the project from the Association Bertoni –. The idea ‘The house of teachers’ was born here, that of creating or better, the wish to offer the teachers, who arrive from the far off cities, the minimum conditions of comfort and privacy which intend ensuring a suitable logdging in these areas.
An example? The “Amani English Medium Primary School”, which started off at Kisanga in the valley of Yovi. With the prospect of expanding, which this project foresees, Bertoni povided to take on four new highly qualified teachers, who, right from the beginning of the accademic year, have been incorporated into the school-staff.
Thanks to their support, it was possible to introduce middle-term exams in all the classes, which will go to make up the whole system of assessment , and above all, extra lessons are being offered especially to those children who have major difficulties. All these efforts, have begun to bring in results: an example is the admission-test to the Secondary school of Msolwa (one of the most famous in all ) a boy that came from the Amani School, obtained the best results in the maths test out of 1000 candidates, he got 96/100! A slap in the face to discrimination and brain-boxes oppressed by poverty.
As how unthinkable as it may be in the west to find a valid teacher for children, just as it may be to immagine how little it takes in those countries to guarentee the right to study: the funds needed in the construction of four houses for teachers at the Amani School which ammounts to 3000 Euros for each house. Two of the four houses planned, have already been completed. The local contacts are counting on putting solar-panels for power supply on all the houses; a further 2000 Euros. For a total of five thousand Euros to build a home and ensure a workplace and logdging to those who will devote a year of their life to provide with the minimum foundations for a cultural growth. This is more than just a flight of intellect…
Translation provided by Marina Stronati