Preschool and Elementary
In Tanzania children 5 years of age are eligible for pre-primary public education for two years, although it is not mandatory. Kids from age 7-13 are supposed to all be enrolled in free public primary school (Standard I-VII), but families must still pay for school supplies and uniforms. If the family has no money, their children cannot attend school.
Help from Nebraska
The Nebraska Synod of the ELCA Lutheran church teams up Tanzanian Lutheran churches with Nebraska churches to provide support for these families. My church, Trinity Lutheran, has been supporting the Lyamanyaki Parish for over 11 years. We provide uniforms and school supplies for orphans and families in financial need. We have also established chicken and rabbit raising programs, and milk storage facilities so families can earn income.
Children age 14-17 are eligible for 4 years of secondary ordinary level education (Form 1-4). However, children in many low-income families are expected to go to work at age 14 or even earlier. Some kids work for more well-off neighbors as servants or farm laborers. If they are lucky enough to escape this fate, students must pass the Primary School Leaving Exam at the end of Standard VII in order to go on for 2 years of public secondary advanced level education for ages 18-19 (Form 5 and 6). Only about half
of the tested students pass this exam.
The ones who don’t pass can attend trade schools that might teach sewing, cooking, nursing, wood-wo
rking or metal-working. If their family runs out of money, these schools often make a plea to American visitors to provide scholarships so these students can finish their studies. If you are interested in contributing to a scholarship, joining a Tanzania Vision Trip like the one we went on, or just to find more information please visit http://nebraskasynod.org/ministries/globalmission/tanzania/elct.html .