Create an environment conducive to learning
Developing an engaging and positive learning environment for students in schools is one of the most creative aspects of teaching. Typically, the focus is on physical (institutional) learning environments such as lecture halls, classrooms or laboratories and other different technologies used to develop a learning environment.
Following this, Plan Tanzania, a humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights, in collaboration with the government through the Kisarawe District Commissioner, began to create a conducive learning environment for primary school students and secondary to allow for the increase of high passing scores.
Pupils at Palaka Primary School have already started to see light at the end of the tunnel after the construction of ventilated toilets and changing rooms for girls.
Additionally, a process to build an incinerator to dispose of sanitary napkins and other waste is underway through the initiative.
The school, located about 100 kilometers from downtown Kisarawe, was built in 1968.
The Principal of Palaka, Mr. Innocent Emmanuel, said that since the construction of ventilated toilets, students no longer shun classes and enrollment has increased.
“The shortage of toilets in our school will now be a thing of the past after the construction of ventilated toilets for schoolgirls,” he said.
He pointed out that although the boys’ toilets still faced a challenge, he was optimistic that the challenge would end because the community realized the importance of education for their children.
Emmanuel noted that through the organization people have been sensitized and they have found community volunteers who work as a bridge between Plan and their respective communities.
Thanks to the volunteers, the community has so far bought bags of cement to make 300 blocks to build a ventilated toilet for boys that will solve the toilet shortage problem.
The District Executive Director, Mr. Mussa Juma, said that to improve education in Kisarawe, they are also implementing a campaign called “Tokomeza Zero” to reduce or completely eliminate educational challenges in their area.
According to him, through the District Commissioner, Mrs. Jokate Mwegelo, the government initiated the program to increase student performance by improving the concept of learning and conducive teaching environment.
The initiative has improved student performance from 53% in 2016 to 70% in 2017. The intention is to provide quality education in order to achieve sustainable development, which can be done by providing an environment friendly learning environment and an appropriate teaching environment.
He pointed out that despite several initiatives, the district is still experiencing a high dropout rate of female students due to some factors related to inadequate educational infrastructure such as lack of hostels in secondary school.
Palaka student Rahma Ramadhan, 13, said that before the toilets were built, they only had six pit latrines, which meant they had to spend most of their time standing in long queues to use the toilet.
Explaining on menstrual hygiene, she said most girls find it difficult to manage their menstrual cycle because the toilet environment is not conducive.
A community volunteer, Ms. Maimuna Surutan, urged other stakeholders to support the government initiative as students still need a good learning environment.
Plan International Eastern and Southern Africa Region, Sub-Regional Director Mr. Charles Businge said it was good to see the school improving from time to time despite the challenges.
“It is also good to see the efforts of the community. By working together, we would become stronger in offering support to schools,” he said.