Girls Ed and local partner Project Wezesha are committed to offering academic study camps every June and December between the Tanzanian academic semesters for students studying in remote villages. The rigorous 30-day camps boost academic skills, content knowledge, practical STEM experience, and English language proficiency, as well as cultivate personal responsibility and learner autonomy.
Secondary education in the remote regions of Tanzania are often not up to the standards required to support students as they prepare for national exams, which shape their academic path and potential future success. Teachers and supplies are scarce and many village schools do not have science labs to prepare for the practicals on the exams. In addition, class sizes are large (up 10 100 students) in some schools, which limits opportunities for engagement with teachers, peers and the content.
In 2016, Girls Education and local partner Project Wezesha started offering academic study camps during June and December -- the months between academic semesters in Tanzania. During the 30-day rigorous camp, students attend classes in all core subjects, taught by qualified, dedicated teachers. In the afternoon, they engage in small group study sessions, followed by student-led discussions in the evening. The classes are small, students sleep on-site, eat 3 meals a day, and build community.
We have seen the evidence of study camp effectiveness since we launched them. Students who attended our camps jumped up in class rank from one year to the next. English language proficiency has improved notably. (English is the medium of instruction in TZ secondary schools.) Parents report a change in their children at home - increased personal responsibility, teaching neighbors what they learned, studying throughout the year. Several campers have been accepted to high school and tech colleges.