English is the language of commerce in Tanzania, yet public education system uses Kiswahili to instruct primary grades and shifts to English afterwards. Due to poor command of English very few students go on to study beyond 7th grade, and fewer still go on to university. Rural children are at a further disadvantage due to lack of affordable private schools, which breach the language divide in large population centers. We aim to improve the odds of a better life for kids in one village.
Studies have shown that language is learned best at a young age, when children spend at least 30 % of time in a contextual environment. Since 2012, Ikirwa School has been building an affordable program, which insures that students become fluent in English at an early age, and are not limited academically as they progress from Primary to Secondary levels and on to universities world-wide. All subjects, except Kiswahili are taught in English by local teachers, with extensive US volunteer support.
We are a small school making a big difference in a rural community. Ikirwa School is the only option for English-language education in Midawe and nearby villages of Bangata and Ulonga, popl 6,000. Since 2013 we've grown from 30 to 110 students by building one classroom a year. By 2018 our Primary School will have capacity for 200 students and become financially sustainable. Secondary school will add 100 more spots. We expect to send our first graduating class to the university in 2023.