More girls at the FGM Safe Houses now schools shut
As in most of the world, Tanzanian schools have been closed due to COVID since March 17th. However unlike most of the world students in the schools we work with generally do not have access to laptops, tvs, phones or online materials. Generally they do not even have access to text books.
Therefore we have been working with teachers where we can to get get some printed material to students where possible, and also promote learning materials by radio where students can access those.
The school closures resulted in an additional FGM cutting season, and the FGM Safe Houses we work with had many more girls arriving, a particular challenge meaning they had to turn their vocational training classroom into a temporary quarantine area.
However they have been able to run English conversation classes via videoconferencing with teachers in the UK, and access materials such as Khan Academy on the Raspberry Pi we set up there.
We have also been able to provide materials specifically tailored to the Tanzanian curriculum from SmartSchool Tanzania, that sent a hardrive of material from Dar es Salaam to Mugumu on the bus. The staff and students at the Safe House there are now trialling it, and if it proves successful we will try to roll it out to other schools if possible.
The schools are going back on June 29th. With extremely large classes and often a lack of running water it will be hard to keep students safe. We continue to liaise with our partner schools to help where we can. We are particularly concerned to see whether female attendance will be reduced. Often when times are hard, girls are married off to get cows as dowry for their family. Child marriage is illegal but common in remote communities, and we are working with schools to support girls in these particularly challenging times.
We hope you are safe and well, and thank you again for your generosity in supporting this project.
Learning English via Videoconferencing
Lesson at the FGM safe house