Library in Tanzania

  • Education
  • Youth
  • Tanzania
This project is led by Mariam Haidar, a Volunteer from Michigan

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Student performance at the local Secondary School is among the lowest in the district. This can be attributed to many reasons including low English literacy, lack of resources for females leading to absences, and lack of sufficient funding by the government. This project aims to help improve O level student performance at the Secondary School, all the while providing resources for education in health (with an emphasis on women's health). Establishing a library will not only provide textbooks, reading books for pleasure, and other reading materials such as informational packets, but it will also become a safe space for the entire student body (approximately 750 students) to access, study and improve their reading abilities. Textbooks within the library will be available for borrowing, and students in addition to the academic office will be trained to manage the library themselves. This sustainable method builds on the capacity of the school, and the skills of each participant involved. Resources within the library will be made to supplement events and club activities held at the school. Within the 2019 school year, we will have finished furnishing the library, trained the project committee to co-manage the library with two student librarians, and assisted multiple secondary projects. Each January, starting in 2020, incoming female students will receive information about female health, both in English and Swahili. All resources produced for such events will also be available within the library as well. By April 2020, the project committee will gather to compose a thorough report of the impact of the library on the school community. If successful, this library will become an integral part of the Secondary School and local community. Students will be able to utilize it for research, teachers to produce teaching aides, and overall student performance will improve. To best gauge the success of this project, committee members will be examining trends in student exam results.

Should textbooks, NECTA review books, or dictionaries become stolen or lost, they can be replaced by being purchased from a local stationary using school funds. All informational packets will be stored on multiple USBs (stored within the headmaster's office as well as the academic office), and can be reprinted in the event that they are lost, stolen, or damaged. Replacement ink and toner cartridges, paper, and printer maintenance can be purchased by the school. They can be acquired from a local stationary, using funds the school receives from the government allocated towards stationary, maintenance, and examination printing costs. The academic office will be in charge of this, with follow up and management from the headmaster and treasurer. Student librarians will work in the library for a period of 6 months. 3 months of training while working with a more experienced student, and 3 months training and working with the replacement student librarian. This results in 4 students a year being trained, in a sustainable cycle. The academic office will also have been trained in the event that the librarian has any questions or concerns. With proper care, the local Secondary School can reduce their costs of replacing books and printer maintenance. The library will be maintained using the school’s funds that are received from the government. This way, the school should not to have to rely on outside funding following project implementation based on all the money that the printer/copier saves.

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