Reflections on the International Day of Education
We joined the world on the International Day of Education to celebrate the role of education for peace and development. In our pursuit to transform lives, we prioritize education as a public good and seek all possible means to support children to realize their full educational potential. Leaving no child behind starts with appreciating the essence of education as a building block for a bright future. At ICS-SP, we understand that education can help to break and reverse cycles of intergenerational poverty. However, we are cognizant of the fact that children face a wide range of safety issues that challenge their educational dreams. In collaboration with Tanzania Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, we did baseline surveys to assess performance and attendance rates for both girl and boy pupils in a number of schools in Tanzania. Following the results, we intervened to spike up school attendance and educational attainment through our Lunch and Learn program that has realized a remarkable success.
Nzagaluba Primary School is among the schools that have benefited from our lunch and learn program in Tanzania as confirmed by narrations from the school's Head Teacher."Before the program was implemented in our school, pupils' attendance and performance was poor. The intervention started after the school management and ICS team met and agreed on delivering life skills training to teachers and the non-teaching staff to help create a safe environment for children in and around the school."
During the training, teachers and pupils conducted a safety audit after which they made workable plans to address the risks that were identified during the audit exercise. The headteacher confirms that teachers received sufficient training hence acquiring knowledge and skills enabling them to implement different strategies to address issues of challenging children's behavior hence avoiding the use of corporal punishment which created fear among children instead of helping to instill discipline.
Nzagaluba Primary School has witnessed a remarkable improvement in school enrolment and pupil performance; a situation that mirrors the change in other schools in which we implement the Lunch and Learn Program. Speaking on behalf of the school management, the headteacher states,
"We appreciate what ICS-SP did. The training helped us to improve our relationship with children and parents. Presently, we involved children in developing school rules and disciplinary procedures. This exercise gets children well conversant with school rules and procedures which they follow without coercion because
they are allowed to participate in developing the rules and procedures."