In Loongung, Tanzania, infrastructural changes have helped to greatly improve the educational chances for many students. Before the construction and opening of the Primary School in October 2019, the situation was unacceptable for children of primary school age. For them, it was very difficult to attend classes because the nearest school was situated in the neighboring village Looltepes. Looltepes is 23 kilometers away from Loongung. Of course, the children cannot walk 23 kilometers each morning and each afternoon. This has led to the low school attendance rate of 23 % of school aged children.
The School under the Thorn Tree
The Loongung community strongly saw the need for their children to receive education. This is why they hired Lilian as a teacher for their children. Lilian conducted classes for pre-school children and primary school children just outside her house under a thorn tree as there was no school building in Loongung. Many pupils attended these provisional courses. Still, this was not convenient at all.
After the construction of a primary school with two classrooms, a staff office, and a toilet block just next to the provisional school, the situation improved for many pupils. One of the classrooms is used as a pre-school with 123 children in one room, the other classroom is used for 109 Standard 1 students. In Tanzania, a pupil must pass the Primary School Leaving Examination at the end of Standard 7 to obtain a primary school certificate. This certificate qualifies to enter Public Secondary Schools.
The school benefits many children, but more needs to be done. The head teacher of the Loongung Primary School hopes for an extension of the building as the number of pupils is steadily increasing. Luckily, this hope is turning into reality: two extra classrooms will be built in the upcoming year.
It is great to see how much effort the Loongung community puts in their school. When the community saw the rising number of school children, they autonomously hired two private teachers to guarantee an adequate school service for every child. The village leader also strongly commits to the vision of a good education for Loongung children. Education is highly valued by the Massai community in Loongung, and there is more development on the horizon.