Some Historical Facts...
Our School - Julius Kambarage Nyerere's Idea
Julius Nyerere lived in Butiama and was a teacher before he became the first President of Tanzania when the country won its independence from England in 1962. He always held a deep respect for education as the foremost way to truly promote change and self-reliance. In 1985, he resigned as President, returned to his village of Butiama and focused much of his energy on improving education in Tanzania. In fact to this day, he is always referred to and known simply by the name "Mwalimu" which means "teacher".
He began to build the future Chief Wanzagi Secondary School in neighboring Buturu with his own hands and the help of the villagers. Although the school was originally planned as a primary school, after Nyerere's death in 1999, the Nyerere Foundation determined that the school, located on land owned by Nyerere, would become a secondary school.
Why "Chief Wanzagi Secondary School"?
The school is named after Chief Edward Wanzagi, the elder brother of Mwalimu Nyerere. Nyerere preferred the school to be named "Chief Wanzagi Secondary School" in honor of his brother who was to receive education under the colonialists but preferred to offer the chance to his younger brother Julius Nyerere. If it was not for the generosity of his brother, then Nyerere would not have received the education which he received leading to becoming the first president of Tanzania.
Sisters of the Resurrection
The Sisters of the Resurrection, an international religious Congregation was asked to come establish the school as a boarding school for girls. This fits very well with the mission of our Congregation which is the uplifting of women in society. Very few girls have the opportunity to attend Secondary School, which is the equivalent of Grades 7-11 in the USA. Even though many schools have been built in the last few years, there is a great shortage of teachers and there can be as many as 150 students in a given class. Of Secondary School age girls, only about 2% have the opportunity to finish Secondary School. Boarding schools are important because girls traditionally do most of the labor in the family and take care of younger siblings, giving them very precious little time to study.
In March, 2007, Chief Wanzagi Secondary School was given over to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Musoma. When the Sisters arrived from Poland and the USA, there were several classrooms, an Administration Block and a toilet building about a block away from the classrooms. The Sisters have used their own Congregational financial resources and have had to depend on the generosity of donors to bring water into the buildings, to put up tanks to collect rain water, to bring a septic system and electricity to the toilet building and to have bunk beds constructed.
... and What's Going On Nowadays?
The Sisters of the Resurrection, who have volunteered their educational experiences, are very concerned about the status of girls' education in this region of Africa. The Sisters bring much educational and formational experience to this new school, as they administer and staff schools in many different countries, all over the world.
To Help Girls' Dreams Come True...
The school has alredy the official registration by the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Training as well as a great reputation. Each day brings requests for acceptance of another student or two. The education the girls receive at Chief Wanzagi Secondary School will enable them to go on for farther studies and help fulfill their dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, journalists, teachers etc. They can receive an excellent education at this school allowing them to have the same educational opportunities that boys have. Many times, girls tend to have many household chores interfering with their education at Day Schools. A boarding school allows them to focus on their education and preparation for their future role in society and the country.
"We feel that our girls have received an outstanding education compared to what would be available to them in other schools here. More importantly, however, is the way that our students have developed spiritually and morally and have grown in their respect for others as they come to more fully realize God's unconditional love for them. We have formed close community bonds between the Sisters and students and among the students" - Sister Stephanie said.
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