Morogoro. After two years in which they were receiving lesons from only two teachers, pupils at Chohero Primary School in Morogoro Region have a reason to smile, after receiving an additional teacher.
The new arrival, who now brings the number of teachers to three, Mr Juma Chiwela, will now join Headmaster Bernard Pius and another teacher, Mr Henry Mantanji, in teaching 474 pupils. On average, this means that one teacher will attend to 158 pupils.
The news on the arrival of Mr Chiwela comes two weeks after this paper published a series on “teachers’ crisis” in public primary schools, citing Chohero in Mvomero District among the schools with acute shortage.
In the data set dubbed “pupil-teacher ratios in government primary schools 2016,” published on open data portal, as of March last year, Chohero had 440 pupils being handled by two teachers.
And as of September 2016, the number of pupils had increased to 510 while the number of teachers remained the same—two.
Mr Pius told The Citizen at the weekend that the government transferred Mr Chiwela from Mlali Primary School located in the same district.
“He has reported to school since mid January this year. We are happy because he is going to reduce the teaching workload we had,” he said in a telephone interview.
“I will continue to teach from pre-primary children to Standard Three pupils and Mr Chiwela will join Mr Matanji in teaching Standard Four to Seven,” he explained. Mr Pius said the new teacher was happy to join the school despite the poor working environment.
To reach Chohero school, one has to walk for nearly 20 kilometres from the nearest road. Prive motorbikes (bodabodas) are the only means of transport connecting the school to the rest of the district and region.
To ensure Mr Chiwela perform well his duties, the head teacher said he had given him a house. Mr Pius said the government had promised them to bring another teacher. “Up to now, I have 474 pupils including 91 of Standard One. I am still registering and the number of pupils might increase in the next few weeks,” he said.
“The news you published in The Citizen and Mwananchi, have helped us a lot. We thank you for visiting us and spreading the news about our suffering,” he added.
Earlier in January, Mvomero District Executive Florent Kyombo told The Citizen that the government was going to transfer teachers from some schools to ease crises in those with acute shortage like Chohero.