- This week a leading African energy company came in handy to renovate Pugu Secondary School’s library, opening a new world of learning for over 900 students and 76 teachers at the school.
Every school prides itself in a rich resource centre because it makes both learning and teaching a great pleasure.
This week a leading African energy company came in handy to renovate Pugu Secondary School’s library, opening a new world of learning for over 900 students and 76 teachers at the school.
Since its establishment, the school has produced several leaders in the country. It is this rather unrivalled position that drove Sahara Group to support the school by renovating its library.
Pugu Secondary School, formerly St Francis Secondary School is where Mwalimu Julius Nyerere taught before taking a short at the struggle for independence.
The school library was renovated and more textbooks added to revive its lost glory.
The name Mwalimu was given to Tanzanian founding father as a result of teaching at Pugu Secondary School in 1950s since he was the only indigenous teacher at the school.
For many decades, the school has produced political leaders and notable Tanzanians, including the third president Benjamini Mkapa, Prof Ibarahim Lipumba of the Civic United Front (CUF), Kitila Mkumbo political analyst, Prof Adolf Mkenda, the current Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Trade and Investments.
Others are the former speaker of Parliament, Pius Msekwa, former Dar es Salaam mayor Jerry Slaa, former vice-president Mizengo Pinda and Damian Lubuva who is the National Electoral Commission Chairman. However, despite such achievements the school’s library was in poor condition and lacked textbooks which made it more difficult for students to read during their spare time.
This is why Sahara Group refurbished a library and disbursed Sh30 million for buying 2,000 textbooks and supporting training 15 teachers on how to manage the library.
Head of the Sahara Tanzania Foundation Babatomiwa Adesida said they thought of giving back to the community by starting with Pugu Secondary because the school has produced prominent politicians and notable leaders.
“Though we have only been operating in this country for a year, we thought of giving back to the society through this iconic school which still has the potential to produce leaders in the coming years,” he said during the inauguration of the school library, adding that he was delighted to be given the opportunity to empower young minds in Tanzania.
The project was carried out by Sahara Group’s subsidiary, Sahara Tanzania in conjunction with Sahara Foundation, the Group’s Corporate Responsibility arm and READ International, a non-government organization.
“In addition to renovating the library and refreshing its ambience, Sahara also donated new books which we believe will inspire the students to pursue their dreams and aspirations with renewed vigour. At Sahara, we are passionate about providing platforms that transform lives,” he said.
Whist formally inaugurating the library, Acting Commissioner for Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Nicolas Buretta, said he was confident it would “improve access and equity in education for the current and future students of Pugu Secondary School.”
“Sahara’s gesture resonates with the resolve of the Tanzanian Government to sustainably improve access to quality education. We commend Sahara for identifying with youth empowerment in Tanzania and I urge the students to make maximum use of the library and care for the books to ensure sustainability,” he said.
In view of this, the commissioner urged District Council directors to set aside funds for construction of libraries to ensure the provision of quality education.
“Libraries are very important in schools. I therefore call upon district councils to set aside funds for construction of these facilities, especially in secondary schools, “he said.
He added that for Tanzania to become an industrialised and middle income country, it should have competent graduates with enough experience to read and interpret issues without facing difficulties.
Mr Burreta explained further that looking into the fact that the government has set priorities in education sector such as to improve access and quality education, improvement quality and relevant of education, he was optimistic that the issue of libraries would be implemented accordingly.
He said that no quality education can be attained if the country cannot have qualified teachers and conducive and learning environment therefore the only way to achieve this is emphasis on having enough text books and build libraries in schools.
According to him, quality education system would bring positive altitude that can add value to the development goals of the country’s vision 2025.
Pugu Headmaster Jouvnus Mtabuzi said the renovation had come at the right time because the school lacked basic learning materials, which were important for enabling learning environment.
He was optimistic that his school will produce brilliant students which resonates with good qualities of leadership.
“The learning material was among other challenges we were facing but currently we will continue producing better students especially looking into the fact that we have put strategies to ensure that they perform better during finals exams,” he said.