Dar es Salaam. For the first time in Tanzania’s education history, a ward school has emerged the overall best performer in the Form Six national examination results released yesterday.
The school that has shattered the underdog tag is none other than the Arusha-based Kisimiri Secondary, results announced by the National Examination Council of Tanzania (Necta) in Dar es Salaam show.
What follows is the obvious question. Who are they?
Kisimiri Secondary is the product of a collective initiative by a group of villagers, according to the school’s website.
Their idea later received a major boost through a donation from Prof Emil Karafiat of Switzerland. Interestingly, the benefactor’s roots and early childhood can be traced to that village located on the slopes of Mt Meru in Ngarenanyuki Ward, Meru District in Arusha. That is some 65 kilometres from Arusha City.
When it opened its doors in May 2002, Kisimiri Secondary had a humble beginning with only 40 students. It was not until October 2002 that the government allocated teachers to the school.
Now, the fully-registered school has 32 government teachers. It is a co-education institution teaching science and arts subjects. It offers two combinations -- HKL (History, Kiswahili and English Language) and PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Advanced Mathematics) for Form 5 and 6.
“Reading intensively and extensively is our culture,” notes the school on its website.
Meanwhile, Necta executive secretary Charles Msonde said the overall performance in the exams dipped slightly this year.
Dr Msonde said the poor performance in science subjects is the reason behind the slight drop in general pass rate.
He said: “Basic assessment indicates that despite the slight drop in general performance, the pass rate has improved.”
“The results show that pass rate from division one to three has improved by 3.72 per cent from 89.41 per cent in 2015 to 93.13 in 2016,” noted Dr Msonde.
Overall performance dropped by between 5.36 and 8.9 per cent. In the arts category, the drop was by 4.43 per cent while for commerce it was between 1.7 and 6.9 per cent.