Having completed a successful three years of nursery, we had our first nursery graduates at the end of 2014. It was an exciting end to the year for all of us here at Tamani, and it was nice to see our vision coming to fruition. Together with the celebrations also came a very tough question – What now for the graduates?
We wanted to make sure that the kids had access to continue their primary education. We researched several options for primary schools among which we found a suitable private primary school close to Matemwe that would accept the kids into their fold. However, due to financial barriers, parents were unable to commit to the proposed monthly fees that would arise.
As the year’s end was coming to a close, parents stayed in close contact with our team to discuss alternatives to make sure that the kids’ three year head start would not go to waste. After much discussion, the parents requested Tamani Foundation to open a primary school on a trial basis.
Making the decision to open a primary school was not an easy one by any means as there were several important challenges to be considered. Our facilities were quickly reaching full capacity and the lack of human resources to accommodate the needs of the school would inevitably take a toll on the high quality we wished to achieve. However, we realised that this was a necessity that needed to be addressed to slowly raise the standard of education on the island. With that said, Tamani Primary School opened in February 2015 with our first nursery graduates beginning Grade One..
Furthermore, a generous donation of land was received in 2015, allowing construction for a new campus that will house the Primary School campus and additional living quarters, both set to open in January 2016.
With the nursery now running at full capacity 24 students per class and primary starting to gain momentum, Tamani has embarked on a few initiatives to ease the load on our current infrastructure. In addition to hiring more staff members to our team, we are investing in an extensive teacher training program that will see our nursery and primary teachers training on classroom and teaching techniques continuously throughout the year. Second, due to the small team,we are also strengthening the volunteering program. This initiative will offer visiting students and professionals an immersive experience in working in a rural educational setting. Whether young or old, passionate individuals will have the opportunity to aid the teaching program and other areas of the organization’s strategic development in an engaged and vibrant learning community. The volunteering program offers short and long term volunteering options for flexibility, and an experience that is truly transformative for anyone who is willing to take the leap.