For Grade 7 students in Tanzania, national exam day is make or break: Students who pass can continue on to public secondary school, while students who fail must find a private school alternative … or give up on their education entirely.
Due to financial hardships, the students who attend the six Tanzanian schools supported by Grand Circle Foundation were frequently arriving hungry on test day and without the basic supplies they needed to complete their exams—if they even came to school at all. To ensure that the students had all the tools they needed to succeed—and to reduce absenteeism—Grand Circle Foundation began an exam incentive project.
Prior to taking their exams, every Grade 7 student at Foundation schools received a bag containing standard issue pencils, a ruler, and an eraser, as well as a pack of peanuts, an orange, and a pack of glucose cookies to stave off hunger pains throughout the day. In addition, each school received bags of porridge and sugar so the students could enjoy a filling meal before the exam began, which not only boosted their concentration, but also compelled more students to come to school on exam day. Teachers also received an incentive: Each staff room was stocked with tea, sugar, milk, and a box of cookies to help the teachers get through the stressful day.
The exam incentive project was spearheaded by OAT Trip Leaders Ronald N. and Zablon S., overseen by a member of the Department of Education, and made possible by the generous donations from our travelers.
Visit one of the schools supported by Grand Circle Foundation on OAT’s Safari Serengeti: Tanzania Lodge & Tented Safari adventure.