It’s that time of year again -school bells are beginning to ring all around. Parents and guardians everywhere are getting everything together to ensure that their families have a smooth transition back to school. No matter how young or old children are, the first day of school is a special time for everyone.
As the back-to-school season goes into full swing, children are filled with excitement, but parents/guardians are filled with thoughts of “am I prepared?”. To alleviate this stress, TFFT works to make sure everyone is prepared. The team plans well in advance to ensure that they have everything they need -from toiletries to textbooks. Just like any other guardian or parent busy shopping for their children, the Scholarship Team consults different suppliers ahead of time to purchase school supplies for scholars.
The TFFT Scholarship team is focused on ensuring that all of our 105 scholars are settled in to their respective schools on time and that they have everything they need to enjoy school term. Preparing all 105 scholars can be challenging as the start date is the same date for all, but the scholars have been placed in various schools scattered around the Arusha and Meru Districts.
Since most of our scholars are in boarding school, TFFT provides them with basic supplies items for the one full term. Before the start of a new term, the office looks like a school supply warehouse, filled to the brim with various supplies. Our team assembles all the different items that go into each scholar’s bag, paying attention to detail so no one misses an essential item. The process involves packing for each scholar and labeling scholars’ names on each bag for easy distribution. TFFT consults a school and sports shoes supplier who goes directly to school our scholars’ schools to fit them for the upcoming year. Scholars very much enjoy this process – they are able to choose their own brand new shoes. They love having the opportunity to select something on their own.
The new school term is about looking your best. Scholars invest time and effort in preparations – clothes are hand-washed clean, school shoes are polished to a mirror-shine, hair is in place and looking good, backpacks are neatly packed with books and stationery items – all in readiness for this new term of renewal of their commitment to apply themselves better in the school work and edge closer to their aspirations.
In addition to preparing our scholars with school supplies, the Scholarship team wants to ensure that our scholars are in good health for the upcoming school year. We work with parents/guardians to schedule health check ups. TFFT provides Health Insurance for all our scholars, and we encourage parents/guardians to meaningfully and actively pursue appropriate health care for their children when needed.
The adjustment from home to school life sometimes it takes time for our scholars to adjust, especially adjusting to waking up early in the morning. At home, many scholars are used to sleeping long hours, so the return to the school routine can be challenging. While adjusting to the sleep schedule takes a few days, the overall adjustment back to school takes a bit longer.
To help all our scholars with the transition back to school, we remind parents and guardians of the date and time to bring scholars to their schools. The first day is important to both scholars and their parents/guardians: it is a reunion experience for many, as well as a reminder of the importance of this educational experience which will have such a huge impact on their lives.
Back to school time can be a hectic and anxious time for parents/guardians, TFFT staff, and our scholars. The TFFT plans to have scholars who study outside of Arusha to arrive at school ahead of opening day. This helps these scholars to settle in and rest. This can be complicated, though as bus tickets need to be arranged in advance to ensure that they arrive at school early. While most of these scholars are are secondary school – or high school – students, this can still be stressful. Our team works hard to ensure that plans are thought out thoroughly to reduce any anxiety before the start of a new school year.
In Tanzania, especially for our scholars, the return back to school is full of excitement. Scholars are looking forward to seeing friends, share juicy details about their highlights during the holiday break, and show off their new uniforms and shoes. It’s a new school term, key word being “new”! Schools are ready to welcome back students, and often the predictable English assignment questions will be “write about the highlight of your holiday experience”.
With bags full of school supplies, health checks completed, and on time arrivals for all scholars, the TFFT Scholarship team hopes that each and every TFFT Scholar starts off the new school term on the right foot – fully equipped to learn and prepared to make the most of this educational opportunity.