The Foundation for Tomorrow recognizes the importance of well-rounded and holistic education that extends beyond the classroom. TFFT provides life skills education through our Full Circle Program, where students learn necessary skills to help them make the most out of their lives. We provide this through co-curricular activities that enhance teachers’ instruction in life skills and through curriculum support and clubs which are an excellent forum for students to learn leadership and communication skills as well as cooperation and teamwork.
This month, September 13th through 16th, we conducted an inter-school essay writing and poster making competition with the intention of engaging students from different schools throughout Meru District. We aimed to promote healthy competition among students and schools, to develop interest in the importance of expressing one’s thoughts in oral or written manner effectively as well as the arts, to provide an opportunity to students of different schools to interact with each other, and finally to encourage schools to give attention to developing and nurturing their students’ talents and skills.
This inter-school competition provided an opportunity for students to participate in a structured activity with students from other schools and gave them the chance to enhance their skills and excel in areas beyond academics.
The competition was opened to students from class 4, 5, and 6 in public schools with two contestants nominated from each school, one for essay writing and the other one for poster making. Representatives from 52 schools participated.
Students were eager to find out what they were going to write about. They were prepared by their teachers, but the competition themes were released on the spot. The essay prompt instructed the students to write a short essay explaining what they want to become in the future, how they will reach these goals, the support they will need, and what obstacles they might face.
I went through essay papers to read what they wrote. It is interesting to see that many primary students in rural Tanzania know what they want to be in the future. Five of the students want to be president of Tanzania. The reasons they provide are astonishing: they want to fight against corruption, to provide free access to education to all kids including street children, to avoid killing of wildlife, and to provide social services. One student wrote that he wants to be president because it is the highest paying job in Tanzania and he wants to have a lot of money and become famous!
The majority want to become primary school teachers, police officers, accountants, and doctors. They all provided the reasons for their choices and what they have to do to reach their dreams.
The students who participated in poster making were required to present how to support the Tanzanian child for a bright future.
In the posters, they drew the necessities for a Tanzanian child to receive a bright future. They drew schools, hospitals, clean water, clean environments, access to church, sleeping in a bed covered with mosquito netting, food, school uniforms, family, exercise and sports, just to mention few.
I submitted these papers to professional judges for marking. These judges are prominent university lectures, and one professor specialized in art and pure Swahili language. Making will take place in one week from the 19th through 23rd of September. After making, the winners will be communicated to the respective schools. The targeted date of the awarding ceremony is 5th October 2016, which coincides with the celebration of International Teachers Day.
To make this event special for the winners, I will request the presence of their parents. Also, parents will feel so proud of their kids and they will be motivated to support and encourage their education when they are at home.
I will share with you in October how the whole activity proceeded, including the award ceremony. I will also try to take short clips from winners to see their view and excitement about this event and what they have to tell their fellow students who did not participate and wish to participate next time. Stay tuned!!!!!!!!