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Increased accessibility to professional education for the youth through the construction and equipping of a technical school in St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Educational Centre in Segerea (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Tanzania is among the 30 poorest countries in the world. Its population is 49.639 million. The average age is 17.4 years. The population is young and has a high growth rate (2.2%). The percentage of young people aged 15-24 years is 19.5% of the total population (4.638 million – boys; 4.841 million – girls). Only 60% of children undergo primary education and only 167,000 continue their education beyond primary level. The greater majority of young people have no opportunities to study. As a result of this, only 67.8% of the adult population (79.4% of men and 56.8% of women over 15 years of age) can read and write.

Dar es Salaam is the biggest port city in Tanzania and is inhabited by 3 million people. There are only 500 primary schools in the city.

The St. Maximilian Kolbe Education Centre, run by Polish Franciscan fathers, is located in the Segerea district in the western part of Dar es Salaam. The residents are primarily young people who have come here from other parts of the country in search of work and a place to live. There are tens of thousands of families with small children living here. Most of the residents of the district and its surroundings have no steady employment. They are engaged in small trade or temporary jobs in construction. Many operate small service points (shoe repair and cleaning, tailoring, delivery of goods by cart, automobile washing and cleaning).

The Education Centre, established in 2008, does not apply religious or ethnic criteria when recruiting students. The attending children represent three religious traditions: 1/3 are Muslim, 1/3 represent animist and ancestral religions, and 1/3 are Christian. Currently, the centre has two kindergartens (310 children), a primary school (800 students), a dormitory (680 children) and a gym. The centre has gained universal recognition from the educational authorities as well as the residents of the district due to its high teaching standard, care for the children, decent and safe teaching conditions and excellent results. In 2017, thanks to Polish development aid, the Centre was expanded to include a primary school for 800 students.

Increased accessibility to professional education for the youth through the construction and equipping of a technical school in St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Educational Centre in Segerea (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

The aim of the project was to improve access to vocational education for economically disadvantaged young people through the construction and furnishing of the vocational school building within the St. Maximilian Kolbe Education Centre in the Segerea district of Dar es Salaam.

The project increased access to vocational education, enabling poorer young people from the Segerea district, often supported by the Distance Adoption scholarship fund, to train as, for example, electricians, carpenters, mechanics or office workers/IT specialists. The young people that attend the centre not only acquire a secondary education but also take part in apprenticeships in the vocational workshops attached to the school, during which they gain skills that will be important to them in future employment. In the school, there are workshops and classrooms for 200 students. The school offers an opportunity to learn a trade for boys and girls, who without this chance would be forced to end their education at primary level.

Increased accessibility to professional education for the youth through the construction and equipping of a technical school in St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Educational Centre in Segerea (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

During the project’s implementation, a coeducational vocational school was built and furnished within the St. Maximilian Kolbe Education Centre in Segerea in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

On the ground floor of the building, four workshops were built, and on the first floor four lecture rooms, a computer room and toilets were also installed. Purchases to meet the vocational school’s educational needs included 10 desks, 10 chairs, 8 blackboards, 52 school benches, 100 lockers for clothes, 26 computers, an interactive whiteboard for exercises and a planer.

The new facility is intended to offer education for 200 additional students. In January 2018, student recruitment was started for the first semester, which will begin in April/May. In 2018, eight vocational teachers and five administration workers will be employed.