Geckos - Village Education Project Kilimanjaro (VEPK)
Education is one of the most important parts of building sound long-term economic growth for Tanzania. With the motto ‘Elimu ni uhai - Education is life’, VEPK projects aim to provide improved primary and vocational education to Tanzanian children.
In Tanzania children go to primary school from age 7 to 14. Most schools are in poor condition with earth floors, breeze-block walls, no shutters or doors and decrepit desks. Over 75% of primary school leavers in villages never have the chance of secondary education.
The VEPK's main focus is the Whole School Development Programme. This aims to improve the all areas of the education experience of children. It includes: training teachers in teaching methods, training headteachers in managing their workload and administrative duties, creating a staff team with delegated duties, working with school committees to address their responsibilities and how they can best be undertaken, and working with parents and the community to create greater awareness of the education of village children and the needs of the local school.
The Village Education Project Kilimanjaro also offers:
A school renovation programme - providing classrooms with floors, whitewashed walls, ceiling boards, tables and benches. This helps increase school attendance, health and morale. Over 17 schools and 6,000 pupils have benefited.
Regular supplies of English textbooks and reading books, Kiswahili reading books, posters, teaching aids, drawing and colouring materials and sports equipment. These increase pupils’ motivation and improve their English learning.
An English teaching programme - after training in the UK, volunteers help teach English in primary schools. This improves pupils’ English and helps the local teachers. English is essential for further education as all manuals, instruction books and text books are in English.
A vocational training school - offers three courses for primary school leavers and village youth. Students produce goods for the school’s own shop which sells to tourists. Young people are provided with skills and earning potential.
A computer centre with courses for adults, special programmes for primary school teachers and internet access. This assists numerous people to learn about and use new technology.
So far over 70,000 villagers are benefiting from these projects.