Hi, my name is Julian Page and I am the founder of the Livingstone Tanzania Trust. Over the past 12 years, we have been working with local schools and communities around Babati, in northern Tanzania, to assist them to achieve their development plans. We believe in unleashing the potential that lies within the community to drive the changes that will bring an end to poverty. We can’t build roads, but we can support teachers to improve their schools and we can train and empower community members so that they can improve their income security.
Babati is a thriving little town set in the Rift Valley, just 1 hour from the gate of Tarangire National Park, one of the best-kept secrets of Tanzania. As a junction town, it is always busy and has an exciting buzz to it. The local market is a hive of activity with stalls full of fresh fruit and vegetables, the hardware shops, tailors, and cafes, all compete with the informal market traders selling everything from jeans to phones to bags for life! The occasional Maasai, dressed in traditional clothing, reminds you that not far away life has hardly changed for millennia.
The teachers in Tanzania want their students to succeed, but schools commonly struggle with overpopulated class sizes, insufficient teachers and limited teaching and learning materials. When faced with this array of challenges, teachers struggle to apply the methodologies they have learned. With growing class sizes multiple students share few resources, and with no computers or photocopier teachers rely on writing on the blackboard — one of the only resources they have. More time is spent writing on the blackboard than teaching or preparing lesson plans. In some schools, teachers face additional challenges such as students coming to school hungry, tired and unable to learn. Our schools have tackled some of these issues but the teachers lack the variety of teaching practices to move away from rote learning techniques of repetition and memorisation.
In partnership with 32 schools across Babati, the Livingstone Tanzania Trust is working with the teachers, school development committees, students and the community to try and address these problems. We ask key questions such as:
- What resources do the schools need to assist the teachers to deliver their lesson plans?
- And importantly how can we help improve the delivery of education?
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This is where LRTT fit in! We are so excited to be partnering with LRTT, as teacher training is the missing piece of the puzzle to support the schools in their development plans. The knowledge, experience and curriculum which LRTT brings will provide the much needed and much wanted help for the teachers who never get the opportunity for personal development.
We are so excited to welcome you to Babati and to the schools we work with, and look forward to sitting at the beautiful lake, enjoying a soda, sharing stories and waiting for the hippos to swim past as the sun sets.
Written by Julian Page
Founder of Livingstone Tanzania Trust
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