How one So They Can Teacher Intern is leading the way in agricultural innovation and sustainable initiatives.
Emanuel is a Mamire Teachers’ College graduate, specialising in secondary education chemistry and agriculture.
In 2021, So They Can expanded its successful Internship Program to support 4 secondary schools in the Babati district of Tanzania — this is in addition to the 12 primary schools that the organisation currently assists through the Program.
Noticeably, secondary schools’ science and agriculture-focused subjects were among those facing the biggest challenges, with low student enrolment numbers, declining academic performance rates and teacher shortages strikingly apparent.
Emanuel was one of the first Mamire Teachers’ College graduates to be presented with the opportunity to join So They Can’s Internship Program at Qash Secondary School, one of 4 partner secondary education facilities.
At this time the school was experiencing a number of staffing challenges in their agriculture subject, creating a ripple effect of declining student performance. Enrolment numbers in the subject were also low, with many students dropping out at Form 3 due to the lack of teachers and support; as you can imagine, the Form 4 Agriculture class was very empty.
In Tanzania, agriculture provides a living to around 80 percent of the nation’s workforce*, making it an essential subject for every school. The aim of Emanuel’s internship was to re-energise students’ interest in working on and with the land, and identify ways to improve student enrolment numbers.
Under a year into his internship, that is exactly what he has been able to achieve.
Since Emanuel started at Qash Secondary School, the Form 4 performance status has risen by up to 88%, and the number of students enrolled for agriculture has also grown compared to previous years.
Emanuel has introduced a number of innovative development initiatives, such as the introduction of beehives and beekeeping to help the school to generate a new stream of income and support their school feeding program; a sustainable school garden, which is helping to improve the the quality of food students receive at school; and a brick-making project, which has already created over 10,000 bricks, helping to lower construction costs at the school and provide an additional source of income that can be spend on future school projects.
During a recent visit to the school, So They Can’s Country Director, Terri Anderson asked the head teacher what they will do when the internship is up — the response was ‘we will not let him go’ — a promising indicator that the internship will lead to permanent employment.
So They Can is grateful to the community at LBW Trust for supporting its impactful Teacher Internship Program.
*Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)