The Ilolangulu Primary School, located within the Mbola, Tanzania Millennium Village, was recently presented with the long-awaited outcome of a months-long procurement process — new textbooks, enough to provide each teacher with a class set of texts for each subject. This new development is one of many important steps for students, teachers and community members in the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goal of a universal primary education.
Before the delivery of the new textbooks, students were accustomed to sharing outdated books with up to thirty-five of their peers. Welcoming the Friday morning caravan of book-bearing aid workers was fanfare and celebration, as a group of older students — members of Ilolangulu’s student show choir — broke into well-rehearsed harmonies, performing an energetic rendition of the school’s Alma Mater.
Community and Gender Facilitator Fadhila Lemba was present to hand deliver each teacher their pre-sorted stacks, as a crowd of seated students looked on from the shade of Ilolangulu’s mango trees.
“The new books are so beautiful,” declared Fatuma, an excited round-cheeked Standard 2 student. “I want to touch them, and read them, and learn about the things they contain.”
Ilolangulu is one of several isolated communities located in the hilly terrain of the Millennium Village of Mbola — an area that over the years has endured a number of challenges, from environmental degradation to a lack of basic health and educational infrastructure. The new textbooks are a meaningful addition to the ongoing transformative measures in their community. Newly constructed school facilities, a refurbished health-centre and increased access to clean water all encompass the multifaceted development efforts that have been benefiting this Millennium Village.
In conjunction with the school meal program, which has been credited with increasing school attendance from 60% in 2006 to 96% in 2009, the delivery of the new texts has brought a new energy to the Ilolangulu Primary School.
Reporting contributed by Neha Mistry.