Nineteen students from Mbola Millennium Village, in Uyui district in Tanzania, have been awarded secondary school scholarships from the Connect To Learn program. The scholarship recipients are attending local schools supported by Connect To Learn with mobile broadband technology investments in order to provide these students, their classmates and their teachers with access to quality teaching and learning resources.
“Today we are here to celebrate your hard work. These results are achievements of your hard work, so keep this up even when you are in secondary school,” Gerson Nyadzi, the Mbola team leader, told the students, who attended a special ceremony in February with their parents and local officials.
The lucky students were selected at the end of a tight competition in more than ten primary schools in the cluster. They passed with high marks in all the subjects.
Matatizo Njanga, Uyui District Education officer for secondary education, urged the students to be good ambassadors of the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) wherever they go. He also called on parents to strive for more classrooms and dormitories to be built. “In our district, students pregnancy is an acute problem. It’s better if parents can build dormitories for girls (…) so as they are not tempted by boys and men,” he said.
Osango Kasera, the MVP education coordinator, advised parents to work closely with teachers and follow up their children’s progress. “When you cooperate with teachers, you can get daily updates on both behaviors and academic progress.”
Speaking on behalf of the parents present, Jonathan Kebula thanked the project and Connect To Learn, which have given these students a well-deserved chance to pursue their education. In addition to the students in Mbola, 18 others in Ghana received scholarships at the same time.
Founded as a non-profit public-private collaboration by the Earth Institute, Columbia University, the telecommunication giant Ericsson, the not for profit Millennium Promise, and the US pop star Madonna, Connect To Learn seeks to create a broad, public movement in support of education for everyone. It places a particular emphasis on girls to address the special challenges they face in getting enrolled in school and staying there through graduation.