Tanzania Government to Rescue Schoolchildren from Crossing Hazardous River for Learning

The Nkenge constituency Member of Parliament, Florent Kyombo(in black eyeglasses), with his team crossing the Kagera River by a locally made canoe

The Nkenge Member of Parliament, Missenyi district in Tanzania, Florent Kyombo has said the government is set to start a preprimary satellite school in Lushenye hamlet in Gabulanga village, Kassambya ward, that will see school children relieved from crossing Kagera river for over 45 minutes to attend class sessions in nearby Bugorora primary school in Bugorora ward.

School children are forced to cross the Kagera River in a locally-made canoe, amid challenges associated with hippopotamuses, crocodiles, cobras, winds, and terrible marine changes.

Located in Gabulanga village in Kassambya ward, it is about 18 km to reach the village headquarters. At the same time, sometimes the path is impassable during the rainy season, so residents opt to go for necessities in the neighboring Bugorora ward by crossing the river.

Speaking in a tour of the Lushenye hamlet in Gaburanga village, after crossing the Kagera river by canoe, accompanied by Missenyi District Education Officer, Warento Warento and other government and party(CCM) officials, the Nkenge legislator expressed his concern to the dangers endured by school children, who struggle to fight for education.

“I am indeed, touched by this kind of environment. The government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan, will have this challenge dealt with once and for all. In the meantime this year, I am set to bring you an engine vessel, which will be ferrying you to the nearby village easily, and next year I’ll bring the second vessel, both by Nkenge Constituency Development Catalyst Fund”, he said.

Mr.Kyombo informed that the government received the resident’s need to have a satellite school and the government allocated funds in 2021 for the construction of two classrooms to complete within 45 days, but by that time the area was in floods, it was unable to do that and the fund had to be diverted to other needy areas.

”I call upon the village authorities to show us the site, which will have enough land for a school, thank goodness the village chairman is here and ready to let us visit the plot after this meeting,’ noted Mr. Kyombo amid applause.

The Nkenge legislator, who doubles as the parliamentary land and settlement committee chairman, said, the government was concerned about good people’s livelihood, expounding that, education was one of the utmost priorities of the Sixth Phase Government.

“The District Education officer accompanies me. I have asked him to join me on this trip so that he can see the real situation of learning in the other part of the remote areas in my constituency. I must thank him for heeding my call,” he said.

For his part, Misenyi Primary School education officer, Mr Warento Warento said, he would collaborate with the Member of Parliament to implement all the plans instituted by the government.

The Lushenye sub-village has more than 90 households, more than 100 schoolchildren most of them go to Bugorora primary school and some to Gwankimba and Kyabugombe primary school, and Nkenge secondary school.

According to Hamza Sadiq, sub-village Chairperson, they have a timetable for every man to take duty at canoeing schoolchildren early in the morning, and when they are back.

“We pray to Allah that something bad won’t happen, because there are times when pupils take a canoeing themselves, before the time allocated for a man on duty, claiming they are hurring to school, and it has been reported more than once that pupils under eight years who are in preschool, and those up to standard three do the same, shich is very dangerous”, said Sadiq.

The Preprimary Satellite project in Tanzania aims at providing a child-centered early years education in some of the most remote villages.

Up to December 2021, the government has constructed 3,000 classrooms for satellite schools across the country costing 60bn/-.

By Mutayoba Arbogast, K-NEWS, Tanzania Contributor

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