Book chests at schools in Tanzania

VSO was working on a project in Tanzania called RISE (Raise Income for School Education). Under RISE, Dutch education experts would provide teacher training at five target schools. They introduced a new way of teaching that emphasises the child.

VSO needed to supply books for the project to succeed, and this is where the Marthe van Rijswijck Foundation could help. There was a need for both reading books and schoolbooks. Originally the idea was to build a small library, but after further consultation it was decided that chests with books were a better alternative. They can be carried around from classroom to classroom, allowing children a time each day to choose a book.

The reading books were purchased first. The acquisition of the schoolbooks was delayed a little: it is best to wait until after elections to buy new books, in case the new politicians set a new curriculum.

After the books were brought into use, two studies were conduction to see if there were measurable improvements, compared to another school that was not part of the RISE project. The children at the RISE schools tested 1.5 points better than the children not benefitting from the programme. This was no surprise considering the wonderful reaction of the children to the books. They even asked to stay at school to be allowed to read!

The RISE project will continue until April 2017, when the teacher training courses will be completed