Robanda Secondary School
In a matter of months, the Robanda community on the western edge of the Serengeti will be opening a secondary school for girls that has been six years in the making. The community has built two dormitories, an administration block, toilets, classrooms, a headmaster's house, a laboratory, and the foundation for an assistant headmaster’s house. The only thing they still need in order to open is teachers’ housing.
When we visited the school in May 2016, we were astounded by the scale of work that the Robanda community has completed on their own! In order to help them get across the finish line and be able to accept girls this coming school year, we have started construction on two 2-in-1 teachers' houses. The teachers' housing is one of the last remaining projects that needs to be completed before the government gives Robanda permission to open the school. The school will open in early 2017 with eighty young girls and six teachers, and they plan to expand to roughly two hundred students very quickly.
The girls from Robanda currently attend school 45km away in Mugumu. The school in Mugumu does not have dormitories, so many of the girls stay in hostels and end up dropping out or getting pregnant.
Girls with a secondary school education are ten times less likely to become pregnant as adolescents than girls with a primary school education or less. As of 2012, 98% of girls are enrolled in primary school, but only 24% are enrolled in secondary school. This has been slowly increasing, but the lack of convenient, high-quality secondary schools close to communities in which they live means girls have few educational options.
We are thrilled and relieved that these young girls will be able to attend secondary school closer to their families and safely board there while completing their studies.