Robanda Secondary School
The Robanda community on the western edge of the Serengeti needs a secondary school for girls and started construction on one six years ago. 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.
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. We were astounded by the scale of the 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 community leaders are working with other funders to complete latrines, acquire science laboratory equipment, and to outfit the dormitories with furniture, which they expect to complete by the end of 2016.
The school will open in January 2017 with eighty young girls and six teachers, and they plan to expand to roughly two-hundred students very quickly.
The school also hopes to offer A-Levels in the future -- Grades 5 and 6 -- which are not offered at every secondary school. In such a motivated community, we expect they will succeed and be approved to teach A-Levels soon.
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, rather than dropping out. We will keep you posted on our progress and on when the school opens.