A TOTAL of 20,000 out of school children from five districts of Mara Region will be identified and re-enrolled in schools under an ambitious project that is facilitated by the Graca Machel Trust (GMT).
Speaking during the official launching of the project in Musoma on Tuesday, Former South African First Lady Ms Graca Machel said the project is designed to empower vulnerable girls achieve their full potential.
The project titled “Identifying, Enrolling and Retaining 20,000 out of school children will cover Bunda, Butiama, Tarime Musoma and Rorya districts.
The first phase of the project is expected to take two years and later expanded in other parts of the region depending on availability of funds.
Ms Machel said GMT is facilitating in order to supplement efforts made by the government of Tanzania to improve development of the education system initiated by the founding father of the nation, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
“We are here to support your efforts and celebrate with you your achievements,” Ms Machel said when she was addressing key development partners during the function held at the Mara Regional Investors Hall. She further called for a collective approach in resolving challenges facing provision of quality education.
“It is time to face every single challenge in the family, school and the community,” she insisted. According to her, advocacy will be made in collaboration with various stakeholders to change the attitudes of people living in Mara region towards girl-children.
“Every single child counts. Every child has right to succeed,” Ms Machel said in a brief exclusive interview she granted to the ‘Daily News’ shortly after the launching of the project.
Mara Regional Commissioner (RC) Mr Magesa Mulongo took part during the event and pledged full support.
” I will make sure that I support this project by 100 per cent,” the RC said describing the event as historical. Mr Mulongo asked other stakeholders to support the project so as to reach many more out of school children.
Mara Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) Mr Benedict Ole Kuyan, said the government will ensure that there is a friendly learning environment in public schools in a bid to make sure that the project is implemented successfully.
Bishop Michael Msongazila of the Roman Catholic Church in Musoma Diocese thanked Ms Machel for her ongoing commitment in assisting girl
children to get education, saying providing education to young women is of paramount importance.