Tanzania Education Authority (TEA) has raised 30.5m/- in a fundraiser for construction of hostels for girls in secondary schools held at Kibaigwa in Dodoma Region at the weekend.
The amount collected included cash, pledges and building materials.
The launch was graced by Deputy Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Ummy Mwalimu.
Other guests who attended the ceremony were Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai who is also the MP for Kongwa District and other lawmakers, government officials, educationists, stakeholders, local residents, parents and students from Kibaigwa Secondary School and religious leaders.
Speaking at the occasion, Mwalimu said the campaign will help to reduce sexual harassment among girl students that lead to pregnancies and early marriages.
She mentioned some of the challenges that day girl scholars face as limited study time in their homes because they are involved in domestic chores and being prone to harassment on their way to and from school.
“For those who rent rooms in communities surrounding their schools spend much time looking for essentials like water and food supplies, so we kindly request education stakeholders and Tanzanians at large to contribute on this fundraising campaign,’’ she said.
For his part Job Ndugai thanked TEA for choosing Kibaigwa Secondary School to be included in the campaign. He added that the construction of the hostel came as the residents are in the process of building one more secondary school as the existing one is over populated.
For his part, TEA Board Chairperson, Dr Naomi Katunzi said in the campaign that the agency is planning to raise 2.3bn/- that will be used to construct 30 hostels in eight regions.
“After finishing here we expect to go to other schools like Ufana in Manyara, Mibukwe in Tanga, Milola in Lindi, Nyihara in Mara, Lundo in Ruvuma, Butundwe in Mwanza and Buseko Hill in Kigoma.
However students at Kibaigwa Secondary School said they face many challenges including walking five kilometers daily while they are prone to harassment on their way to and from school.
“We promise that through this plan we can be able to put our efforts in studying only rather than spending a good amount of time for domestic chores or looking for essentials like water and food supplies in our rent rooms,’’ Irene Kusena, a Form Three student at Kibaigwa said.