Eden teachers and pupils forge ahead to raise cash for link school

Date: Friday 22nd June 2012

FOR the past eight years North Lakes and Temple Sowerby schools have been linked with Uru Primary School, Tanzania, and more recently Ullswater Community College and Kirkoswald School.

Situated on the foothills of Kilimanjaro, this small primary school offers children from the surrounding villages a vital education. Children attend kindergarden from the age of five and, after seven years of education and a pass in national examinations, they graduate to a secondary school, hopefully in a nearby area, but sometimes it can be hundreds of miles away from home.

A number of teachers from Penrith have visited Uru over the years and some have returned to work at the school for many months at a time, helping to teach English language and offering support to teachers too. Peter Shayo, headteacher of Uru Primary School, visited Penrith in 2004 and hopes to do so again in the near future.

All the Eden schools are pleased with how their link has strengthened over the years. Children correspond regularly via letters, exchanging information on differing lifestyles, values and beliefs and both communities learn from each other. Pupils ask many questions from observing pictures and videos of life in a contrasting location to Penrith.

“It is amazing to see children’s faces when they have a letter in their hand from a friend in Tanzania. The link offers children in Penrith a real insight into the wider world,” said Lindzi Greenwood, who co-ordinates the link at Penrith’s North Lakes School.

Barbara Key, headteacher at Temple Sowerby School, said: “This is global education at its best. Children have a real insight into our wider world. So many friendships have been formed by children and staff over the years and we really value the opportunities this link provides.”

Schools in the Eden area are always looking for opportunities to help Uru school financially and headteacher Peter Shayo has an excellent vision of Uru’s development and sustainability. In the past year staff from both schools have organised a ceilidh night which raised funds to enable an electricity supply to be connected to the school dining hall.

Now members of the Uru community can hire the building for wedding events, elections and community meetings. This helps to generate a small regular income for Uru school. This year’s project is to raise funds to help supply new text books for examination prep and a photocopier which would be used by a number of schools in the nearby villages. A second ceilidh was being held last night.