Laughs, smiles and chatter filled the Dining Hall at St Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School on October 10, 2020. St Jude’s farewelled the first class of O Level leavers from our girls’ secondary school. Completing Form 4, the equivalent of completing Grade 10, is an educational milestone for students in Tanzania.
Indeed, being the first girls’ secondary school Form 4 Celebration and Awards Day, it was a major milestone for The School of St Jude. St Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School opened in January 2020, enriching our whole school community and enabling free, high quality education for even more Tanzanian females.
Among the grinning girls was Agness, who was thrilled to have reached this important stage of her educational journey.
“Today I’m hoping to win a few awards in Biology and also receive a Leader’s Certificate.” Agness smiled.
“After my O Level exams, I’ll use my time to volunteer. Teaching is my passion and I would like to come back and help to teach my young peers. I would like to help them with chemistry and biology.”
“Being selected at St Jude’s has been a blessing and my experience here has been amazing. I got to meet and be friends with a lot of other students. I was exposed to a lot of things such as activities and I went up the student rank and became a level coordinator for the Form 4 students,” Agness shared.
Agness’ mother was ecstatic about her daughter’s completion of Form 4. “I’m so happy… My wish for my daughter is one day for her to become a great leader.”
Also beaming with pride was Mr Elimringi, Headmaster for St Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School. “Today I’m so glad. It’s been a long journey to reach this day and we’ve been anticipating and dreaming about this since the school opened. The celebration is important, but we also expect and encourage our students to perform very well in their upcoming national examinations,” he said.
“Our job is to make sure we are raising our girls so that we can have very strong women leaders in this country and raise the number of students that are going to focus on science subjects.”
“We want our female students to healthily compete with male students. I would also like to help the community understand that St Jude’s gives opportunities to all students regardless of individual differences,” Elimringi reassured.
So, what’s next for our Form 4 students? Soon, they’ll sit exams. National examinations take place annually with strict supervision from the Tanzania National Board of Examinations under the Ministry of Education. These exams can determine whether a student is eligible to proceed to their next level of education; students sit these exams in Standard 4, Standard 7, Form 2, Form 4 and Form 6.
Margaret, grandmother to Hilda, one of our exceptional Form 4s, excitedly recalled Hilda’s Student Selection process – it’s still a raw memory, even though more than 10 years have passed!
“I remember the first Selection day, it was tough but I was hopeful that Hilda would get an opportunity to study at St Jude’s… but this is only the first step, she still has a long journey ahead of her.”
Hilda has chosen to study business subjects. She’s looking forward to a bright future, helping to improve her community during her study break after exams.
“I’m so excited and feeling fantastic. I will be spending my time volunteering. I would like to teach. But I will also try and get a job so I can support my family during this time,” Hilda said.
Form 4 Celebration and Awards Day is a huge step forward for our students. Completing Form 4 means they are closer to realising their dreams. For their parents and guardians, most of whom didn’t have the chance to attend secondary school, this is a major step in fighting poverty through education.
Our Form 4 male students at Smith Campus will be having their Celebration and Awards Day on November 7 this year.
Through your sponsorship, more girls will achieve their goals and break the poverty cycle through education.