Loud cheers, claps and laughs can be heard in the hall as the Form 6 graduating Class of 2021 perform on stage one last time. This year, The School of St Jude is celebrating 139 graduates; 75 girls and 64 boys.
In Tanzania, the final two years of secondary school are called Advanced Level (A Level); Form 5 and 6. These Form 6 graduates have now completed their A Level studies and are ready to embrace the next stage of their academic journey… higher education!
Mr Sabas, Headmaster at Smith Campus, begins his speech “This is our seventh class to graduate from Form 6 since 2015, and I am happy to see them reach this milestone.”
“Today we are congratulating the students for the time spent in school, giving them hope and encouraging them on their journey that they are about to take soon after they graduate secondary school.”
He adds, “We've raised good boys and girls. Before they did their final exams, we prepared them well and I am confident in their abilities. My hope is for each one of them to get excellent results.”
William is one of 64 boys completing his A Level studies. William joined St Jude’s in 2018 when he was in Form 5; studying physics, chemistry and biology.
“Before St Jude’s, I was in a government school. The environment and academics there were completely different. If it wasn’t for St Jude’s I don’t think I would’ve reached my goal,” William explains.
"I can’t explain my happiness today. I believe I’ve made my father and my whole family very happy,” he says with a smile.
Tanzania has 4942 O Level secondary schools compared to a mere 762 A Level secondary schools. Only 30% of children in the country are enrolled in secondary education, and about 60,000 students drop out of O Level secondary schools each year, 50% of them girls.
“Female students struggle a lot to complete school,” says Janet, Form 6 graduate.
Janet joined St Jude’s in Standard 1 in 2009. Starting her early education in a government school, she explains the difficulties female students face in achieving their goals, “Girls like myself don’t get to reach this level in a government school because of lack of resources and also because of the societies we come from.”
“Some of my friends dropped out of school at the end of primary and O Level. They are just at home either married, divorced or some with children. I honestly feel like I’m the lucky one to be able to get this opportunity to continue with my studies.”
“I’m looking forward to pursuing a marketing degree in university but for now, I’m excited to start my Community Service Year in the Beyond St Jude’s Program, where I’ll be teaching primary students in a government school,” Janet adds.
The Community Service Year (CSY) is part of the Beyond St Jude’s Program for Form 6 graduates. Graduates volunteer in their first year out of school by teaching in local government schools or in non-teaching placements throughout St Jude’s campuses to give back in appreciation for the free education they received at St Jude’s.
Ready to start her CSY program is Shamsia, who’ll be joining St Jude’s Marketing team.
“I feel so happy today and I’m proud to have completed Form 6,” Shamsia says with excitement.
“Joining the Marketing team at St Jude’s feels great because this field has always been my passion. I’m truly looking forward to learning skills that come with this field before I go off to pursue my degree in marketing,” she adds.
Upon successful completion of their CSY, volunteers are eligible to apply for BSJ tertiary scholarship, enabling them pursue their first higher education qualification specific to their field of interest.
A big congratulations to all the Form 6 graduates for completing this stage of their academic journey. These graduates are changing the status quo, writing their own stories and paving the way to a brighter future for themselves and their families.
With your support, poor, bright students like William, Janet and Shamsia, can complete secondary school and help themselves and their families take steps towards a future of empowerment. Sponsor an academic scholarship today!
In a world where we in Australia take so much for granted. Jemma and her team at St Jude's turn dreams' into real life-changing experiences. The students of St Jude's are an example to us all that one person's dream can change the lives of so many for the better. God Bless all the team at St Jude's for the wonderful work you do.