The Faraja Primary School opened modestly in 2001, with 15 students entering the school and only three teachers. Since then, the school has reached its full enrollment, with approximately 95 students and seven teachers in grades Kindergarten through Class 7 (7th grade).
All students have a physical disability, either from birth, disease, or injury. However, all students are tested prior to admission to confirm that they have the intellectual capacity to complete the standard Tanzanian Primary School curriculum. Faraja follows the standard governmental curricula for primary schools and is fully accredited by the Ministry of Education. Extra training is provided in English and computer skills.
Faraja’s Primary School program has had extraordinary success. Faraja’s graduating students typically score in the top 3% of all schools in its district on their standardized secondary school entrance exams. This achievement astounded the entire country, proving again that disability is not inability. Faraja has received numerous awards from the Education Department and a letter of respect and appreciation from the Tanzania House of Parliament.
In addition to the academic program, students learn life skills. Each student is assigned daily chores, from dormitory maintenance to kitchen duty. Some students learn agricultural skills by helping with the Faraja Primary School’s farm, cows, and chicken projects. In addition to helping make Faraja more self-sustaining, these responsibilities give students a new-found confidence that contributes to their growth as contributing members of Tanzanian society.
All teachers and staff are Tanzanian with full credentials for their positions as required by the government. More importantly, they bring extraordinary care and compassion for the students.