Head Teacher

Jubilee 40 years
St.Therese sisters
Self reliance
Parents Participation
Head Teacher
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Nyakahoja Primary is one of the English Medium private schools offering primary education in Tanzania.  The school is owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Mwanza.  It was officially opened on 22nd January, 1962 by the sisters of J.M.J. (Jesus Mary Joseph) from Holland.  Today it is run by Saint Therese Sisters from Bukoba Diocese.
The school provides primary education from preparatory (kindergarten) class to standard seven.  Inspite of being a private school, it has to follow the rules and guidelines from the Ministry of Education in matters pertaining to the syllabus, the lesson to be taught, and the examinations given.  However, in 1967 we were permitted to continue using English the as medium of instruction.
In 1971, the Government of Tanzania nationalised all private schools and turned them public schools. Nyakahoja was the only private school owned by a Religious Community that survived being nationalised.  Since then, Nyakahoja has been and it is still one of the best primary schools in the country both academically and ethically.

The success and good performance of schools come from the efforts of individuals who work tirelessly.  The devoted staff of teachers and workers, as well as the school administration, has been supporting the school towards success.  We are proud to say that teachers, workers, and the school committee and parents, have made Nyakahoja Primary School what it is now. “The peak of academic excellency”. 
Apart from qualified teachers, with the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfil their career requirements, the secret behind our success is respect, trust, co-operation and good communication.
Assigning responsibilities to different teachers’ facilitates the Head teacher’s task.   We work as a team in different departments, which are comprised of subject teachers and class teachers.

Guided by the rules and regulations of the school each teacher is expected to comply with the culture of the school. We also work as individuals as well as in groups.
At the beginning of the academic year there is a participatory planning; each teacher is given an opportunity of choosing the subject and classes she or he wishes to teach.  After choosing subjects and classes, they all sit under the academic teacher to balance the teaching load and revise the ways on how we can assist one another to facilitate the teaching.   
More emphasis is placed on the preparatory class and standard one. These two classes are where special attention is paid to getting qualified teachers who are able to handle them well.  It is somehow easier for teachers to teach in higher classes than it is in lower classes.  The teachers for lower classes need special skills, knowledge, confidence, and above all a high spirit of concern, tolerance, care and love to the youngsters.  In this case, the teachers of these classes are constant and do not change every academic year.
We use the knowledge and skills of workers right from the beginning to get the best product because, if the pupils are not well prepared at lower levels, it would be difficult to have better results at higher levels.
You can’t expect people to do wonders if they do not have proper tools to perform the work. In order to facilitate our teaching and make our work bearable and more enjoyable, the school provides the required teaching and learning materials. Once a month, teachers who teach the same class or are in the same department meet to discuss the progress and needs of the students as encountered on the way.  They also suggest methods or tactics to solve the problems before presenting the issue to the academic meeting or staff meeting.  At the end of each month, there is a staff meeting, where by the academic staff and other support workers meet to discuss on how to improve the school.  Each member is free to give opinions and suggestions by pointing out things that need modification, and means which can help in eliminating the discrepancies.  Meetings and discussions are important for the development of our school, as it is for any other successful organisation.  

The school encourages the workers.
In most cases the workers are congratulated orally and rewarded with small gifts by the Head-teacher. This seems to be a good way of encouraging workers and motivating them.  Employees at all levels are viewed as true partners in achieving our objectives.  In trusting the workers, the head teacher sets up an environment where individuals feel able to make decisions for themselves by developing self-confidence and belief in oneself and in others.  The experienced teachers are requested to help in coaching and guiding newly employed teachers to enable them to adapt to the school system. In this way we are able to get feedback on our strengths and weaknesses and at the same time learn new behaviours and skills.
In supporting high involvement, the school administration shares knowledge and power to act and rewards institute the work force. The workers’ children but not relatives are given first priority to be admitted to the school if they wish.  
It is difficult to give people more responsibility without tangibly motivating and rewarding them. To sustain the workers’ commitment the school uses different systems of rewarding individuals as well as groups for their good performance.  Besides giving immediate recognition, the school provides the necessary supporting services to the workers, such as housing or rent, hospital allowance and extending urgent assistance to those who are in need.
Sometimes, at least once a year, workers and pupils, especially standard seven, are given an outing and tour with refreshments to complement the classroom activities.
Some of the teachers’ children who have been teaching here for more than twenty-five years are excused from paying school fees as a complementary benefit. There are three such pupils this year of 2002.

                                         Nyakahoja teaching staff
What do the teachers say
? “We like our school as well as the working environment. That is why we call ourselves a family of Nyakahoja”.  Experience alone is not enough to add value to learning as a foundation in future competitiveness. That is why the school plans for workshops and on-job training for us in order to be able to cope with the changing technology. Even among the veteran teachers who have been at Nyakahoja since 1970 would like to be equipped with up-to-date skills to cope with the new ever-changing technology”. Some individual teachers are satisfied with the whole system; their major need and concern is to get more short courses in their respective subjects so as to be up-to-date with the changing environment.

There is need for the school to have an intensive plan, to prepare more teachers who will be able to replace those who are about to retire. “We would like the good reputation of our school to be maintained even after our retirement,” comment the veterans. “ We are at Nyakahoja School and we try our best to make our school nourish”, the teachers’ say.

Theories applied in our School:
It is clear that different theories have been applied in order to maintain the spirit of the  workers in identifying themselves with the school. One of the applied theories in which behaviour is encouraged is through recognition.

Not only by the former head teachers, but also other outstanding ones use words of encouragement, cards, letters of congratulations and other hand written notes to show appreciation to individual workers in the school.  They also sometime prepare get together parties to let them enjoy each other and with their couples.    

Non-Teaching Staff
This principle is appreciated by the workers as it gives them more energy and courage to continue doing their work happily.  The administration is working hard to be able to satisfy the self-esteem needed through getting more education, especially in the area of English and modern technology. Some experts say training is a distinct and vital dimension of today’s workplace. It prepares people as, human resources to be more effective and efficient.



The effectiveness of theories and principles applied:  
Generally we workers have identified ourselves with the school as we say ‘Nyakahoja is our school, we have to protect and take care of it, under “Furaha Mapendo na Umoja” especially at this time of high competition.’  
Productivity measured in terms of school performance of the national examination each year is very high.  At the same time, the number of students applying for admission each year is over and above the school capacity. This reveals how parents have great confidence in this school, and this is because of its good reputation and high academic performance.

Absenteeism rarely happens and for good reasons.  If it happens to any teacher, the one concerned has to communicate in advance to the administration to make it possible to assign another person to take care of her/his duty. In this case, absenteeism is very minimal and for unavoidable reasons. Hence pupils get what they deserve daily Most of the workers have no intention of leaving the school.  As it is very difficult to get a chance to work here, it is also hard to leave once’ you are employed.
This is our ‘Jaruba’ or green pastures. This is a nickname given by the workers to address the place. However, those who fail to adapt to the school culture automatically withdraw themselves from the school.  But this happens very rarely. Both teaching and non- teaching staff are responsible and accountable for their assigned duties, such as reporting at the work place on time, preparing lessons and notes, teaching, giving exercises and home-work, and assisting pupils with special academic needs. 

Besides accountability, workers, or members of the family, are supposed to be good models and exemplary within and outside the school. The school family members are very much satisfied with their jobs. That is why they are ready to take risks, as they have freedom to choose and solve work-related problems. Citizenship and self sacrifice are highly practised by the ‘members of the family’, or the workers.  We have been trained to offer each other trust, support, education, ideas, respect, and motivation, which govern our daily duties.  Good communication, co-operation, respect and recognition have enhanced organisational citizenship, common recreational activities, and tea break sharing, giving us more time to socialise with one another.

The participatory system used and good communication has made the members feel that they are part and parcel of the school community.  That is our family.  Hence, we work hard to make it perform well.  In this spirit every teacher is ready to use her/his extra time to help pupils or participate in matters pertaining to extra curricular activities without demanding over time payment.

Workers are ready to give constructive ideas so as to improve the level of school performance. This reveals the workers’ commitment to the organisation.

As we all know,  we differ in our behaviour and in the ways we perceive things.This affects also the level of performance. In this case Nyakahoja Primary School is no exception; not all workers are ready to assume increased responsibility to the same degree.  But using individual groups and teams, we were and still are able to take care of those who are slow to adapt to the system. However, each individual has got her/his own talents, which are very particular and needed, if not necessary.  Keeping this in mind, we designed a control system that monitors each individual’s performance in fulfilling her/his assigned duties.  On the academic side, class teachers and the academic teacher check homework, every month and parents also give feedback to the management if things are not going well. 

Nyakahoja Primary School is doing very well in the field of primary education in Tanzania. The customers’ satisfaction is a clear indicator that parents  students get profit from  the school.

The attitude of good performance and overall success of the school is from the combined efforts of all participants, including the management, parents, students and the community at large.  We all work together for the betterment of our school.  Nyakahoja cultivates deep knowledge and relationships with her customers in an effort to provide high-value customised offerings.

Everything mentioned above is possible due to the good leadership that is prevailing at all levels in the school.  We believe it makes the work environment conducive and very attractive to those who work and study here. Employees at all levels are true partners in achieving our objectives, through making decisions and responsibilities to the workers themselves.

This allows our school to tap the creativity and energy of the workers for the betterment of our school. This is possible through the sharing of information, knowledge, power to act, and rewards through the work force.  Here the management provides guidance and support.

Using wisely qualified workers with the necessary skills and experience, and allowing employees to assist each others, has fostered teamwork spirit, and encouraged workers’ involvement, mutual respect and trust in the school.  We can conclude therefore that to a greater extent the school is characterised by trust, risk-taking and employees’ participation which enable Nyakahoja to improve performance.  This is because employees are willing to accept increased responsibilities are, group oriented, have good interpersonal skills, and at the same time the necessary resources are provided.

 As far as management is concerned, we are expecting to observe the following.
i).      To seek and retain a competitive edge needs employees who are able to provide a competitive focus.  Training will be an important link in empowering employees with such attitudes, so as to make applications and acquisition of knowledge the bedrock of competitive advantages.
ii).     To continue being one of the most successful schools in the country, it needs to ensure that all staff members can put in place strategies and adapt values that will contribute to the organisational objective attainment.
iii).     To satisfy the needs of updating workers with the current technology.
iv).      To introduce and design a new system of training our own teachers who have a good ability for future needs.  

Therefore, we can say that in an increasingly competitive business arena, we workers of Nyakahoja need to keep a cutting edge of development, able to strategically apply our knowledge for potential education opportunities.  

i).    The school doesn’t have a workshop for vocational skills and apparatus or enough teaching aids.
ii).   Band and music instruments for teaching and performances are really a problem at the moment.
iii).  Lack of enough living quarters and workers.
iv).  Lack of some textbooks and reference books published in English. 

The constant devaluation of our shilling has rendered our service very difficult, hence we are failing to meet our objectives. Materials have become more costly, making it difficult to keep within budget.

This school is a voluntary agency, and as such it does not get financial support from government nor does it get financial support from the Diocese due to the precarious financial situation in the Diocese itself.  Thus, its running costs depend on school fees charged from parents, and a small income generated from self- reliance projects, which in fact produce very little contribution compared to actual annual expenses being incurred.

Another sad situation, which seems to overpower us is a rapid increase of AIDS orphans and those children whose parents are dying of AIDS.  They cannot afford to pay for their children to remain in school.  These children now depend on the benevolence of their relatives who also have their own children to take care of.  Eventually, the burden is thrown to us, especially in cases of hospital treatment, clothing and general care.

We believe and hope that by the working hard all problems will be solved and our aim will be attained.

To build a Secondary School (Form I to VI) with effect from July 2002  
To build a Science laboratory .  
To buy more computers and to expand the computer classroom.  
To publish text books and reference books in English because all the current texts are in 

To build more teachers’ houses.  


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