THE Aga Khan University has offered story and textbooks to 16 schools in Arusha as a means to prepare pupils to be good future leaders.
The Dar es Salaambased university offered the books that are in English and Kiswahili to pupils of standards one to five.
A lecturer with the university, Ms Mary Oluga, handed over the books at Emaoi Primary School that is at Kimnyak Ward in Arumeru District.
She said they were determined to build capacity of the pupils, cultivate a reading attitude, enhance intimacy among children, parents, teachers and the community at large as well as make the children manage themselves well so that they become upright leaders in future.
Ms Oluga said the government alone could not do everything, and therefore stakeholders have to chip in and support in some areas, and Aga Khan being a university, it had decided to focus on education for leadership.
She said that project was focused on Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Morogoro and Mtwara regions, and that by yesterday some 61 schools were beneficiaries of the scheme.
The lecturer noted that many students in the country had not cultivated the reading habit so the university feels duty-bound to support the students in those areas, specifically to ensure the culture was maintained from lower levels.
“The Aga Khan Management wants to build capacity in pupils from class one to five in the country so that they direct themselves in reading on their own so that in future become good leaders,” said Ms Oluga.
Arumeru District Education Officer, Hagay Mbwana said the books will be helpful in raising the quality of education offered in the selected schools, calling upon teachers to ensure that the books were well used and well taken care of.
Hagay said there had been a lot of complaints from teachers and students alike in the district, over lack of textbooks and story books and now a solution had been found so what remained was engaging in serious reading.
Emaoi Head Teacher, Mr Justine Pallangyo, thanked Aga Khan University for the support, saying that it had come at an appropriate moment because the schools are faced with challenges in textbook as well as story book availability.
He said the support will act as a morale booster to students as well as raise expose hidden talents in them, saying the challenge was not facing only the school but was prevalent in the entire district.