May 21, 2012

The first Baha'i secondary school in Africa -- Ruaha Technical Secondary School in Tanzania:

The first Baha'i secondary school in Africa is a dynamic place to visit and to pioneer. The Ruaha Technical Secondary School, which is nestled on some 50 acres along the Ruaha River and several kilometers outside the town of Iringa, Tanzania, at an elevation of about 5,000 feet, was begun a mere three years ago with the laying of the foundation stone on October 29, 1985.

Only 55 days later, when the first classroom building was completed and the school administrators asked permission to open, the government Ministry of Education was astonished, and sent several officers to check the buildings. They were quickly reassured, and classes began on March 27, 1986, with students in Form I, the first year of high school. In its third year of operation, the school had Forms I, II and III with about 300 students. Plans were formulated to continue adding students until Forms I-VI are included; the latter two Forms are above the usual four of high school and will teach the technical subjects -- air conditioning and refrigeration, auto mechanics and electric power production are some of the possibilities.

The school is on property donated by the Town Council of Iringa. All buildings are constructed of brick which is fired right on the property; they include classrooms, a science lab, offices, a canteen and shop for everyday items, a staff room, and teachers' housing. The school is owned by the National Spiritual Assembly of Tanzania and approved by the country's Ministry of Education. (Adapted from the Baha’i News, August 1988)