Two. Two. One.
For the 2nd year in a row, all of Form Two students at the Kitenga Secondary School for Girls scored in Division One on their National Exams!
Considering that less than 20% of Tanzanian girls graduate from secondary school, this is a notable measure of success for this school, for these students.
I am lucky enough to be in Kitenga right now, and arrived soon after they learned of their scores. The Form Two students started a new school year in January and are now Form Three (equivalent to Junior year in American high school).
I sat down with them all one afternoon, curious about how they felt – not only from the marvelous exam results, but what it was like to wait for the scores from such a “high-pressure” exam.
As one would expect from any group, there ranged a spectrum of feelings from: “I was feeling confident because I had studied” to “I didn’t feel so confident because I didn’t know if questions would be constructed at the same level as previous years.” (A feeling I definitely recall having when sitting for the SATs!)
After two months of waiting, the students finally received the results and out of four possible scoring levels, every Kitenga student landed in the top quartile!
As Gloria openly shared, “some of us cried from happiness. We are so happy from the results.” From the heads nodding in agreement, I don’t think Martha was alone when she said, “the results helped me feel more confident that it will help me achieve my goals.”
They then asked me, if they could celebrate again their accomplishments while I was here, like the class did last year. I’m happy to report that party planning is now underway for this upcoming Saturday!
There are many opportunities here in Kitenga for girls to display their talents and hone their unique abilities. But I can certainly emphasize with that curiosity of how one measures up to others in a larger cohort. These students worked hard in preparation and reaped terrific results. As we know, test scores aren’t everything, but they matter here in Tanzania and greatly influence the options made available to students. Therefore, as we wrapped up our session, I was pretty sure that Rebecca was not alone when she concluded: