Stephen Hatch, Tanzania

Stephen Hatch, Tanzania

Working as a maths and IT teacher and chaplain at St John’s Seminary.

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Imagine if your education had to stop after primary school. How different would your life be? In Tanzania, to proceed to government-provided secondary education, pupils must pass primary school exams in English. As pupils often only learn in Swahili at primary level, many fail these exams. Eighty per cent of children attend primary school and only 25 per cent make it to secondary school – a huge gulf in learning. Such children, most of whom are academically capable, need a secondary education. I am helping to provide this at St John’s Seminary (which provides education from nursery age to Bible college), transforming the lives of one of the most vulnerable groups within Tanzanian society.

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Stephen’s story

Mathematics has the lowest pass rate of all subjects in Tanzania at only 15 per cent of those taking the exams. I am working alongside other teachers at St John’s to improve this across the whole school. I am also making sure that we have the appropriate equipment in the school laboratories for use in science lessons and exams.

Alongside my teaching role, I work with the school chaplain, helping to lead the church services at the Seminary across all ages and managing the team of pupil volunteers who preach and help out. I also speak in the morning services once a week (sometimes more if the chaplain is away as I cover for him).

I grew up in Cornwall and completed a maths degree and teacher training. I then began looking and praying for a chance to make a difference in the world and a friend told me about Church Mission Society and St John’s. I saw an opportunity to be part of God’s mission and went to Tanzania initially for a one year placement, which was then extended to two, and I have now returned to continue my work long-term.

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