Tag Archives: fuel

Teaching science with a heart

“We as science teachers are feeling really tortured”, says Demetria Swai, a Biology teacher.  She’s one of only four science teachers at Moshono secondary school in Arusha: of the others, another teaches Biology, one Physics and one Maths. The school has 1000 pupils.

To fill the gaps, temporary teachers are brought in where possible. But in the meantime, Mrs Swai spends two days a week teaching at a neighbouring school – which has no Biology teacher at all.

Science education is in a bad way in Tanzania. Yet the issue that brought Swai to Dar es Salaam was not the lack of teachers but the methods they were using. Continue reading

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Travelling slowly

Booking flights this week to Kigoma was a bit complicated, especially since Precision Air – the only airline serving that airport – suddenly cancelled all flights to/from Kigoma until further notice. Staff at Precision couldn’t tell me why, though we assume it’s to do with the runway which is unpaved, and has already caused accidents – a plane a few months back had a bit of a crash landing when 3 tyres burst on impact. It’s dry season now, so it’s at least possible to land, not always the case during rainy season.

In the meantime, we’ve all been mildly amused/concerned by the revelation that the only radar at the country’s main airport in Dar es Salaam hasn’t been working since the beginning of August. Without that radar, used for managing air traffic, “air traffic controllers are reduced to relying on guesswork, which is very dangerous”. (Hmm, I think you can land…. now!)  The reason it failed in the first place is, surprise surprise, problems with the power supply. Continue reading

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Not planning ahead

Typing by candlelight is a novelty this evening, but if the power cuts or electricity rationing – not sure yet which one this is – become as frequent as they apparently were before I arrived, it’ll get a bit tedious. There are often brief blackouts during the day, but at the office we have a generator that kicks in with a groan to keep our PCs and air conditioning running. At home, with no generator, I’m anxiously willing my one candle to burn slowly: at least give me another few hours?

What’s irritating on a personal level (not being able to wash my hair, turn on the fan, boil water, etc.) translates on a national scale into one of the major obstacles – along with inflation and fuel and food prices – to economic growth. Continue reading

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