A.F. Lace

Name ID 1759

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 25

c. CURRICULUM:

Wynn Jones had no previous guide to academic standards; the children had little or no academic background; some were much older physically than mentally; and there was a wide spread of ages in each class. Right from the start children were entered for the Cambridge Junior and Preliminary examinations, though the Preliminary was dropped after two years.

The Headmaster wrote his own syllabus; and when Mbeya School (an equivalent boarding school in the south of Tanzania) opened in 1942, in buildings vacated by a German School, he went there to consult with the Headmaster; and what they submitted to the Education Department became a basic curriculum for European education in the Territory.

Wynn Jones gave the Swahili language an important place on the curriculum “so that the children would in the future be able to speak correctly to those who work for and with them”. He was very proud of the fact that in 1941 the school gained the first 3 places in East Africa in a Swahili essay competition.

By 1938, the enrolment had risen to 73 and the Government let the contract for a 2 storied. dormitory block at a cost of £9,352. This was opened at the end of 1939 and doubled the number of boarding places available. Roughly one third of the pupils were British, one quarter Greek and the rest a mixture of twelve European nationalities. There were no secondary education facilities in Tanganyika for Europeans, but the Government paid for travel to and subsidized the fees at Kenya schools. An inter governmental agreement formalized this in 1943 for 90 pupils at a cost of £100 per place paid by the Tanganyika Government, with parents then paying in addition the same fees as Kenya parents. In 1950 the cost was fixed at £198 and in 1954 £270 of which the parents paid half; and grants of £50 and later £100 were paid for pupils who attended private secondary schools anywhere outside the territory.

A primary school was opened in 1951 with the Overseas Food Corporation Groundnut scheme at Kongwa; and when in 1954 the scheme collapsed and buildings were available, this became a full secondary school, it later transferred to new buildings in Iringa, in 1958 under the grand name of St Michael's and St George's School. Government expenditure on European education in the decade of the 1950s is detailed in Appendix K.

To prepare for entrance to those secondary schools pupils were entered for the Kenya Preliminary Examination (KPE) which was a selective secondary school entrance examination. But what was to be done with those who failed the examination, and whose parents could not afford to send them to overseas schools? The concept of “poor whites” in tropical Africa was politically unacceptable, and parents were not keen to take children away from school until they were employable. Some therefore stayed on at Arusha School to the age of 16 or more, and this of course compounded the disciplinary, social and academic problems with which the staff had to cope.

Wynn Jones was due to go on leave in 1939 and Col. A.F. Lace, on secondment from Monkton Coombe School in England arrived in September to take over from him. Because of the outbreak of war Wynn Jones was reluctant to leave, so for 2 months, the 2 men were joint Headmasters until Lace was called up for the Kings African Rifles and Wynn Jones continued until Lace was released from the army in June 1943.

Extract ID: 4931

See also

McFarland, Alan Photos of Arusha School
Page Number: 14
Extract Date: 1943

Major Lace is now the Head Master

Extract ID: 4998

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 28

e. THE END OF THE WAR AND THE END OF AN ERA:

Wynn Jones left in 1943 for a long overdue leave and a long overdue consecration as Assistant Bishop. Colonel Lace took his place for 18 months, then at the end of the war returned to England and Monkton Coombe. Rev. Neville Langford Smith, now Bishop of Nakuru in Kenya, was appointed Acting Headmaster in 1945 and held the post for 17 months. More details of the life of Wynn Jones are recorded in Appendix M

Enrolments had gradually increased during the war and in 1945, a new burst of optimism and enthusiasm for development brought new settlers, new commercial enterprise and the Overseas Food Corporation for the Kongwa Groundnut Scheme which proved abortive.

The school had grown well beyond the resources of the mission to staff it, and the need was felt for some kind of board to advise the Bishop in its management. The Diocesan Council recommended in 1945, “that a Board of Governors, be formed to advise and assist in the administration of Arusha School”, and also asked the Bishop to bring before the Board of Governors when formed the urgent necessity of immediate action to secure adequate and efficient staff for Arusha School.

Another factor which became relevant was the attitude of the settlers. There had always been some antipathy between the missionaries and the settlers which Wynn Jones in a personal way had helped to alleviate, Nevertheless it was true that the Europeans had their own chaplains and churches and in the 1930s pressed for their own Anglican Province. A survey carried out in 1937 reported that non-missionary European opinion was “solidly in favour of a province and that as quickly as possible. This was governed partly be a desire to see these East African dioceses freed from what they would regard as missionary control. It would also be an opportunity of increasing British control, prestige and power, and in some cases the settlers would welcome this as a way of keeping both the missionary and the native in his place”.

There was little wonder then that some of the settlers were unhappy about mission control of a Government school for their children. There was no direct or organised parental pressure, but at a meeting of parents, concern was expressed about the quality of the staff because teachers who accepted such low rates of pay could not possibly be good! Some letters to the press in August 1943 commented on the position, the following being typical: “The situation whereby the Diocese of Central Tanganyika acts as an agent for the Government in providing staff at lower rates of pay than the Government could offer, was accepted in 1933 as to best way of providing European education at the sort of price Tanganyika at that time was able to pay”. Another letter from a parent in the same month said, "”t would appear that the Government is shirking its responsibility for European education at the expense of the missions.”

Lace in his speech day in 1944 tried to answer these criticisms as follows: “The European population owes much to the Bishop, To some, the religious basis of the school can make no appeal. I am convinced that it is the only basis on which a school can really succeed. I have been happy to work under the Bishop and try to run the school on that basis”.

Extract ID: 4933

See also

Arusha School Headmasters
Extract Date: 1943-44

A F Lace

Arusha School Headmaster

Extract ID: 4579

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 23c

b. CREATING A SCHOOL ETHOS:

A school for expatriate children operated by missionaries who had come to the country to work with Africans was unusual to say the least and a salutary experience for both the settlers and the missionaries, What kind of school could we expect to emerge?

Would it resemble comparable schools in Kenya? Even today [1974], 11 years after independence, there are many expensive, exclusive and private preparatory schools in Kenya for expatriates and wealthy Africans. It is a matter of geographical accident that they happen to be in Africa as their staff, curricula and ethos are single-mindedly British, and they prepare pupils for the Common Entrance Examination

At Arusha School less than half the pupils were British and Wynn Jones believed that a school should be rooted in the host country while drawing on the best from overseas, rather than any one national system.

The School did not attract initially the children of Government and commercial officials who could afford an education in a boarding school in Britain, A group of such pupils from overseas and in contact with the outside world would have given a different tone and an academic stimulus to the school. The absence of such a group was regretted by Lace, the temporary Headmaster after Wynn Jones, who wrote in 1944: “The academic standard was not high and some failed to pass into Kenya schools. They then tended to stay on at Arusha. school: hence the number of older children, for parents were not keen to take children away at age fourteen, … The school was subsidised by the Government and one result of this was that British parents, being able to pay more, tended to send their children either to one of the few private schools in the Territory or to Kenya. This was unfortunate as a larger British element would have been for the good of the whole”.

Wynn Jones had a majority of pupils from the very isolated homes of farmers who were struggling to establish themselves. Many had never been to school before, and came from semi-literate or non-English speaking homes. When he first moved to Ngare Nairobi to prepare for the transfer to Arusha, the Headmaster wrote, "We have had our first contact with the serious repercussions which African life brings upon European children. The contact with house-boys and ayahs had left its all too penetrating mark on their outlook and customs, and it was seen ever more clearly how necessary it was to provide a new atmosphere and environment for white children living in this country."

Lace commented similarly in 1943: “What I wondered was whether I should ever succeed in inculcating a decent attitude to life among these strange, slap dash, un-English East African children”.

One of the things the missionary teachers found most difficult was the attitude among many of the children that the white man was “Lord of creation”, and that Africans were there to be ordered around at his pleasure. Even in 1970, children would drop papers in the school yard with the comment, “The boy (meaning the elderly African cleaner) will pick it up”. This attitude is not unexpected in a colonial society; the significant point here is that the staff in the early years of the school were aware of it, and tried to do something to guide the attitudes of the children towards their “host” country.

Extract ID: 4930
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