Casson

Name ID 1990

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 31b

a. CHURCH AND STATE: A STRANGE PARTNERSHIP:

The church management of a Government school in 1934 was unusual, but understandable in the light of the depression economy and the existing policy with regard to voluntary agencies. It is less easy to understand the continuing influence of the church in the Arusha School management after 1946.

Arusha School was owned, financed and administered in exactly the same way as the Junior European School, Dar es Salaam, Mbeya School, opened in 1942, and Kongwa School, opened in 1951. The teaching staff were, in all four schools, Government Officers recruited through the Crown Agents in London; final responsibility rested with the Department of Education and, after 1949, the European Education Authority. The establishment of an Arusha School Council in 1946 may be seen as a forerunner of the Government's policy in the late 1950s to have local Boards of Governors for all Government schools so that the schools could more effectively relate to their community.

Be that as it may, it does not explain the appointment of the Bishop as Warden of the school and Chairman of the Board, the virtual right of the Bishop to veto the appointment of staff, the appointment of a Chaplain/Master at the Government's expense, and the Council itself which was theoretically appointed by the Director of Education, but in fact was made up predominantly of the Bishop's nominees. Even in 1970, more than half the Board of Governors were regularly worshipping local Anglicans. Bishop Stanway, Chairman of the Council and later of the Board of Governors from 1951 to 1971 claims that the rights of the church were exercised with great discretion; the fact remains that the rights did exist.

The first Government appointee as Headmaster was Cyril Hamshere (M.A. Cantab) who was born in East Africa and whose father Archdeacon J.E. Hamshere had been Principal of the Diocesan Training College for pastors and teachers up to his retirement in 1928, when Wynn Jones took over from him. The missionaries who withdrew in 1946 from the staff hoped that through Hamshere, a personal if no longer official link between the Diocese and Government would be retained.

The Headmaster was answerable to the Department of Education, and the School Council had no official role or direct authority. Their main function seems to have been to care for property, recommend maintenance, and extensions or addition, ensure that there was sufficient staff appointed and so on. With Dar es, Salaam 500 miles away and communications difficult, it is not unreasonable to expect that officials would be guided by a responsible local body and would take more notice of such a group than of direct representations from parents or requests from the Headmaster.

In 1952, when the Chaplain Casson resigned, the Council recorded its profound conviction that the appointment of a suitable chaplain-master to the staff of Arusha school “is of paramount importance in these difficult days in East Africa. In view of the importance of the post, no appointment should be made without consultation with the Warden of the School and the Director of Education”.

In 1956, the Headmaster sought advice on the enrolment of a part Arab, part European boy and the Director of Education replied that “it would be inappropriate for him to be admitted. to an essentially Christian school”. On the speech day in 1955, the Vice Chairman of the Council, A.T. Bewes, reminded the children of the well-founded Christian traditions of the school, which he hoped they would observe throughout their lives".

In assessing this unusual church/state relationship, we must recognise that even the total effort in European education was still a very minor part of the Department of Education's responsibility, that neither the Government nor the parents objected to the relationship continuing, that the power of veto over the appointment of staff was never actually used, and that the "religious life" of the school was not unlike that in a State school in Britain. It would appear also that the very presence of a School Council, a visible and tangible body, gave the school a stability and sense of continuity which was apparently lacking at Mbeya and Kongwa.

I would like to point out that the opening date for Kongwa School in this article is incorrect, the correct date is 4th October 1948

Glynn Ford

27 Jan 2005

Extract ID: 4936
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