Martha Vance

Name ID 1997

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 20

d. A NEW INITIATIVE - ARUSHA SCHOOL:

A mission conference in 1929 expressed the hope that the Government of Tanganyika will adopt the same policy of cooperation with Missions with regard to European education as it does in regard to African education.

Various consultations were going on as to the need, type and best place for a now school. In 1931, there were 58 European children. in Northern Tanganyika receiving no schooling beyond private tuition at home, and the annual report stated the Government 's intention to build a new European school at Arusha in the Northern Province. In order to work this school as economically as possible, it was hoped to complete an arrangement with the Bishop of Central Tanganyika under which he would conduct the school as an agent for the Government. The staff appointed would be subject to the approval of the Government and. the working and management of the school would be under Government inspection.

It is apparent that after the abortive attempt in 1928, and with the stringency of the depression, plans were much more carefully laid. It was not until 1932 that the Governor, Sir Stewart Symes approached Bishop Chambers with a definite offer to build a “first class and modern school and equip it”, if the Bishop would find the staff and manage it .

There is no doubt that this “new era of cooperation” between church and state was partly motivated by the shortage of Government funds; the mission teachers were paid approximately one fifth of the government rate.

The Headmaster Wynn Jones saw it more positively. He wrote, “The efficiency, finance and stability of a Government school has so often lacked the personal element and spiritual contact which is so necessary a part of all true education”. The Bishop wrote in a quarterly letter, “It is essential that we should give Christian education to European children in this territory for they will be the future leaders. The white man cannot help being a leader here. The African imitates him in all he does and if we can inculcate the ideals of Christ in the lives of our white children, then Christian civilization is much more likely to come to this land”. The Greek community promised support and the Bishop continued, “I hope the school will be a little commonwealth of nations including German, Dutch, and Greek children. If the boys and girls of these various communities learn to live, work and play together in school life, they will all the better be able to inform a united community in the future, having the welfare of all at heart and the spirit of esprit d'corps a reality among them!”

The Bishop also hoped that the school would bring the church into contact with Europeans in the territory and hopefully win sympathy from them in missionary work.

So at the request of the Government, Rev. William Wynn Jones was seconded from the mission, sent on early overseas leave and, having newly married, he moved in 1933 to the Ngare Nairobi school to prepare the nucleus there for the move to Arusha. Miss Martha Vance a missionary nurse was also sent on early leave, to return as Matron.

On 22nd May 1934, with Miss Vance as matron and Wynn Jones as Headmaster, the Arusha School opened in its “palatial buildings”. It had been designed for 48 boarders, 24 girls and 24 boys, and 30 day pupils. It opened with 33 boarders, and by the end of the year the enrolment had risen to 41 plus 6 day pupils. (See Appendix F.)

Extract ID: 4927
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