TANZANIA - A six-year partnership between BARRICK GOLD of Toronto and CARE INTERNATIONAL TANZANIA has raised academic standards and improved the quality of education for thousands of children and youth living near the company's Bulyanhulu gold mine in Tanzania.
In 2001, Barrick invested US$2 million to fund a long-term education program in the remote Kahama District, a region that was ranked as one of the poorest academic performers in Tanzania. Since then, primary school enrolment has increased by 75% to over 7,000 children in 2007. According to a CARE evaluation of the program, significantly more children are now making the transition to high school, where enrolment has more than doubled, from approximately 800 students in 2001 to 1,885 today. This year, over 89% of the students who completed primary school passed their final exams, up from just 16% prior to implementation of the program.
Historically, the region has suffered from a critical shortage of classrooms, inadequately trained teachers and a lack of basic learning materials. Overall quality of education in village primary schools was assessed as poor, compounded by low enrolment figures. Only 3% of students were selected to make the transition to secondary school. According to a CARE evaluation of the project, today the transition rate to high school has reached 100% at a number of area schools.
"We commend CARE International for the tremendous success of this education program in Kahama District," said Greg Wilkins, Barrick president and CEO. "This investment in learning has allowed Barrick to bring lasting benefits to local families and be part of a great success story."
CARE adopted a grassroots approach, working in collaboration with the Kahama District Education Department and in consultation with the Ministry of Education, community leaders and Barrick's community relations officers. Barrick built the first secondary school in Bugarama Ward and contributed to the construction of eight new primary schools, complete with teachers' houses and proper sanitary facilities. As a result, the total number of classrooms in the region increased from 28 to 93. Professional training was provided to motivate and support teachers. New text books, desks and other learning resources were donated by the company to address critical shortages.
Barrick's publication "Beyond Borders" detailing the company's sustainable development success may be viewed at www.Barrick.com/CorporateResponsibility.