Tanzania bishop: Africa’s churches should complement state education

[Anglican Communion News Service] A Tanzanian bishop has said African churches have a duty to complement state education to help improve the local lives and the local community.

Bishop John Lupaa of the Diocese of the Rift Valley was speaking after the Tanzanian government announced it would re-register Kalimatinde School of Nursing, which is owned and run by his diocese.

The bishop explained that, despite being one of the country’s oldest nursing institutions, the school had been de-registered 14 years ago when it was going through “difficult economic times.”

“The school had difficulties maintaining the buildings,” he said, “[and] retaining well-qualified staff who were leaving for greener pastures.”

Despite the challenges that the school has faced, Lupaa is optimistic about the positive role that the institution and the church in Africa can play.

He said, “As the church in Africa, we have a responsibility to contribute towards the government’s efforts of improving the lives of people in our communities.”

Lupaa also made reference to the “integral” and “holistic” evangelism that is embraced by the Anglican church. He said, “By running the school, we are in essence evangelizing.”

He added, “Having well trained nurses all over Tanzania means we would have been successful at teaching society to follow and love God.”

Principal of the school Sister Wilhelmina Mafuru said, “The school does not only serve our region but the rest of the country. Since its inception the school has produced thousands of graduates who are serving the country in various capacities.”

The principal also pointed out some of the areas where the school still faces challenges. “We don’t meet all the standards completely. Our school library needs to be upgraded,” she said. “We also need computers as well as Internet facilities.”

Even though the government has granted the school full registration, it will continue to check on the school to make sure that it meets the standards.

Mafuru said that although the school, which was established in 1965, has faced many challenges, “our students have continued to perform very well.”

Lupaa said: “Prayer, perseverance and endurance have helped us achieve what we have achieved. It has been hard but in the end, we have succeeded.”

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