A.T. Bewes

Name ID 1991

See also

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


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

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 43b


We have already implied that educational separatism became an intolerable concept in a country rapidly moving; towards African majority rule. (see Chapter I "The Integrated System".) How did a staff so conscious of its exclusive prerogative in European education view the impending integration in the late 1950s?

There are no comments on the subject in the school log staff meeting minutes or school Council minutes, However the Mbeya staff forwarded a memo to the Director of Education 3 years after the system had been proposed and 1 year before it had to be compulsorily introduced. As the Arusha staff were sent a copy of the memo, we may assume that they were sympathetic, but their attitude is not officially recorded.

�A large number of the staff of this school were specifically engaged as Masters or Mistresses of European education and it is difficult to see how the teaching of non-European children can be regarded as "suitable duties" for persons so engaged.

It would obviously set a dangerous precedent for any teacher to undertake any duties which are manifestly outside the scope of his/her contract, especially when such duties am imposed without any prior consultation.

Until the position is clarified, may we regard it as within our rights to refuse to teach non European children?"

Such an outspoken attitude expressed just before independence was hardly likely to win the sympathy of an Education Department caught up in a rapid Africanization and expansion policy. One wonders if the closing of the Mbeya school within three years and the conversion of the buildings to an African secondary school bore any relationship to the attitude expressed above.

In his reply, the Director of Education quoted from the legislation for the integrated system and reminded them that for three years from January 1st 1962, priority for admission would be given to the community for whom the school was established. He continued:

�It is true that most of the staff were engaged as masters and mistresses of European education and the posts for which they applied were advertised as teaching duties in Government European Schools. On the other hand the definition of a non-European school in the non-Native Education Ordinance is a 'School established primarily for the education of European children'; it is not by definition a school established exclusively for European children. The teaching of non-European pupils attending a European school would not therefore appear to fall outside the scope of suitable duties for your staff".

The only written indication of the "Arusha School stance", if there was one, came in the Speech Day remarks. In 1960 the Vice-Chairman of the School Council, A.T. Bewes expressed a common colonial attitude - independence is a good thing, in time, when they are ready for it, etc. - when he said, "... the rate of integration is a matter of proper timing and phasing and must be related to the conditions as they prevail from year to year. A too sudden or overwhelming implementation could have the most serious effect upon the standards and upon the ability of schools to absorb those children for whom they were originally established". In other words, not too many Africans yet, or the school won't be fit for our British children! The Headmaster at the same Speech Day expressed his doubts that he would have room for more than a few non-Europeans but, given that limitation, was prepared to "welcome the children of educated Africans who live on a European standard, and who speak English at home". In other words black Europeans.

The following year, Hamshere praised the moderation of the Government in allowing a 3 year grace period when European children would. have priority of admission: "It could only happen in this happy country," he said ecstatically, but by 1965 quite a different picture is painted: "we are black, we are brown, we are white. We are Christian, we are Moslem, we are Hindu. Between us, apart from English, which is the medium of instruction, we can speak 20 different languages. But despite these differences, we live happily together. We are really a united nations without belonging to this bloc or that block".

Extract ID: 4945