Historical Background of Bagamoyo Town

Bagamoyo or Bwaga-moyo which means “lay down your heart” was one of the major slave trade ports emerged in 19th century on the East Coast of Africa.

The attraction of Bagamoyo was fine port, good water and fertile land.  To date Bagamoyo is among famous historical town along Indian Coast as a result of interaction with Arabs, Germany and British people.

The population of Bagamoyo according to National Bureau of statistic projection (2017) is 1,224,120.

Education and Literacy Status of Bagamoyo

Bagamoyo is among six districts of Coast region.  Generally statistics put Coast region among regions in Tanzania which have not done very well in term of education and literacy because of poverty and tradition prejudices.

Bagamoyo district has 131 registered primary school of which 128 are government owned and 12 owned by individuals or religions organization.  There are also other education institutions namely; School of Library, Archives and Documentation Studies, Agency for Development of Education Management Tanzania, Agency of Traditions and Culture, Fisheries Education and Training Agency (FETA), Bagamoyo Tourism Management College and Chalinze Teachers College.

Bagamoyo district stands 4th among the six districts of Coast region in literacy level with 63% of literacy people.  However the majority of people have standard seven education.

Although in most parts of Tanzania reading culture is a big problem, in Coast region including Bagamoyo the condition is worst because of number of factors including poverty and some of tradition practices which expose young girls on adult issues in their early life.

Different studies have revealed that in order to nurture reading habit in children, they must be exposed to that culture very early in their life and in particular from home and later at school.  Unfortunately most of parents and guardian in Bagamoyo town do not understand the importance of reading because themselves were not exposed to that culture when they were young and therefore it is vicious cycle problem.  The only place where children can be guaranteed with opportunity to read is at school.

Background of Mwambao Primary School; A selected School

Mwambao primary school originally known as Sewahaji is a government owned primary school.  Historically the school was built in 1896 by Sewahaji, a Zanzibarian business woman with Pakstan origin for the purpose of educating Arabs children.  When Sewahaji returned to Pakstan she handed the school to Germany government and it was changed to Multi-racial school.

In 1969 the Tanganyika government by then took the school.  The school is now registered with number em.2958 and has an enrollment of 705 pupils in the  academic year 2019.

Together with primary education, the school also runs a unit for special needs pupils. 


Analysis of Pupils Enrollment in 2019 Academic year

PRE – PRIMARY5962121
STD I455499


The current situation of Library Services at Mwambao Primary School

Mwambao primary school has a small room that serves as a school library.  The library accommodates 20 pupils at time.  The library has few books and furniture compared to the number of pupils which is  705.

The environment of the library is not attractive and therefore pupils do not feel anxious to go there unless forced by a teacher.  This is not good for development of reading culture.

School of Library, Archives and Documentation Studies together with Mwambao primary school conducted assessment to identify the needs of the library as follows:


S/NItemQuantity Priority
1.Primary School Text books from std I-VII (swahili)50 for each class x each subject1
2.Reference books (swahili)20 for each class x each subject2
3.Story books (Swahili and English)20 different titles x 10 copies for different levels; simple, intermediate; hard3
5.Tables5 that accommodate 4 pupils5
6.Wall paint30 lts6
7.Floor carpetCover the whole room7
8.Librarian Desk18
9.Librarian chair29
10.Bag Deposit111
11.Reading mats5 (for little children)10
12.Computer Desk top114
13.TV set113
14.Audiovisual information materials(According to available budget)12
15.Children games(According to available budget)15
16.Educative wall pictures and drawings5 picture/ drawings16
17.Reading tents2 tents17



The contribution of SLADS in the Project

The School of Library, Archives and Documentation Studies (SLADS) was established  in 1989 under  the  Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and is run by the Tanzania Library Services Board (TLSB).

SLADS is an experienced college in offering library course in Tanzania. In this proposed project SLADS will offer  knowledge and expertise on library issues from  librarian trainees studying at SLADS and also from tutors. This will ensure  sustainability of services and project.

Trough Library Movement Club (LIM), a students’ club which among other things pay visits in different school in Bagamoyo  in order to create awareness to  school’s  communities on the importance of library services for school  and reading culture.


School library is an important component in the learning and teaching processes.  Pupils and their teachers benefit from the existence of school library.  School library can also serves as recreation centre for pupils where they could spent their leisure time by reading stories, play games and watch audio visual materials.

In environment of Bagamoyo where reading culture is very low, this type of project is very important for education and social wellbeing of pupils and community.

The project if successful implemented shall have positive impacts for the school, pupils and community.  For school, the library will improve the standards of teaching and learning, for pupils, their score and reading culture will be improved and finally to the general community the library will be a safe heaven for their children to spend their leisure time as most of families have rented single or two room and the environment outside is not safe for children to play.

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