A Rich History
The idea of establishing an English Medium Primary School in Morogoro with an international syllabus was born in 1970. The then Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Dar es Salaam, IDM Mzumbe as well as other institutions of Morogoro responsible for implementing development projects, were experiencing difficulties in recruiting and retaining the services of competent overseas staff as well as well qualified Tanzanians because of inadequate Primary School facilities for their children. Permission was sought from the Regional Development Director to construct a school within or near to Morogoro township. This permission was granted.
On the 1st January 1975 the site, situated on the campus of the Faculty of Agriculture, was identified and building commenced using funds put aside by the Faculty. Three classrooms, a staff room and a toilet block as well as the beginning of a second classroom block were completed by the end of June 1975. Later the school was given permission to use its savings to complete the second classroom block. In June 1975 the school was registered by the District Education Officer. A temporary school erected by expatriate parents at IDM, Mzumbe was amalgamated to this school and all the assets of that school were transferred. The new amalgamated school started on 26th July 1976 with around 75 pupils, 50 of which came from Mzumbe. Teaching staff were mainly the spouses of Faculty staff. A School Management Committee was allowed to manage the school and the school was run and financed by the parents themselves.
In July 1981 it was decided to upgrade the school and put it on a more professional footing. It was reregistered, no longer as a Tanzanian school, and a complete reorganisation took place whereby it changed from being parent run to being administered by a Board of Directors as a Company limited by guarantee. 2 years later the Board dissolved itself and handed all assets and liabilities over to the “International School of Morogoro Limited”. On March, 30th 1984 the commissioner of Education appointed the Dean of the Faculty as the manager of the school and the Ministry of Education endorsed on that date that the “International School of Morogoro Ltd” becomes the owner of the school.
On 1st July, 1984 there was a major change that would change the history of the school forever. The former Faculty of Agriculture was upgraded to a fully fledged University, the Sokoine University of Agriculture. In January 1989 the Commissioner of Education informed the company that the school had three years to move off of the University campus to its own premises.
The Board of the International School of Morogoro formed a Building Committee and, after a lengthy process, a building plot on the school’s current site along the tarmac road to Dodoma was identified and allocated to the school by the Regional Land Development Officer. And so, in 1992 the newly established Morogoro International School began serving the educational needs of the primary aged children of the Tanzanian as well as the ex-patriate community in the area.
More than 20 years on and Morogoro International School now has a full curriculum from nursery school up to IGCSE and has four boarding houses with a capacity for about 100 boarders (there are presently 65). In August 2015 it will open its doors to its first cohort of A level students.
Morogoro International School has always been a not-for-profit organisation run by a Board of up to 16 parents past and present. For this reason it has managed to keep its fee structure very low compared to other international schools within the region. Balancing the attempts to keep the school affordable to the local community whilst at the same time meeting the need to invest in the infrastructure and facilities has been difficult. In recent years, the balance has possibly been too much in favour of the former. In the next few years, the intention is to invest heavily in the development and expansion of the campus. We have seen in recent years that there is demand for high quality international boarding facilities within easy reach of Dar-es-Salaam. We want to meet that demand whilst never forgetting our humble roots as we aim to uphold the aspirations and values of those educational pioneers who had the vision to create this beautiful school more than 40 years ago. We might be ambitious but we will never forget that we are here to serve the Tanzanians as well as the expatriates.