The school prepares students for the Tanzanian national examinations. There are four forms in the junior school, Forms I to IV; and two in the senior school Forms V and VI. Students usually arrive at the school around the age of thirteen or fourteen, having completed seven years at primary school. Some may have to delay their start at secondary school because of funding problems and may be as old as seventeen or eighteen. The school has had students who have started their studies in their early twenties.
While secondary education is available for most Tanzanians in practice a significant number cannot afford the community school fees of less than US$40 a year. This is particularly true in Mvumi in which subsistence farming is the principal occupation. Rainfall is uncertain and there has been some serious drought over the past few years. It is a precarious existence.
Students take national examinations in year II, IV and VI. There are core subjects in the junior school syllabus: Civics, History, Geography, Kiswahili, English, Biology and Basic Mathematics. Chemistry and Physics are also studied up to Form II level by all DCT Mvumi students. We teach optional subjects in Form II: Commerce, Book-keeping and Bible Knowledge.
All these subjects are currently offered at Form IV level. In calculating a student’s final grade in Form IV the student’s result in the compulsory subjects of Civics, Kiswahili, English and Mathematics are included, together with their three best subjects.
To proceed to the senior school a student needs to have earned at least three grade C’s in their Form IV examinations. Many Tanzanians fail to achieve this standard and the numbers progressing to Form V are very small. We are the only school offering senior school examinations in our educational district of Chamwino. DCT Mvumi offers a number of different subject combinations: Economics, Commerce and Accounting; History, Geography and English; Economics, Geography and Mathematics; Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; Physics, Chemistry and Biology; Physics, Geography and Mathematics; and in 2008 we introduced History, Geography and English Language.
Since its introduction in 2005 there has been a significant yearly growth in senior school numbers.In 2013 there were 72 students on the "A" Level Course.
The school provides education for both boarding and day students. The demand is very high. Typically only about one in four of those taking the entry examination will be able to be offered a place.
There is a great need for boarding for girls as they have an onerous job combining education with domestic work: women play a very active role in managing the ‘shamba’, or family plot. Many produce children at a very young age and a significant proportion marry young although many cannot afford the lavish marriage ceremonies which are the norm here.
The school provides a variety of activities: sports, debating, subject clubs, drama, choirs, a marimba group. We are also fortunate in having our own access to the internet. Our minibus enables us to have sporting fixtures, to make educational visits to national parks like Mikumi, and to engage in debating and academic competitions.