Five Reasons Why it's Important to go to a School With a Rich History

IST members of student council smiling for a photo

History helps us understand the world in which we live in, it makes incomprehensible problems simpler, different outlooks familiar and gives us an overall understanding of how things came to be. 

Zeroing in on a school, history is integral to how an educational facility holds itself, why it teaches what it does and the way it does, and why it offers certain programmes. 

Choosing to attend a school with a rich, in-depth history is important for many reasons, but we wanted to outline the five main ways in which a school with a long, intricate history provides a better education for your children. 

1. A Strong Value System 

Values help a school - and people in general - grow and develop; they form a school’s messaging, actions and reasoning. 

With time to develop and grow, a school’s value system becomes admirable and respectable. 

For example, from the International School of Tanganyika’s (IST) founding in 1963, IST has developed a strong Statement of Values illustrating a promise in which all community members embody. The school strives to be:

  • Responsible. We act responsibly, positively and constructively, towards ourselves and other people. We learn from our mistakes and accept the consequences of our actions.
  • Inquiring. We show curiosity, perseverance and open-mindedness in seeking to understand and solve problems. We persevere in the face of difficulties and we embrace the learning that comes through failure as well as the joy of success.
  • Compassionate. We empathise with others and act with care, kindness and courage. In our interactions, we behave with patience, generosity and integrity.
  • Balanced. We believe in a broad education for our students, seeing the value of participation in a varied curriculum.
  • Diverse. We treasure the diversity within the IST community, using the rich opportunities for deeper understanding that come from our differences.

2. Well-Developed Academics 

Academics are in place from the moment of a school’s founding, but they are molded and perfected over time to truly challenge a child to become well-informed world inquirers. 

To illustrate our point further, let's take the founding of IST. IST opened its doors as the first international school in East Africa in 1963. The school provided an exceptional learning facility for the 305 students and as the school grew, so did its educational philosophy. In 1983, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme was introduced. It has since become the main diploma programme at IST. 

Through years of perfecting, the IB Curriculum is balanced in a way that allows students to not only learn, but also demonstrate their learning. It is a programme that aids students in honing both an understanding and skills in ways that relate to more than one branch of knowledge. 

3. Well-Established Extra-Curriculars 

From varsity athletics, to Model United Nations, to environmental initiatives, extra-curricular activities take time and effort to develop.

To illustrate the time it takes to establish a comprehensive list of extra-curricular activities, here’s the story of IST’s Roots & Shoots programme. 

Roots & Shoots aims to inspire young people to become leaders who will stand up for what is right, use their voice and make the right choices to help create a better world. It is an organization founded by Dr. Jane Goodall and teaches youth to have respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs and to inspire youth to take action. 

Dr. Goodall played a pivotal role in founding IST’s Roots & Shoots programme after she sat down with IST Grade 6 teacher Swarn Lamba in 1991. The group has since sponsored countless initiatives including tree planting in the Pugu Hills, clean-ups of local beaches, recycling of paper and plastic from discarded on-campus litter and aiding in the construction of an effective solar panel, just to name a few. 

Dr. Goodall has made a number of visits to the school to work with the Roots & Shoots club members and educate them on the environment. 

4. Rich in Diversity 

Although a school may start off small, as it evolves more students from a diverse range of backgrounds will enroll.

We live in a diverse world and no matter what country you call home or what school you attend, you will witness the many ways in which people are unique, be it the faculty or the student body. It’s that diversity that opens an individual’s eyes to see just how big our world is. 

Witnessing diversity from the point of a young age onwards allows children to become open-minded, it gives them stronger communication skills and allows them to become knowledgeable inquirers, all pivotal assets. 

With over 60 nationalities, IST celebrates diversity each day. It’s the diversity which gives all students the chance to witness different cultures, traditions and languages, an invaluable opportunity.

Click here to see the diversity on our campus for yourself.

5. Strong and Diverse Alumni Network 

As the school community grows and develops, and students graduate and gain admission to world-renowned universities, an alumni network becomes a useful tool to both graduates and current students. 

Having access to a network where you can ask questions about schools and career opportunities is an irreplaceable asset that comes with attending a school with a rich history. 

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