The name Popatlal Secondary School is synonymous with this beautiful north-eastern coastal city along the shores of the
The school was formally opened in 1968 by the Tanzania's founding president, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who soon after independence
supported every effort in educating Tanzanians.
Today, the school has rolled out thousands of Tanzanians, who are now engaged in national development activities. Some
of them have excelled in politics and businesses as well as other professions.
The school is a brainchild of an industrious businessman and agriculturalist, Mr Bhanji Laxman. It is named in memory of
his eldest son, Mr Popatlal, who died in a fatal car crash while travelling to Moshi on April 14, 1963.
"His death shocked the residents of Tanga as he had many development plans including constructing a school," explains Mr
Kulwant Chaudri, who was appointed headmaster of the school, until last year. He is the longest serving staff member of the
The sudden death was not to go away just like that. Mr Popatlal's dream of building a school was taken up seriously by
his family who saw to it that the school was in place.
During those days, Tanga had only one day-secondary school - Karimjee Secondary School - which was later renamed Usagara
Secondary School by then the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The available Usagara Secondary School was not able to absorb the ever increasing quench of education by the post-independent
The Laxman family seized the opportunity to build another school, which today stands out as shinning example of promoting
non-profit secondary education.
"Our objective is education and not education for commercial gains," remarked Mr Chaudri.
From a modest beginning of 160 students, the school has turned out to be a model of private education in the country.
The school comprises four main structures: The administration block (which contains the headmaster's office); the centre
block (a two-storey building with a computer room, library, 'A' level classes, three science laboratories; the right wing
block (a two-storey building of classrooms); and the left wing block (again a two-storey building of classrooms).
Following a donation of 25 computers from Laxman family, the school has introduced full-time computer lessons for the students.
The school is run under the auspices of the Tanga Secondary Education Society (TSES).
In order to match the growing changes in the sector, the management, under the chairmanship of Mr Anil Amin, who succeeded
the late Chotubhai Somaia, who died in 2003, has decided to inject new blood in the administrative posts at both secondary
and primary schools.
A new headmaster for the school, Mr Salum Awadh, was appointed at the beginning of last year, while Mr Chaudri was appointed
the Executive Director of the TSES. The changes were also extended to Popatlal Tanga English Medium Primary School where its
Headmaster, Mr F. Mustafa was replaced by Mr M.Mbonde.
Another area of development was to start a new Popatlal English Medium nursery under its Headmistress, Mrs Nafisa Taherali.
It is situated within the Popatlal school compound.
The school has also undertaken to build a hostel. In addition, besides science combinations at 'A' level, the school has
introduced Arts combination, beginning this year.
The ex-students of the school, who are working or living in Britain, held a get-together, earlier this year, where a whooping
38m/- was raised and will go towards the school's expansion and rehabilitation programme, according to Mr Chaudri, who graced
The event was also attended by the Tanzania's High Commissioner to Britain, Mr Hassan Kibelloh.