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The O'Brien School emphasizes character building and creative and critical thinking in addition to abiding by the Tanzanian National Syllabus.


Our low student-to-teacher ratio and educational models, adapted from high-achieving elementary and middle schools in the Chicagoland area, create an environment in which students are able to recognize their strengths, find their passions, and excel. 





OBSM enrolls equal numbers of male and female students.

Girls and women often face severe gender discrimination in Tanzania, and the Maasai traditionally do not prioritize girls' education.

O'Brien School's co-educational learning environment allows for girls and boys to learn and lead alongside one another, starting in pre-primary school. This ensures mutual respect and reinforces gender equality, contributing to long-lasting positive effects on harmful gender norms.  



OBSM is a day SCHOOL governed by a Tanzanian school committee.

The O'Brien School engages community members and leaders to advise the American Board, ensuring buy-in, sensitivity, and appropriateness of our programs.


In addition, our students go home at the end of the school day. By learning and living within the same context, they remain deeply connected to their culture and share their knowledge and newfound skills with their households, making an immediate impact on the greater community. 




OBSM prioritizes the health of our students and villagers.

The O'Brien School students are exposed to serious health conditions, ranging from cuts and burns to water-borne illnesses, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.


We incorporate HIV prevention education, sanitation, and life sciences into our students' standard curriculum. Furthermore, through key partnerships and subsidized health insurance for our students, we ensure our students access high-quality healthcare. 



OBSM clubs shape our students' practical AND creative skills.

The O'Brien School fosters students' problem solving skills and creativity, helping them become active leaders and innovators in their communities.


Through agricultural clubs, students learn how to grow nutritious foods and protect it from the harsh environment. Debate, rights-based, and other youth clubs build students' essential leadership skills, protective assets, and self-confidence for their futures. 


Participatory Environment

OBSM promotes student leadership in school and village operations.

The O'Brien School ensures student voices are heard and taken seriously both in the school and in the village. Students elect a Head Boy and Head Girl to lead the school and represent them in school assemblies and village meetings.


Each class also elects their own class leaders. Grade 7 students are also chosen to monitor issues such as discipline, the environment, and school meals. 


Athletics & ExtraCurriculars

OBSM values teamwork and leadership.

The O'Brien School strongly believes that sports build a culture of teamwork and leadership. Our soccer, basketball, and other extracurricular activities offer students the opportunity to learn even more about leadership and healthy competition. Sports also build their confidence and communication skills.


These programs also offer students a fun, healthy outlet from their studies and strenuous household responsibilities, such as collecting firewood, fetching water, and herding livestock.