This purpose of this Tution Asistance Grant Application (TAP) is to empower students that are performing well, yet have limited means to fund their continued education. In Lesotho Primary Education is funded by the government, up until Grade 7. Grade 8 through Grade 12 are paid for in part by students and families. These students are not the top performers at the school yet they show potential to be productive members of the community. The TAP Committee has worked with the students during the application process, and will continue to provide mentoring throughout the school year. Each member of the TAP Committee has an assigned student to mentor to better meet their individual needs. The TAP applicants are to receive tutoring, career, and personal life mentorship to mitigate the risks of drop outs. The goal is to help students stay in school, but to also begin to develop a plan for post-secondary school life. There are six TAP Committee members, and the Peace Corps Volunteer’s role will be to monitor the mentorship and ensure that it continues throughout the remaining school year. Additionally, each student will be aiding in a campus beautification project, to limit littering within the school grounds. The community will contribute the other necessities for the student to attend school.
The TAP Committee has been the driving force in the selection process of students. They found potential students who perform well and conducted interviews to see if their families are able to support them financially. The Peace Corps Volunteer only gave the teachers the requirements for the application, and the Basotho teachers completed the rest of the application process. The teachers, with help of the local pastor described the community history and helped write the grant in its totality. Further community members, specifically parents have had a huge role in providing funding for the students thus far, and will continue to support the students by being involved in school meetings, and mentoring the students at home. The teachers involved in the grant will have experience working together to select the applicants, and experience writing a grant. Before the committee was formed many of the teachers were not concerned with sustainability. After working on the TAP Committee the teachers now understand the importance of sustainability and creating something that will last. The TAP Committee’s focus on sustainability has transferred over to other school projects, and will be a factor in any project the school would like to implement. The students and their parents will receive mentorship on the importance of education, and why the students should complete their secondary education. The students will also have gained experiance applying for scholarships, in leadership practices, and teamwork. Even though the TAP funding only lasts for one session, it is the committee’s hope that these students and parents will then see the value in seeing their secondary education through to the end.