School Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

  • Education
  • Youth
  • Lesotho
This project is led by Nathaniel Whitcomb, a Volunteer from New York

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This project is designed to involve students in a mentoring program and support them in school by providing for their unmet financial school fee needs. The mentoring will not only assist with assigned school work, but encourage the pursuit of education generally, and train the high school students to utilize community assets to further their goals. Mentoring will occur at the school and will be coordinated by the Tuition Assistance Program Committee to involve a rotating group of teachers as well as myself. By rotating through a small group of teachers we will relieve the burden on each individual teacher, helping with sustainability. Their time will form part of the contribution from the community towards the project, which will also include donations of school uniforms and book rental fees. Many of the students at this high school are very clever and motivated to learn, but fail to succeed due to lack of encouragement from adults and a simple lack of finances to pay for mandatory school fees. Secondary school isn't free in Lesotho, so this presents a challenge for many.

The community will be involved in several ways. Teachers will volunteer to help with mentoring, as well as to seek in-kind donations in the community to help with costs of book rental fees and uniforms. Parents and guardians will become involved in encouraging the students to study and check for completion of assignments on a regular basis. The TAP Committee has already helped in a major way. By finding appropriate candidates for this application, explaining the application process to them, guiding them through it, and involving the parents/community, the TAP Committee has helped ensure that the community is invested in every element of this project. Parents will see the potential of their children brought to light and be inspired to do their level best to prioritize education moving forward. As well, we will discuss income generating activities, saving, and other financial literacy subjects with the families to increase their capacity to afford future fees. Students will take much more value from this year of school than just what is contained in the year. The knowledge and grades from one year of school, taken forward, will provide a foundation for further education. Furthermore the skills regarding scholarships, financial literacy, and healthy communication with adults, will help them at every stage of life in innumerable ways.

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