Secondary and High schools in Lesotho require tuition for attendance. Many students come from disadvantaged families and struggle paying these fees due to family pressures. Students get sent home during the school year when their school fees are not paid, and it affects their learning and school performance. Constant poor attendance due to unpaid school fees frequently results in the students repeating grades which further perpetuates the financial burden the family must assist their student. This Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) will pay students school fees (which include student's tuition) so that they may continue to attend school without the emotional burden of financial concerns or fear of being sent home due to unpaid school fees. Students with academic passion yet financial hardships were identified by the principal. Then, the students met with the rest of the TAP committee to identify what type of mentorship they seek. We have decided to meet twice a month until the end of the school year to work on different study skills and career guidance. The objective and impact are to help keep students in school who show academic passion, equip them with better study skills, and offer career guidance to prepare them for their future. The community will contribute to paying their school fees unrelated to tuition (such as boarding, exam fees, and books). The grant will only sustain student’s tuition fees so that they can stay in school without the threat of being pulled out. The students were chosen based on their good attendance and their financial hardships. The TAP committee identified Form E students with family members that struggle supporting them financially because of loss of jobs and/or loss of life.
The community has formed a committee to help identify students who are most in need and deserving such assistance. The students the community has identified are all Form E (seniors) students. The community (in the form of the TAP committee) will also advise with the students twice a month in study skills and career guidance. Lastly, they contribute by paying their school fees unrelated to tuition (such as boarding, exam fees, and books). The grant will only sustain student’s tuition fees so that they can stay in school without the threat of being pulled out. The sustainability aspect of this project lives in the mentorship. These students will have their capacity built through the twice a month meeting with the TAP committee. The skills they have expressed that they need is in study skills and career guidance. These skills are honed to better these students future, some of whom spoke on returning the knowledge and opportunity back to this community after reaching success. Education itself is sustainable because it instills values that last a lifetime, including work ethic and passion for learning.