By: Averty Ndzoyi
Early last semester, we carried out five days of activities in a Bambama school. We were working to pay the school tuitions and assess the progress made by the students of the indigenous people of Bambama. We also assessed the school’s progress through 12 local students previously selected to motivate and counsel.
Since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, we took the responsibility of paying the mandatory monthly school tuitions for 24 indigenous children that we convinced to go to school this year. Thanks to the donation of Kristina Lewis Madina on our website www.espaceopoko.org, we were able to pay for these 24 indigenous to attend school.
It is worth noting that each year, fewer indigenous students finish the school year due lack of support. Last year, the dropout rate among Aboriginal students was 63% in the last school semester. This school year, no student has dropped out of school. We continue with our activities to empower Aboriginal students to have the same chances of success as the local children.
High school student grades improved greatly in the second semester of this year. Recently, we noticed that one of our improving students, Tsoumou Dieu Merci, was not present in class. After following up, we found out that Tsoumou Dieu Merci was seriously sick and could not attend school anymore.
In middle school, we also noticed a slight improvement in the grades. For instance, Student Malouono Bouchancy’s grades have improved from “poor to “average”.
Early in the school year we selected twelve middle school students to participate in our motivation and monitoring pilot program. The goal of this program is to see how continuous and intentional adult attention and involvement will positively impact students and others. For this last semester, twelve students have increased their efforts, and the results were very satisfactory. They kept their place at the top of the list as top students in their school. Btassoua Ompebet Exaucé went from 12 to 14.47 in the second semester, and Bikouya God went from 10 to 12.43 average in the second semester.
To foster competition and hard work among students, we organized a “rite de passage ceremony” where those top students were congratulated and rewarded. As a reward, we plan to distribute hand out an MP3 player to each of those students containing the English audio courses to enable them to independently learn English when they are at home.