New Scholarship Program for the Secondary
Ashinaga Uganda launched a scholarship program for a new S1 (First year of Junior high school in Japan) student. Uganda uses unified lower and upper secondary school system. Therefore, the scholars will have to apply again when they advance to the upper level.
Primary school-aged students in Uganda have standardized test when they graduate from their primary schools. There are up to four grades from Division 1 to Division 4. Division 1 is the first grade and its performance is in top class in the nation. There are only few students who received Division 1 even among the students who are studying abroad in Japan. The scholarship applicants are required to have Division 1.
One of the major factors to establish this new scholarship program was that it is quite difficult for Ashinaga’s registered children to continue to attend school until graduating from upper secondary school. Many orphans have to leave school before graduation. As another aspect, our orphans choose a secondary school that demands less tuition fees. Yet, these schools can’t provide good education -they just provide certificates. This disabled our orphans to perform well regardless of their talents and potentials.
However, the quality of education in primary schools doesn’t very much differ from each other, and tuition doesn’t differ either between the rich and poor families, because many children go to local schools. Therefore, the students’ performances depend on the effort of the person much more than those of secondary schools.
Yet, in Uganda, graduating from secondary school is like a dream for orphans. Hard working children give up on graduating from secondary school though they try to continue with their education by working everyday to gain their school fees.
This year is the first year of the scholarship program. And we have selected six children for this new program.
There is a boy named Apollo who was admitted to King’s College, Budo, one of the most traditional, prestigious and respected schools in Uganda.
In addition, there is another boy named Musa who graduated from a government school called St. Joseph Primary School which is one of the cheapest schools and ranked low in Nansana; however, he still managed to perform well in the primary school leaving exam.
Amazingly, the schools the scholars have entered require the purchase of textbooks to each student. A textbook costs only a few U.S. dollars, but this is expensive for the people in Uganda. Many secondary schools in Nansana don’t even use textbooks in their classes.
The scholars’ parents can’t afford the requirements such as specified notebooks and textbooks. Considering the burden on the parents, Ashinaga decided to provide everything required from a school, so that the students can concentrate on their studies without any worries.