After starting the Arlington Junior School and watching it provide quality education to rural children in Eastern Uganda for more than 15 years, the Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) was frustrated that it could help only 50 new students per year. Annually we received more than 400 applications for the 50 school slots. We decided to help students in surrounding government schools with a ten point program for improving their educational offering and general condition of the schools. AAH collected funding for schoolroom supplies, subsidized lunches and primary leaving exam preparation. We were fortunate to partner with Marymount University in Arlington to provide teacher training for the teachers. For several schools we were able to build new classrooms, kitchens and latrines and upgrade the schools' physical plants. The assisted schools had to meet certain requirements to qulaify for the aid. They must have an agreement from the parents that all the students will attend school 100% of the time. The teachers must commit to 100% attendance. English must be taught in every grade starting with Primary 1. The parents must commit to provide a lunch for the students to the degree they can (AAH will subsidize the balance.)
We now assist 24 schools affecting close to 20,000 kids. We are beginning to see that the primary leaving exam scores for these schools are rising. Every school has improved, and a couple of schools have scores that are superior to Arlington Junior School! One school's scores moved up 70% in the second year in the program.
As a whole, the schools in Bududa, Manafwa and Namasindwa Districts have now begun to move up in their annual primary school national standings. We are very pleased with the results so far.
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