Improving St Joseph High School Results

Involved alumni:

The challenge that the project addresses

Supporting studying from poverty stricken families. The results of the above mentioned school are declining from year to year especially in science and mathematics. Among other problems, the students in this school come from poor families who cannot support them fully financially to get study resources to enhance their performance. Students are demotivated, teachers are also demotivated making it hard to perform well at the last year of study preparing students for universities and colleges.

What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?

After a recurring declining of grades obtained by learners at this school, it became worrisome to me as a former mathematics, physics and integrated science teacher. The questions I asked myself were: What could be the problem? What can be done to help improve the results? I approached the principal to allow me work with the students and willing teachers to motivate students, help them develop content knowledge in mathematics and physics. To also give them hope in studying on their own irrespective of their background and to implant spirit of competition to strive to always be the best performers in class. I visited students in their classes, talked to them on how to become the best achievers irrespective of their family, socioeconomic and school background. I gave motivational talks. I prepared tutorials and responses to tutorial questions. I tried to liaise with the mathematics and physics teachers, giving advice on content knowledge presentation but the interaction was very poor such that I had to stop. I sponsored two top achievers’ tuition fees for 2022. I am willing to sponsor more top achievers for the coming years.

Describe the project's impact

Some students improved their content knowledge, seen through the reasoning ability in answering questions in tutorials. Some students kept on asking for more work to be done, improved willingness to work on their own and interest to study. As someone based in Thaba-Tseka district which quite far from Maseru where the school is based, it is not easy for me to pay students regular visits, I involved ex-students willing to help in any way either in the form of motivation, career guidance or content development in their areas of expertise. I invited ex-students to contribute small amounts to keep the fire of sponsoring top achievers burning. I also asked for advice on how the small contributions can be made directly to the school and kept for sponsoring 2022 top achievers and maybe teachers who will perform quite well in 2022.

The grant will sponsor the two high performers who are in grade 10 this year for their tuition fees in the year 2023. It will also sponsor the two teachers who will have highest number of quality grades for the LGCSE results of 2022. The other money will be used for traveling costs to the school for motivational talks and content knowledge development in the areas of mathematics and physics. It will also try to buy at least one desktop computer for easy internet access for students at the last year secondary school level.

Read a magazine article about the project.