2018 Student Success Rate Far Exceeds Prior Years

Results from the 2018 school year were released in Togo over the summer break, and Peace Sisters is proud to report that the passage rate of our supported students increased by an unexpectedly large margin this year. One of the biggest obstacles that girls face in obtaining an education in Togo is the staggering proportion of students who repeat the same grade level one or more times throughout their schooling. In fact, failing the year is so common that many students eventually became frustrated and drop out because they feel they are not progressing fast enough through the system and therefore decide their efforts would be better spent elsewhere.

Whereas in past years the student success rate (those who pass their exams and move on to the next grade level) has frequently hovered at just over 50% of our supported students, Peace Sisters was thrilled to learn that almost 80% of our girls will move on to the next grade level this year. This extraordinary leap in achievement is exhilarating and we are all the more enthusiastic about expanding our efforts.

In Togo, the girls and the school directors have been speculating as to which aspects of our program made the biggest impact on academic success this year. Many of them cited the distribution of solar study lamps as the greatest factor for those living without electricity because, for the first time, these girls were able to study for their exams after the sun went down. Yet others mentioned the importance of the field visit that our Board Members, Tina Kampor and Alastair Greeves, made to Togo in April. Gathering the girls together helped foster a sense of pride amongst our students and encouraged them to redouble their efforts in school.

Peace Sisters continues to listen carefully to the feedback from our colleagues in Togo, and we are always considering new ways to improve our results. Some of the pilot programs that we might roll out this year include tutoring programs, providing supplies for coping with menstruation at school (to prevent absenteeism), and conducting more frequent events to encourage the girls to work hard and build pride within their cohort.

Lara Eldredge Schott