First Graduating Class of 2017 Now Entering College
Tina’s school celebrated its first graduating class in October 2017. Every member of that graduating class qualified to attend the local secondary school, and compared with other regional schools, Tina’s School sent far more girls on to further education. The families of these children showed their commitment to their kids' education by taking over the costs, as the government secondary school only charges for the school uniform and minimal fees. This also meant that these students were not earning money for the family or, if they were girls, not getting married, which would entitle their families to a dowry.
Of the forty-five students in Tina’s first graduating class of 2017, thirty-two have now graduated from secondary school, passed college entrance exams, and been accepted at college or community college. In their entire secondary school graduating class, only twenty-one girls passed into college or community college—and eighteen of them are from Tina’s School, an extraordinary achievement.
REACH Shirati has raised funds to provide scholarships for ten of the students who have now begun college. Community college costs $750 per year per student, and college costs $1200 per year per student. While the government covers the costs of tuition, students are responsible for all additional costs, including, books, uniforms, room and board, and transportation. Transportation is a required cost, because the ministry of education has a policy of placing students in colleges in regions outside of their tribal areas to encourage diversity and tolerance and to mitigate against tribalism. REACH Shirati hopes to continue offering college scholarships to the top ten students in future graduating classes.
We have now started a Tina’s School Alumni College Project at the local secondary school.