By Debbie Jones, GO Africa Director
In Senegal, West Africa children attending public schools struggle to complete a grade in a year’s time due to constant striking and under-trained teachers. The success rate for the public school is just 40%. Whereas children who attend private Christian schools complete a grade each year, receive spiritual training, have adequate teachers, and a success rate of 98%.
At different intervals during a Senegalese child’s school career they are required to take a large government exam, the first of which takes place at the end of elementary education. This is a very big deal not only for the child but the family as well. In order to pass successfully they attend extra classes and often give up their weekends for tutoring and study time. Each child is allowed two opportunities to pass the exam; if they fail both attempts their school career is over and they cannot advance to the next level.
Recently, two children sponsored through GO on the Mission, one boy and one girl who attended the same private Christian school, were up for their government exams. According to their headmaster, neither of these students would have been able to attend this school if they had not been sponsored.
Imagine the excitement not only for the children but their families and sponsors when both students passed their government exams with very high scores. Then we learned about something more amazing; one student had exceptionally high marks in science while the other student had exceptionally high marks in technology. In these subjects they scored higher than all other children taking the exam that year in Senegal. Because their scores were so high, the Senegalese government moved them to special schools where they can continue to excel in the area where they scored highest.
This story allows us to ponder what life would be like for these two children had they attended a public school where the success rate is 40%? Their God given abilities to excel in science and technology would most likely not have been known and the hope they have now for the future would not have been realized. GO on the Mission and our sponsors are changing lives in a holistic manner. We are making a difference for kids, their families and the communities where they live by offering a meal each day and a sound education that includes Christian training. Imagine what this next generation can accomplish. Kids can change the world if we give them hope for the future and allow them to excel.