How are students selected?
In partnership with selected local organizations, Vega works with teachers in public primary schools within poor rural and urban communities to identify the most academically-promising students. These students must also be significantly disadvantaged, preference being given to double or single orphans. Students are selected during their last two years of primary school and must continue to succeed academically within these two years in order to be eligible for the program. The selection committee includes program volunteers, community members and teachers, and local government authorities will also be consulted where this could be useful. Once a student receives a scholarship from the program, the selection committee assists the student in identifying and registering with an English-medium secondary school that has been screened and selected by Vega Education.
How much does it cost?
$1,700 (CAD) per year, which is about $142 per month. We encourage donors to commit to sponsoring a student for all of four years of secondary school.
Once admitted to an English medium secondary boarding school through Vega Education, the scholarship covers the following, paid directly to the school: fees, uniform, boarding costs, books, shoes, school supplies, and English tutoring support. In Tanzania, school fees for private secondary boarding school include comprehensive health care coverage.
The sponsorship is free of administration costs. Your entire donation goes directly to your sponsored student. We volunteer our time to keep things running because we believe in the power of our approach to lift kids out of poverty and give them a better future. We also hold one-off fundraiser events for any additional operating costs we may incur.
Why English boarding school?
English is in fact the official language of instruction at all secondary schools in Tanzania. However, students in public secondary schools typically graduate with minimal grasp of the language, having studied under teachers who can barely speak English themselves and often resort to teaching in Swahili instead. If a student is to continue to post-secondary education, where the language of instruction truly is English, it is important that they are comfortable in the language in order to succeed.
In Tanzania, most secondary students board. This is because there are not as many secondary schools across the country as primary schools, and the distance to the nearest secondary school is often not walk-able from villages. In addition, home life in the village is typically not conducive to high academic performance, as students would not have access to a quiet, lighted place to do their homework in the evenings.
How are students supported to succeed?
Vega Education monitors the progress of all students, working closely with schools and teachers to ensure students have everything they need to succeed, including English tutoring in the early years, to help make the transition to high-quality secondary education.
Can sponsors choose their student(s)?
Yes! We have a range of screened girls and boys, some from villages and some from urban slums, some single or double orphans, that are awaiting sponsorship today. Simply contact us to let us know as much as you can about the kind of student(s) you would like to sponsor and we will do our best to match you up!
Can sponsors communicate with their student?
In order to maintain an ideal relationship between students and their sponsors, communication is facilitated by Vega Education. Semi-annual progress reports, including a letter from the student, is shared with sponsors, and we can also facilitate a response back to the student.