In the Uganda education system, seven years of primary education (designated P1-P7) are (since 1997) state-funded. The primary education is often limited by lack of school buildings (many schools meet under trees), few teachers (typically 200:1 student:teacher ratio), and lack of food and teaching materials; many students drop out. Primary education ends with the Primary Leaving Exam (PLE). PLE scores are demerit-based; they can range from 4 (perfect) to 36 (failing). Rural students rarely make First grade (4-12 points). Second grade (13-23 points) is typical for better students in rural schools.
Secondary education is not state-funded. The first four years of secondary education (S1-S4; “Ordinary-level” or “O-level”) are moderately expensive and end with the O-level exams. The last two years of secondary education (S5 and S6; “Advanced-level” or “A-level”) are much more expensive and end with A-level exams required to progress to general university education. There is also no state support for university or vocational education.
The single most important work TILT does is to enable deserving, hard-working students to gain an education. St. Augustine Community Love Programme (SACLP) identifies those students and administers the scholarships, for students who commit to return to their home area to bring back to rural Uganda the benefits of their education, and to pay forward their educational costs by sponsoring younger members of their community.
TILT sponsors primary, secondary, vocational, and technical school students. As of spring 2018, TILT is sponsoring 113 students. We would like to introduce you to some of the students identified by SACLP and sponsored through primary or secondary education.