Our programs have a proven record of improving the numeracy and literacy skills of both junior high and senior high students, reducing drop-out rates by increasing financial opportunities to attend school and bolstering confidence, learning attitudes and leadership skills. We measure these impacts through rigorous quasi-experimental impact assessments and focus on both the quantitative improvement in test scores, attendance and participation rates as well as qualitative improvements in self confidence, aspirations and motivations and attitudes towards learning. We also collect basic demographic data to see if there is correlation between score improvement and other demographic factors. On average, we observe at least a 100% improvement on student’s original test scores in basic math and English skills. Many students often improve within a 100% - 250% range from their original math and English scores.
Greetings from African Leadership Academy in South Africa!
Christopher Akuleme was a P2P tutor and scholarship winner in 2016. Today he is studying at the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in South Africa, a prestigious and highly selective Two Year Pre-University Diploma Program that brings together young leaders from the continent and prepares them to be entrepreneurs and agents of change. We talked to him about his experience with Expo and how it prepared him for his future!
Q: How did being a tutor with Exponential Education help you in your regular classes at SHS?
Christopher: The tutor program helped me a lot. First of all, it boosted my confidence which enabled me to speak more often in class. Secondly, the program helped me to remember some of the basic things I had forgotten and by teaching these to JHS my Math grades even improved as a result. Aside these reason, the tutor program also served as a platform for me to improve my public speaking skills. In fact, I am much better now!
Q: Do you think the program helped you in Form 3 when you had to take the WASSCE (national standardized exam)?
Christopher: I think yes. By Form 3 after the tutor program, I knew what I wanted to achieve and so I did just that. For me, it served as the reason why I should succeed.
Q: Did the scholarship assist you with your education?
Christopher: Yes. I paid the whole of my year three first term fees with the scholarship as well as my arrears from the previous term. With the fees paid, all my parents had to do was to buy the books I needed to read for my final exam, which they did! All I had to do was study. I think the scholarship played a role in my final exam success.
Q: Wow that's great to hear! Do you think the P2P Tutoring Program had an impact on your personal life?
Christopher: P2P helped me manage my time well. Prior to the P2P, I never managed my time well because I had no obligation to any other activity aside academics but the P2P instilled punctuality in me.
Q: Did P2P help you prepared for your future?
Christopher: After high school I still did not know what career path to take but one thing I knew for sure was that with more practice I would be a great orator one day. Now at ALA, I joined the Debate Club, Blockchain Club and have even gotten a temporal job at the call center just to get better at it.
Q: You are definitely busy! What is the Blockchain Club?
Christopher: The Blockchain is a network on which cryptocurrency transactions are made and recorded accurately. It’s a whole theory on its own but its major aim is to remove the middleman such as banks, traders, or government from any business transaction. So it means money transactions at no cost.
Q: That's really interesting! So what career do you want?
Christopher: I am mainly interested in finance and I want to study Economics at college. Aside this I am generally interested in technology, and learning more about it is something I want to pursue as well.
Q: Where do you want to study?
Christopher: After high school, I initially wanted to study at University of Ghana but then my admission to ALA has opened up many opportunities for me to explore. For now I have not really decided on that but I have been looking at Stanford and I think I will like it over there.
Q: What about ALA? Were you surprised when you found out you had received admission?
Christopher: Yeah, I was totally surprised by the offer. It was the last thing I expected to happen.
Q: Do you think being a part of P2P helped you get admission to ALA?
Christopher: Yeah. It was even because of the program I got to know about this school. Expo helped me in the application process. I talked about Expo in my application essays and I think I was accepted to the school because the school was about to start a similar program at the time on campus and so they matched that up.
Q: That's great Christopher! Is there anything else you want to say about P2P or Expo?
Christopher: The program also showed me I can make a positive impact on others even in small ways. I plan on doing so soon. In short, Expo was great!
Meet Enoch and Fatima,
two of our tutors. They began with Expo as students who needed to be tutored, and ended at the top of their class and becoming tutors themselves.
Spotlight: SHS Scholarship Winners and Expo Tutors
After Exponential Education, many of our promising high school students who have won scholarships have gone on to do great things. Some are currently in college like Isaac Larbi from Exponential Education Spring 2012, who is now attending The University of Ghana, Legon and studying to become an engineer. Other students, like Judith Edem, used the scholarship to attend technical schools like the Nursing and Midwifery Training College, Korle-bu. JHS students also benefit from our program as well as they bond with their tutor, increase their skills and gain mentors and role models from their community. Here are some of their stories and experiences while at Exponential Education:
Scholarship Winner Isaac Darko
(and former Expo JHS student)
Isaac Darko is a bright, motivated, and energetic fifteen year old - and is also one of Exponential Education's Junior High graduates. Darko has benefited from a number of Exponential Education’s programs. In his last year of junior high school, he received tutoring at his village school in Sakora Wonoo. While he waited for an admission decisions from high schools he worked as an Expo tutor himself - impressing Program Manager Matt Hottmer with his punctuality and innovative tutoring techniques.
Darko’s family in Sakora Wonoo would never be able to afford the tuition and fees required to send him to high school on their own. His mother sells vegetables in the village market. Darko’s uncle, a market trader in Kumasi, also contributes to the boy’s education whenever he can.
With the help of Exponential Education, Isaac is now enrolled in his first choice school and one of Kumasi’s top public high schools, which has good science labs and qualified facilities. Isaac's concentration is business where he ranks near the top of his class.
Darko, as he prefers to be called, wants to open his own business as well as continue his education – he wants to study accounting at university after he finishes high school. During school breaks he weaves Kente cloth – the colorful fabric worn by Ashanti royalty – on the family loom to help support himself.
Darko, never the most modest about his abilities, told us he
will graduate first in his class in 2016. He also told us he will travel the world one day – visiting all of his ‘friends’ in America who have helped him along the way. Nobody knows the future but we wouldn’t bet against this kid.
An Interview with SHS Scholarship Winner Joshua Attah Larbia
What would you like to study at University?
I hope to study medicine. My family has always supported this because I am good at science. I want to become a surgeon, but I love to teach, so I would also like to lecture in medicine at a Ghanaian university.
Does your experiences having been a JHS student in Expo as well, and initially having tutor and mentor impact the way you work with students now at Asakore Mampong JHS?
Yes. He has helped me so much and I want to offer my students the same support. They really need someone to help them and give them individual attention they don’t get in school. Some of the schools here, they don’t prepare the students. My junior sister is in JHS now at a different school in Kumasi. She is top of her class, but I still worry she is not doing as well as she needs to. I even worry she won’t pass the BECE because the level of education at that school is not good. I try to help her with her homework but she’s very independent and wants to do everything herself. I think it’s important to have someone older than you who looks out for you and helps you understand things that are challenging.
You mentioned earlier that you would like to become a professor because you love to teach. Had you taught or tutored before working with Exponential Education?
Yes. Starting in JHS, when the teacher left the class, I would go up to the front of the room and start to teach. This happened a lot in JHS, almost every day, because there are always meetings and things the teachers have to go to. It still happens sometimes in SHS, but not as often.
That’s interesting! How did the students respond? Did they behave and listen to what you taught?
Yes! I think they really loved it. There were some naughty ones, and I ignored them, but most of them were really good and wanted to learn. I love it too. I think teaching is so lovely.
I guess you weren’t nervous then, when you started teaching with Expo, since you had done it before?
I wasn’t nervous, but it was difficult because these students’ level is so much lower than other students I taught—far, far lower. It was a shock. The first few weeks, I felt like “these kids are in school and they don’t know anything…how to add or subtract…anything!” I think they have improved a lot and they are more likely to do well on the BECE, but it shows there are big problems with quality of education here.
Your gift represents much more than just a monetary gift. It is a belief in the promise of equal opportunity. By providing resources to students who need and deserve it the most, you are helping to ensure that one’s economic situationis not a barrier to their intellectual growth. Moreover, you have shown that you believe in the power of education and its ability to better both the world and individual. There are no words to express my gratitude for the interest you have taken in my personal and intellectual wellbeing.