Keeping Kids in Class with After-School Support
Tajik’s educational system, overburdened due to high enrollment, struggled with retention, especially during Grade 9, the last year of compulsory education. Through the Student Motivation Learning Program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, an Early Warning System and an after-school tutoring program were established to identify and support students at-risk of dropout.
Helping schools identify, track and provide support to 9th grade students at-risk of dropping out is a shared responsibility, one that USAID’s School Dropout Prevention Pilot has helped advance through its Early Warning System and Enrichment Programs.
Iskander was cutting class to hang out with his friends. His parents had no idea—that is, until the school adopted an Early Warning System to help monitor attendance, behavior and course performance. Created as part of the USAID Student Motivation Learning Program, it is one of several tools that teachers, parents and the community may use to encourage academic achievement beyond the 9th grade, the last year mandatory year of school.
In rural Tajikistan, there is pressure for older children to stay at home to help their families, especially after children finish compulsory education after 9th grade. Educators needed help convincing parents that their children’s continued education was important. The Student Motivation Learning Program engages community and religious leaders to raise awareness about the need to stay in school, spreading the message that education is a shared responsibility.
In Tajikistan, students are most likely to leave school after the 9th grade. To reverse that trend, the USAID Student Motivation Learning Program introduced an after-school Tutoring Program that makes learning fun and school a more desirable place to be. The interactive approach combines lessons with arts and crafts, games and social activities – and it seems to be working. Students want to come to the after-school activities so they go to their regular classes as well, boosting attendance and academic achievement.