February 25, 2013 – At a ceremony with the Antigua Ministry of Education today I made the following points.
It’s time to stop talking about input and start talking about output. When a project is in its infancy it’s natural to discuss what we’re doing. This could be referencing the number of computers, dictionaries, sewing machines or other “things.”
The next step is to share anecdotal evidence of success. Things like:
- Students seen with their dictionaries, in use, at school, in shops and restaurants, etc.
- Attendance rates higher on Fridays because it’s “Chess Days” and chess overpowers Friday skip day.
- More students have computer access and the computers are well maintained.
We have now moved to the level of true, proven results. When asked about our project it’s time to stop saying that we have brought in over 1,500 computers, 7,500 dictionaries, started sewing lessons, chess programs, etc.
It’s time to say, “We’ve improved the education of the Antiguan students and given opportunity to ladies with no job possibilities. We’ve done this through our donations of computers, dictionaries, sewing machines, the chess program and more. We know the results, they are positive and include:
- The passing rate on the Common Entrance Exam for primary students to go to a secondary school is up by 50% in the public schools and 12% in the private schools (private schools started at 82% passing).
- 90% of graduating students pass at least one technology class. Ten years ago it was almost zero.
- Our sewing project has created a group of a dozen ladies who can now sew family clothes that look like they were bought in a nice store. Three of them are planning a new business to make and sell clothing.
Rotarians and Ministry of Education Officials, I urge you to start talking about the results and the projects sustainability not just what we’ve provided.