Financial need is the first criterion for admission to the African Dream Academy. Since the School is free for families, and public education is neither free nor universal in Liberia, hundreds of applicants applied for 140 spaces available in the school's first year and have continued to increase ever since. During the Admissions process in February 2015 when ADA anticipated reopening the school following the Ebola crisis, due to the overwhelming need and requests from families and the Liberian government,173 new students were accepted. Approximately 1,000 children had to be turned down for lack of space and resources. Total school enrollment for the 2015-16 year is 443.
The process begins with expressed intent by parents. The parents are later called for an initial interview, followed by background research, after which they are invited for a second interview where eligibility status is determined and approved. Due to the enormous number of applicants who may qualify for the Nursery Class, a lottery system is used to select students. Names of all qualified applicants are placed in a bag on the day of the lottery. Parents and children are called to pick a name from the bag; if a child’s name is drawn, he or she is admitted into ADA, according to availability. For all classes above the Nursery Class, applicants are tested and those children with the highest scores are accepted, again accrding to available spaces.
The School has also set aside 1% of available spaces for families who have previously been determined to have exceptional need. These are families where no one has ever attended school, and the child would be doomed to repeat generational poverty.
Each year ADA allots 10 spaces to the children of professionals of the community: police, doctors, nurses, accountants, or other members of professions determined by the school. When their children have been accepted into ADA, these parents agree to volunteer professional services to ADA when needed.
There is no better gift than to brighten a child's future.
The African Dream Academy needs volunteers. Click here to find out how to get involved.
Monrovia West Africa