Interviewing new students at Auro technical school

All this week, Aashish (our Uganda director) has been at Auro technical school with two fantastic volunteers (Dilip and Piyush). Among their tasks this week, they had to interview the new batch of students wishing to study at Auro for the coming year. He provided us with a few notes on his experiences below.

Due to the sheer no of potential students who had turned up, the school set up 6 banks of desks (2 for each vocational course). On each desk, we sat a teacher, a volunteer, an ex-student and the potential student.

The idea behind the interview process is to try gauge their commitment to the school to ensure we had the students that really valued their education and were serious about working hard and not missing any classes. From our experience, we have seen that one way to get commitment from students is to ask for a token school fee  which helps in the process as it places a value on the education that they are getting. One of the question that would be asked of students would be to ask  if they would pay the token school fee. Another way to get strong commitment was to ensure that the parents were strongly behind their children’s education and so one of the questions was to ask if their parents knew about then coming for the interview, whether or not they are supportive, etc. Distance also plays a part in attendance, and we asked all potential students how far they lived from the school. We also assessed their understanding of the English language in the interview through our questioning – as all the courses are taught in English.

We marked each question out of 5 and the results were used to judge if the student would be successful in enrolling to the school or not. It was a fairly tough process but we had to be critical to ensure that the school maintained high standards through committed students.

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