Student Selection

Learn how St Jude's chooses our students

It is an exciting time of year when word goes out over Arusha radio stations, signs go up at the school gates and flyers are distributed at busy markets around town, all broadcasting the same message: ‘student selection at The School of St Jude has begun!’ Families around Arusha are quickly aware that St Jude’s will open its gates to scores of potential students eager to receive the opportunity of a FREE, high quality education.

The School of St Jude’s mission is ‘Fighting Poverty Through Education’ which is achieved by selecting the brightest and poorest of Arusha and is reflected in our essential selection criteria. To gain a place at St Jude’s, a student must:

  • Be currently enrolled in the specified class at a government school within Arusha;
  • Have not repeated a class while at school;
  • Be within the right age range, and,
  • Pass the poverty criteria established during house visits

One child per family is accepted into the school to enable as many families as possible the chance to benefit from a high quality education that they would not otherwise have access to.
The tasks created for the testing process have been designed to cover basic learning concepts, reasoning and social and emotional awareness. Once a child has passed the academic test and they have provided adequate proof of age, the next step is to confirm that they are from a very poor family or disadvantaged situation. We do this by visiting the students’ home and assessing their living situation to ensure that only the most in need are accepted. The process is coordinated with our dedicated Parents Committee who are key to the selection process.

Prospective students are then invited to attend a probation class at St Jude’s. They are expected to attend classes for up to two weeks to ensure that they have the right attitude towards learning and the ability to cope with St Jude’s curriculum. St Jude’s endeavours to ensure that, wherever possible, all probation classes are conducted during the government school holidays so usual schooling is not disrupted.

Then the real excitement begins! At the end of the process, all new students receive their very own St Jude’s uniform, ready to start classes in January. The 150 new students receive shirts, trousers, ties, socks, shoes and dresses.

Aside from Standard 1, occasionally when class sizes allow, secondary students are accepted from our neighbouring government schools. The same criteria and procedure applies for secondary intake.

The joy of receiving a St Jude’s uniform
The joy of receiving a St Jude’s uniform
From 3 students 10 years ago to 1600 today it is a credit to everyone who has walked through those gates. What a remarkable team they make. The students, the teachers, the admin staff, volunteers, bus drivers, kitchen staff, security, gardeners all have a hand in writing this unfinished work, punctuated with passion.

Ian Skippen, Radio personality, Queensland, Australia