A Manchester couple have expressed concern about the educational progress being made by their Ugandan sponsored child and are now threatening to pull her out of her village school. Doug and Emily O’Sullivan from Wilmslow claim they are now seriously worried about the future prospects of ‘Beatrice’, from the village of Buteyongera in Central Uganda, following a new year’s update from charity WorldVision that they claim revealed only a mediocre academic performance.
‘The report we received from the charity claimed that Beatrice and her family are doing well with their little farm, and in her photo she looks happy enough, but frankly I’m a little alarmed by a rating of ‘satisfactory’ for her schoolwork’, said Doug. ‘I think you’ll agree not many students make it to Oxbridge by being ‘satisfactory’.’
Emily O’Sullivan agreed with her husband’s assessment, insisting that seven year-old Beatrice is exceptionally bright and should be in the village school’s ‘Gifted and Talented register.’ When Emily called WorldVision about this they were not able to confirm whether such a list even existed and admitted that there was no ‘top set’ for maths or English since Beatrice is only given basic schooling with forty other local children in a makeshift classroom next to her village’s only surviving tree.
The O’Sullivans sent Beatrice educational DVDs and CD-ROMs intended to boost academic performance, but were disappointed that the school had not made more use of them. ‘Something about there being ‘no computers or electricity’ or something – frankly the culture of excuses is partly what is holding back the most able pupils like Beatrice.’
The O’Sullivans are now threatening to take their sponsored child out of school and send her to a more rigorous selective private school in the Ugandan capital ‘It’s a two hour walk there and back every day, but it’s worth it if the school is at the top of the local league tables,’ said Doug. ‘Her father may have to sell his livestock to pay the fees, but you can’t put a price on a child having the opportunity to learn the cello.’
If that doesn’t work Doug has warned Beatrice that he may withhold her money from WorldVision. ‘I’ve told her it’s up to her. We won’t hold back from the ultimate sanction. Either she pulls her socks up or we’ll put her up for Celebrity Adoption.’
25 January 2008