9th Grade National Exam Incentive Program

During our fall 2009 visit, we learned of our school's abysmal performance on the 9th grade national exam...23rd out of 25 middle schools in the province. We then learned, much to our dismay, that students who did not pass the national exam could not go on to high school. Their education was finished. 

We caucused and then proposed the following:

  • If 90% of 9th grade students pass the exam and 95% percent of those enrolled take the exam (thus effectively discouraging teachers from dissuading those students they felt could not pass from being absent on exam day), ALL  teachers would receive a bonus of $250, a sum greater than 10% of their yearly salary. Note: we realized that 7th-8th grade teachers could have a motivating influence on student they taught in previous years.


  • All students who pass the exam would receive a bonus. Those who achieved a grade in the highest band received $25; those who achieved a grade in the above average band received $20; those who achieved an 'average' passing grade received $15.

This program is a tangible way to reward great teaching. As many know, teachers in many countries, including the U. S., are woefully underpaid. This program demonstrates to these teachers that we truly value their efforts. 


Note: In the past, only 2 students in over 220 taking the exam received a grade in the highest band, i.e., less than 1% who took the exam. In the first year we implemented the bonus, over 40% achieved a grade in the highest band.

Further, in 2017, 100% of the students taking the exam passed it--the first time in 8 years that this has happened.

These results led the government, in 2014, to invest in our school by building 3 new rooms, increasing our capacity by 60%. 

Most importantly, as a result of this bonus program, for the past 8 years we have ranked as one of the top village schools in the nation, based on these national exam results. 

Some have asked: Are the results accomplished through cheating? The answer is two-fold: 1. the government has devised processes to effectively eliminate cheating. 2. Village teachers simply do not earn enough to put together large enough bribes to attain the result they want.


Our Incentive program for 2018 is currently unfunded. If you would like to fund our "9th Grade and Teacher Incentive" Program for 2018 (Students: $945 est., teachers: $3,250. Total: $4,195.), please click here or on the button below.

Note: 100% of all donations will be used to fund projects and programs for village students, alumni, teachers, and families. No funds will ever be used to fund administrative expenses or board member travel and expenses. 

You can double your donation, if you work for a company with a Matching Gift program, by applying for a matching donation from your company. We are registered with most of the organizations that manage matching gift programs for companies (e.g., benevity, Your Cause, Network for Good). 

(Left): Students in the top band in July 2009 hold up their bonuses.  (Center left): Teachers celebrate their bonuses. (Center): Top students in 2013 display their bonuses. (Center right): Students in 2015 with their bonuses. (Right): The students in 2016 who received bonuses.

Take Action: Fund our 2018 Incentive Program: $945 est./student incentives. $3,250 est./teacher incentives