Yampiou is one of the top three students in her class at school.
That’s an achievement on its own — but what’s more impressive is that she’s only been in school for less than a year.
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It all started when Yampiou and her father attended an awareness session about an accelerated learning center that Plan International was running nearby. The center, known as a “speed school,” offers educational programming designed specifically for children who have been out of school for more than two years. After nine months, the students are caught up, ready to enroll in a regular primary school.
At first, Yampiou’s father was skeptical.
“We didn’t want our daughter to go to this center,” he says. “We thought, how could a girl who has never been to school end up in the third grade after only nine months? But she insisted and we let her go.”
Yampiou remembers how scared she was going to school for the first time.
“When we started the classes, our teacher told us not to be afraid,” she says. “She encouraged us girls the most, telling us to work hard and get ahead of the boys.”
At the end of the program, Yampiou did get ahead of many of the boys, finishing as one of her grade’s top students and getting a nearly perfect score on her final exam. Now, she’s making plans for the future.
“I’m happy because I did really well,” Yampiou says proudly. “I did a good job; my parents are happy with me. I promise to continue school and succeed. I want to be a teacher.”