During our week in Gusau at Graceland International School, Bishop John Danbinta took time to give a tour of Graceland Hospital, currently under construction. As Gusau is a capital city, a small clinic would not suffice, so a large hospital facility is in the works. The hospital will provide not only basic medical care but surgery and maternity services as well. Being branded under the school name will strengthen the connection between medical care and education. Students from the school will be able to get first-hand experience in the medical fields by walking through the gate.
This is an ambitious project that has received funds from Kateri Medical Services, Inc., another NGO based in Tarriffvile, CT. The plan is to have a dedication of the Graceland International School examination hall and the hospital in October of 2018. Plans are underway for a medical outreach program at the new hospital facility during that time as well.
The board of Africa Education Partnership rejoices with our partners in Gusau for the fact that this hospital will be adjacent to Graceland International School. Co-branding of the school and the hospital will enhance both the school and the hospital in the eyes of the local community.
Many of the students at Graceland school aspire to be doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, with the hospital adjacent to the school, the students will have a great opportunity to gain practical experience.
The library at Graceland International School is very inadequate both in so far as books are concerned and in the lack of shelves for the books that they do have. Many of the books that the library does have are stacked in a few piles along the walls.
It is for this reason that we have shipped three barrels of resource textbooks and other materials to help stock the Library at Graceland International School. We are sending three more barrels this summer. The books that we have gathered to ship have been acquired from two Connecticut school systems, Granby and South Windsor.
Most of the books we are sending are in the fields of math, science and technology.
Sachin Menon, the young man on the left and a recent graduate of South Windsor High School secured 8 boxes of math, science and technology textbooks for Graceland International School, Gusau, Nigeria. He responded magnificently to the request I made in our church, St. Peter’s, South Windsor for textbooks.
He approached the principal of the South Windsor High for books that were no longer needed at the school. These books will be placed in the Library of the of Grace school as a resource for both teachers and students.
One of our board members, Mrs. Elaine Chagnon, recently retired from the Granby school system, has secured many more books for shipping to Nigeria. Sachin’s “haul” will join them and be taken to St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church in the Bronx, where we will pack them into barrels for shipment to Nigeria.
The Rev. Fr. Benjamin Udochukwu, a Nigerian ex-pat and pastor of St. Edmund’s, regularly uses this method to ship stuff to Nigeria. It costs $250 to ship one barrel, this includes the cost of the barrel. We expect to be shipping a total of at least 3 barrels possibly 4.
If you wish to help by making a donation toward this expense, please visit our website www.africaep.org and use the secure donate button to make your donation. Spend some time browsing our website, you will learn so much about Graceland International School.
A persistent problem in the region is finding a regular supply of clean water for drinking and washing. With this in mind our partners in Gusau have decided that they should drill a borehole on the school property to supply both the school and the adjoining Graceland clinic.
The Africa Education Partnership board has responded positively to this request and has allocated funds for this project. Funding for this project is a co-operative effort with Kateri Medical Clinics who have provided half of the $5000.00 cost.
Avon-Canton Rotary Club.
AEP board member Elaine Chagnon presented the need for clean water at the school to the the Avon-Canton Rotary Club, We are pleased to report that they decided to donate $1000.00 toward the cost of the borehole.
At the June meeting of the club, they presented Mrs. Chagnon with a check for $1000.00, which she accepted on behalf of Africa Education Partnership. We are very grateful to the Avon-Canton Rotary Club for their generous donation.
In a recent editorial published in the Nigerian daily “This Day”, it was noted that the most recent WAEC exam results were again dismal even depressing. Unless the authorities take action to turn around the state of education in the country, educational standards will continue to fall. Nationally, only 18% of the candidates who entered the exams received results that would get thm admission into some of the reasonable universities.
In contrast the results of the students at Graceland International School far outstripped the national results.
Our first entry was in 2016, when 35 candidates entered.
27 candidates obtained credits in 9 subjects.
6 candidates obtained credits in 8 subjects.
2 candidates obtained credits in 7 subjects.
All of the GIS candidates obtained the required 6 credits including English and Mathematics which allowed them to gain admission to university or other institutions of higher learning. One of the girls also obtained the hig84hest marks in whole of Zamfara state.
The 2017 results were equally impressive.
84 candidates entered the examinations.
4 candidates passed all 9 credit subjects.
50 candidates passed 8 credit subjects.
7 candidates passed 7 credit subjects.
5 candidates received 5 or 6 credit subjects.
This means that 79 out of 84 candidates received enough of the required credits to gain admission to a university.
The impressive thing about these students is that they have very high ambitions for their futures. They speak of becoming doctors, lawyers, engineers.
Read the editorial from “This Day” here:
Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, and the seventh most populous in the world. Nigeria’s education sector has been overburdened by strong population growth and a significant ‘youth bulge.’ (More than 60 percent of the country’s population is under the age of 24.)
2. Economic recession.
Oil accounts for 90% of Nigeria’s exports and 70% of government revenue. The collapse of international oil prices in 2016 pushed Nigeria into a deep recession, resulting in severe cuts in public spending which has affected government services nationwide. These cuts exacerbated the already existing crisis in education.
3. Existing problems in education.
The education system was already underfunded and the recent cuts in the education budget has exacerbated the problems. There is a severe shortage of trained teachers, school buildings are falling into disrepair, there is shortage of textbooks and basic classroom equipment such as desks and blackboards.
Edited from: https://wenr.wes.org/2017/03/education-in-nigeria
Compulsory, free Universal Basic Education in primary and junior secondary schools, is the Nigerian Federal Government’s policy, yet millions of children especially from families of low income, either don't go to school or drop out. In Zamfara, the government has said it has taken measures to address the problem, yet thousands have never entered a classroom or dropped out to for economic and cultural reasons.
Concerned Parents and Educators identify the causes of low enrollment
The low enrollment of students in public schools is attributed to the high rate of poverty in Zamfara, education is free, but many parents cannot afford the cost of books, uniforms and transportation. Other reasons are the lack of insight into the long term value of education as well as poor infrastructure and accessibility. A father, Ali Sadi, said all his three children had attended public secondary school in Gusau, but that he had to withdraw his daughter and send her to work to make ends meet. His comments highlight another problem, the low value placed on educating girls.
Another parent, Musa Usman, said rural schools have the lowest attendance rate and that girls are less likely than boys to complete secondary education. He said girls are withdrawn and married-off for socio-cultural reasons.
Change of attitudes to education needed.
A teacher at a private school in Gusau, said “some parents do not appreciate the importance of education. "Our attitude to the value of education must change. Many parents would rather finance the wedding of their sons and daughters than finance their education,"
United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF) identifies nearly 250,000 out of school young people in just three of the 14 Local Government areas, in Zamfara.
Zamfara State has 14 Local Government Areas, recently the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said it had identified 240,560 out-of-school children in just 3 of those LGAs.
The Chief of UNICEF in charge of the Sokoto Field Office, Mohameden Fall, said the number was derived from the household mapping and listing of out-of-school children conducted in 2016 through the State Universal Basic Education Board in these three Local Government Areas.
A state official said the figure indicated that unless authorities find ways of addressing the problem and its underlying causes, these numbers will continue to grow.
The importance of the work of Grace International School in this context.
Africa Education Partnership, has built and continues to sponsor Grace International School with the stated purpose of addressing these problems, by providing a high quality education regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion.
Read the full article on the following link.
The electricity supply in the region is very unreliable, therefore to ensure that the school has a regular and reliable electricity supply the board of AEP has approved funding for solar panels and a generator. A reliable electricity supply is essential especially for the science and computer labs.
Due to the very hot climate in Northern Nigeria the computer labs also need air conditioning units to ensure that the equipment does not overheat. Because of the irregular electricity supply, the solar panels are an essential addition to ensuring the proper environment for the computer labs.
The 2017 WAEC results from Graceland International School are in, we are very pleased to report that our students again did very well in these important exams. 84 students entered, 79 passed with enough credits that enable them to enter institutions of higher learning. See detailed results in the download file below.