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:
The presence of a clinic adjacent to Graceland International School.
AEP has been presented with a wonderful opportunity; one that will enhance both the school and the surrounding neighborhood. Kateri Medical Services, Inc., led by Ven. Tom Furrer, formerly of Trinity Church, Tariffville, has been in discussion with AEP and Bishop John to build a clinic. The conversations began last March, when AEP representatives met with Bishop John and a group of doctors. Ven. Tom Furrer provided the parameters for the construction of the proposed clinic adjacent to our school reinforces the connection between education and medical care. While there is not timeline for the project at this time, dialogue is continuing...stay tuned!
Based on the outcomes from that discussion, Kateri Medical Services, Inc. has offered to build the clinic at no cost to AEP. In addition, they will provide the funding to staff it for one year. Kateri Medical Services, Inc. has sought out contributors, making the entire proposal a reality for Graceland International School.
The prospect of a clinic in this area of Nigeria provides wonderful opportunities on a multitude of levels. Below: Doctors and pastors together with Bishop John (second from right), Ven. Tom Furrer, Kateri Medical Services, Inc., and Elaine Chagnon, AEP Board Member.
The photo above was taken on the site of the proposed clinic. Graceland international School can be seen in the background.
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.
Graceland International Clinic to open adjacent to Graceland International School.
During our week in Gusau at Graceland International School, Bishop John Danbinta took time to give a tour of Grace International 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.
Shipping materials to Nigeria has always been problematic, with no direct route other than shipping through DHL at exorbitant cost. Enter the Rev. Ben Nnaji, Priest-in-Charge of St. Edmund’s Church in the Bronx, New York. He had befriended Bishop John several years ago; Elaine Chagnon was asked by Bishop John to contact him. Rev. Nnaji had a contact who ships regularly to Lagos, Nigeria. Through the generosity of the Women’s Guild at St. Edmunds’s, the cost of shipping one barrel was covered. AEP covered the cost of a second barrel. On September 22, Elaine and son Nate headed to the Bronx to load the barrels with books. At this point, the books are enroute and should arrive before Christmas. One of our Nigerian team members will make the trip to Lagos to bring the books north to Gusau.
Carly Hajducky, a middle school student from St. Paul’s Church, Huntington, had an idea to help AEP. After hearing that a need existed for a library, the energetic young woman decided to collect books. She submitted her proposal to the Rev. Amjad Samuel, an AEP Board member for approval...and also to the Girl Scout Council for her Silver Star Award.
After receiving the go-ahead from both organizations, the drive was on! Carly worked tirelessly to collect 525 volumes. She catalogued each volume, placing a dedica- tion label in each one. In addition, she had bookmarks, several book bins, and a binder with the catalogued list to add to her donation.
On September 17, Elaine Chagnon was invited to St. Paul’s to address the congregation with Carly. At the conclusion of the service, the church picnic provided Elaine with the opportunity to become better acquainted with Carly and her parents. The books were presented and loaded!
It was a heartwarming experience to chat with the Hajducky family and appreciate their generosity and compassion. AEP is grateful for the effort and special care Carly took to make the drive such a success. The books will provide the library space with a great starting collection. On behalf of the students at GIS, AEP expresses its sincere thanks!