A school for children of all backgrounds.
Nigeria is a nation of great diversity, ethnically. linguistically and in religion. Tensions due to this diversity simmer below the surface of Nigerian society and at times break out in to open conflict. Graceland International School was established on the premise that young people from diverse backgrounds can and should co-exist in a positive and harmonious educational environment. Such an environment would foster understanding and tolerance.
Feb 2009 - Gathering Data For First School
Feb 2009 - Rural Schools Part 1
June 2019 - Dedicated Teachers
Many families cannot afford the costs associated with an education. In addition to tuition, parents are also responsible for providing their children with uniforms, school books, and supplies. These costs are more than many families can provide. When a family has limited resources for education they usually choose to send their boys to school over their girls.
The policy of the government is hindered by a shortage of funds and resources. This results in a continuing shortage of schools, facilities and teachers available for even basic education. The result is inadequate facilities for the eligible number of children and youth. AEP has provided donated school texts and other teaching supplies for the school.
Apr 2014 - Computers for Grace International School
May 2015 - Funds for Text Books
Jun 2016 - Yoruba Society of CT Donates Funds for Laptops
Dec 2017 - Book Drive For Graceland International School
Dec 2017 - Books Shipped to Nigeria
Jun 2018 - Stocking the Resource Library at Graceland International School
Jul 2018 - Classroom Upgrades
Nov 2018 - Books and Barrels
Jan 2019 - Sports and Playground Equipment
Oct 2019 - Graceland Computer Class
Girls deserve an equal opportunity to gain an education as do boys. For example, the student enrollment at our first project Graceland International School, is over 50% girls. This is unusual in a region where education of girls is not a high priority in many families. This is usually a question of economics. In a region of Nigeria that is relatively poor, girls often have to work to supplement the family income. Another cultural issue is pressure to arrange early marriages for girls.
Graceland International School is our first project in Northern Nigeria. It is through this co-educational secondary school that we are making every effort to help improve this dire situation, especially in respect to the education of girls. The challenge of girls’ education is an important element of AEP's focus. In the north particularly, the gender gap remains particularly wide and the proportion of girls to boys in school ranges from 1 girl to 2 boys to 1 to 3 in some states.
The following hindrances to even the most basic educational opportunities apply to both boys and girls but they are even more difficult for girls to overcome.
April 2014 - Educating Girls
Jan 2019 - Hope for Her Future
Jun 2019 - Feminine Hygiene
Sept 2019 - Helping Others is the Coolest Thing in the World
Oct 2019 - Women Helping Women
Dec 2019 - Construction of Hostel at Women's Center in Kafanchan
Our aim, and that of our partners, is to "provide the highest quality education for students, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, or religion”. This has been very successful, as the school has attracted students from various backgrounds ethnically and religiously. We are also very pleased that about 50% of students enrolled are girls. This contrasts starkly with the fact that in Zamfara State as a whole only 16% of girls are enrolled in school.
Even when children enroll in schools, many do not complete the primary cycle. According to current data, 30% of pupils drop out of primary school and only 54% transit to Junior Secondary Schools. Reasons for this low completion rate again include child labor, economic hardship and early marriage for girls.
During our first visit to Nigeria we visited a fully functional high school run by the Anglican diocese of Kaduna. This school is relatively large and well established. We also wanted to learn more about the West African Education Council (WAEC) curriculum. This Educational Council sets an important series of exams for all of the countries of West Africa. Success on this exam allows graduating high school students to enter university and other institutions of higher education.
July 2009. - St Michael's College
Mar 2016 - Reasons for March Trip
Becoming accredited as a WAEC Exam Center requires a dedicated examination hall. AEP has built a structure housing and exam hall as well as additional administrative office space, and a dedicated computer lab, library, and teacher work room. The completed hall was been recently used for students to sit for their West Africa Education Council (WAEC) board exams in 2016.
Achieving accreditation as a dedicated WAEC center means that students from all over the region have a place to take the exam. Not every secondary school is given this distinction, so we are very proud of what has been accomplished.
Success in the WAEC exams enables students to pursue higher education in Nigeria’s universities and colleges. The Exam hall at Graceland International School was fully completed in early 2018. Since its completion students from Graceland International School have been very successful in these exams.
Sept 2016 - Excellent WAEC exam results 2016
May 2018 - WAEC Exam Results 2017
Jun 2018 - WAEC Exam Results Outstanding
Nov 2018 - Continued Success in WAEC Exams
One of our board members is an educator who provides valuable teacher training workshops to the teaching staff at Graceland International School and more recently, in the Kafanchan schools.
Aug 2017 - Teacher Training on Summer Trip 2017
Oct 2018 - Meeting with Teachers and Administrative Staff
June 2019 - Training Teachers in Recipe for Reading
June 2019 - Meet Alice - A Dedicated Teacher
Contemporary Problems: Numerous contemporary and historic problems hinder education in the north. An ingrained culture of corruption and mismanagement has resulted in the uneven distribution of oil revenues for development, leaving the agrarian north with fewer resources.
We want to assure all of our donors that we have full confidence in our Nigerian partners in Gusau. Through an established set of guidelines, we can be certain that together, we will always act in a fiscally responsible manner with the donations entrusted to us. To this end we have set up a secure channel for the transfer of funds from the USA to Nigeria.
Read more about our financial accountability procedures.
Feb 2010 - Financial Accountability
In late 2015 we were made aware that Graceland International School was running at a deficit. This was due to several factors beyond their control. First, there was a precipitous drop in school enrollment, due to parents withdrawing their students and moving them away from the area for fear of violence during the 2014 presidential elections. Second, the school fees being charged were not adequate, coming in much lower than the norm for similar schools in the region. In order to fully understand these problems, three board members traveled to Gusau.
Mar 2016 - Reasons for March Trip
A secure mechanism for the transfer of funds from the USA to Nigeria.
In consultation with our Nigerian partners, a secure mechanism was set up for the transfer of funds from our bank here in the USA and their bank in Gusau. Our donors can be assured that their donations reach their destination and are used for their designated purpose.