During our visit in March, we were able to see the partially completed examination hall, built in very close proximity to the other school buildings. While construction was underway, we had concerns as to whether or not the building would be complete for the exams, scheduled during the window of March 15- April 30.
Similar to the SAT exams here, the West Africa Board Exams (WAEC) determine a student’s preparedness to enter university. Students study and prepare just like here with review sessions and practice tests.
Our Nigerian partners made a wise decision in determining the hall as a critical next step, acquiring the needed accreditation for Grace from Zamfara State. The hall was cleverly designed and reinforced to support five classrooms on a soon-to-be-constructed second floor - our next step.
Just over 30 students sat for their exams. The exam results should be available in late July.
Reasons for March 2016 trip
Our last visit to Gusau was in 2011. Since that visit Graceland International School has made great progress. With funds raised in the USA, a very large tract of land behind the original school plot has been acquired for future development. There are now two completed buildings containing classrooms, offices, science, and computer labs. In addition, the important examination hall is completed and has been recently used for students to sit for their West Africa Education Council (WAEC) board exams.
Understanding the unique issues and challenges faced by the Diocese of Gusau and the school. At the end of 2014 we were informed that the operating budget of the school was running at a deficit. AEP’s commitment to date has been to build the necessary buildings with the understanding that we will shift our focus to assisting with operating costs when the buildings are complete. The AEP Board concluded that a trip to Nigeria was prudent in order to confer with the school and Diocesan leadership over the operating costs and to learn what were the most urgent needs going forward. The board of AEP is very grateful to Board member Paul Frank for his generosity in funding this trip.