The library at Graceland International School is very inadequate, lacking both reference books and shelving to store them. Many of the books that the library does have are stacked in a few piles along the walls.
For this reason, we have shipped three barrels of resource textbooks and other materials to help stock the school library. We are sending three more barrels this summer. The books that have been shipped were donated through 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 school as a resource for both teachers and students.
One of our board members, Mrs. Elaine Chagnon, recently retired from the Granby school system and 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.
Each barrel costs $250 to ship and that includes the cost of the barrel. There is no weight restriction, which makes it the most economical way to ship large quantities of materials.
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 chronic 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 Hospital, currently under construction.
The Africa Education Partnership board has responded positively to this request and has allocated funds for this project. Funding for this project is a cooperative effort with Kateri Medical Services, 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 gain them admission into some of the better universities.
In contrast the results of the students at Graceland International School surpasses the national results.
Our first class of students sat for WAEC in 2016, when 35 candidates registered.
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 highest mathematics marks in the 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, and other professionals.
Read the editorial from “This Day” here:
The consideration of a hospital adjacent to Graceland International School.
AEP has been made aware of a wonderful opportunity, one that will enhance both the school and the surrounding neighborhood. Kateri Medical Services, Inc., led by Ven. Tom Furrer, president of that non-profit organization, has been involved in discussion with Bishop John Danbinta regarding plans to build a hospital adjacent to the the school. The conversations began last March, when an AEP representative was invited to attend a meeting with the two leaders and a group of doctors. Ven. Tom Furrer provided the parameters for the construction of the proposed hospital. This proposed project reinforces the connection between education and medical care.
Based on the outcomes from that discussion, Kateri Medical Services, Inc. has offered to build the hospital. They will also provide 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 hospital in this area of Nigeria provides wonderful opportunities on a multitude of levels.
Below: This shows the very beginning of construction of the hospital, just over the security wall from Graceland International School.
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 have dropped out 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 for low enrollment are attributed to the lack of insight into the long term value of education as well as poor infrastructure and accessibility. A father, Ali Sadi, said 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 young 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 Graceland International School in this context.
Africa Education Partnership, has built and continues to sponsor Graceland 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.