The first installment of $10,000 has been wired to our partners in Gusau to begin the dormitory project.
During the fall of 2020, discussion resumed with our partners in Gusau regarding the construction of dormitories for Graceland international School. Dormitories are a necessity for secondary schools, encouraging students from farther-reaching areas to continue their education past the compulsory grade 6 level.
Recent news from Graceland International School, Gusau, Nigeria
Recent news from Graceland has been very encouraging, with enrollment up in all grades. There is a healthy balance between the numbers of boys and girls, as well as Christian and Muslim students. The aim of Graceland International School (GIS) is to ensure that both boys and girls have equal opportunities for the quality education that is offered there. The aim of the school is “reconciliation through education”. Therefore GIS enrolls both Christian and Muslim students without discrimination. Learning together encourages understanding and acceptance between those from different backgrounds.
After a long delay, we are excited to announce that the well at Graceland International School is finally being drilled, the delay was caused by the the fact that the raining season made the soil waterlogged, now that the dry season has arrived work began in earnest. This well is vital for the provision of clean safe, drinking water for the school. The well will not only serve the school, but also the adjoining Graceland Hospital, opened last October.
I was able to meet with a small group of teachers and the administrative team to review the progress made at the school.
We were very excited to get a tour of the school after our survey of the hospital. The changes in just a year’s time were quite remarkable. The exam hall was completed and is truly beautiful.
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:
Wall Fundraiser– Can you Help?
The property directly behind Graceland International School provides enough space to build additional classroom blocks and dormitories in the future. This is a prime piece of land surrounded by a growing neighborhood. As houses continue to spring up, there is an increased probability that the land might be encroached upon.
Even though the property has been purchased and paid for, it is currently unoccupied and can be encroached by property owners adjoining our property. Building the wall is a crucial next-step. The wall can be constructed in phases, with the perimeter established three to four blocks high. As long as the border has been established, all will be well.
Our partners have the ability to make their own blocks.
The total bill for the wall is estimated to be around $60,000. We have already secured about half of the funds needed. In order to speed up the project, would you consider purchasing blocks at $10.00 each or making an additional donation for the wall fund? Every little bit helps, especially at this crucial time.
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 Graceland from Zamfara State. The hall was cleverly designed and reinforced to provide an exam space on the second floor and administrative offices, library, computer lab, and teacher workroom on the first floor.
Work progressed enough to allow just over 30 students to sit for their exams. The exam results should be available in late July.
Classroom Block 2 has been completed both inside and out...and is currently full of students! The single-story structure was easier to complete and less costly than the original two-story structure. This design was chosen for those reasons and the fact that it was needed quickly. Currently, almost all grade levels are being serviced at Graceland International.
We are grateful for the contributions that have provided the necessary funding to complete this part of the project. We are especially grateful for our partners at St. Paul’s in Akron, Ohio, who have been so faithful and generous.