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Education

Education Structure in Ghana - Part 1

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 1

This is part 1 in a series of three posts to outline the current education structure in Ghana. In this series, we will break down the Ghanaian education system and outline how The Move Project Academy will impact that current state for the good of the children we serve in Tsipasi and the surrounding villages.

Although the education system in Ghana is comparable to the United States, there are a few significant differences to note. 

The general education structure in Ghana operates on a 6-3-3-4 system:

  • Primary School - 6 Years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 1-6)
  • Junior Secondary/High School - 3 Years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 7-9)
    • Following the completion of grade 9, students write exams to gain entry into Senior Secondary School
  • Senior Secondary School - 3 years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 10-12,)

Our immediate plan for TMP Academy isto establish a Primary School, serving approximately 120 children from ages 6-14.  

We will also use a separate structure to begin educating children in our pre-school and KG/Nursery (Kindergarten in the United States) education

Educational Structure in Ghana - Image from Wikipedia

Educational Structure in Ghana - Image from Wikipedia

Not every child continues their education beyond Junior Secondary. In order to gain admittance into Senior Secondary School, students must take the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Continuing education is highly competitive and only a small amount of the total student population (roughly 150,000 nationally) gains entrance annually.

Tsipasi has had only 7 children graduate into Junior or Senior Secondary education and 0 have gone on to University. The Move Project Academy will lay the foundation for students to pass teh BECE and have the opportunity to pursue enroll in a Junior Secondary School, and beyond. 

Part 2 will explore education at National level as well as within the Region and District in which TMP Academy will be part. Academy will have in Tsipasi.

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International Literacy Day 2017

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International Literacy Day 2017

September 9th is globally recognized as International Literacy Day and we are thrilled to participate with the global initiative this year in Tsipasi! UNESCO established this day for observation back in 1965. It's aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.

It is estimated that some 775 Million adults lack minimum literacy skills and nearly 60 million children are not in school. According to UNESCO's 2006 report "Global Monitoring Report on Education for All", the literacy rate in sub-Saharan Africa, of which Ghana is a part, is 59.7%. As of 2010, Ghana's adult literacy rate is 71.5% (rate among adult Women is 65.29%) and literacy among youth is 85.72%.

The community of Tsipasi has never before had access to education and due to this, the literacy rate within the village is lower than that of the National averages. We look to change that with the creation and work of The Move Project Academy. We understand that both adult and youth literacy is key to lessening the impacts of poverty and this concept has been proven out in various countries all over the world. To this end, we will be launching a two pronged approach to address illiteracy within the community. First, we will create an adult English education project to address illiteracy within the adult population. This education will enable adults within the community to have the freedom experienced with reading. It will also improve their ability to sell in the market and encourage their children to pursue learning. Reading benefits all!

Secondly, literacy will be a key element within the classes in each grade at the Academy. We believe early access to reading will reap wonderful benefits as the children progress throughout their learning journey. 

Our Headmaster, Jerron, has scheduled a reading day with the children of Tsipasi to participate in International Literacy Day. He has been hard at work talking with the adults and children about the importance of education and how The Move Project Academy will work to serve the educational needs of Tsipasi. 

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TMP Academy Update: Phase 1 Complete!

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TMP Academy Update: Phase 1 Complete!

We have structured The Move Project Academy project into three phases. The first phase is construction of the school building, the second phase is the furnish the school, purchase curriculum and uniforms, and the third phase is to hire the teachers and have their salary funded for at least one year in advance. 

We are so thrilled to announce that Phase 1 of TMP Academy has been completed! The money has been sent and the construction crew is putting on the finishing touches. The school will be painted within the next two weeks and we look forward to sharing more pictures with you soon, including the completed building!


Following the installation of a water well to provide the community with access to clean water, education was noted as the next most urgent need. After meeting with the community leaders, we began planning a strategy around education, raising funds, and working with the community leaders in Tsipasi to begin planning what will now be The Move Project Academy. The construction phase has taken a while, but we know with the energy and effort put into the foundation of the school, quality education will be a lasting reality for the children of Tsipasi.

As we neared the completion of the construction phase, we set out to hire a Headmaster who will oversee the teachers and staff at the Academy. As we announced HERE , we found Jerron who will serve as TMP Academy's first ever Headmaster.

Phase 2 will consist of furnishing the school with desks and chairs, purchasing uniforms for the children, and buying the syllabus and curriculum to be used in each class. The total cost of this phase will be $7,376.50 and is broken down here:

  • Furniture (Desks/Chairs, Cupboards):$3,996
  • Curriculum, Syllabus and Textbooks (students & teachers): $2,226
  • Uniforms (120): $1,080
  • Instructor Materials (7): $74.50

You can see the complete line-item budget of TMP Academy here, and also help purchase supplies off of the supply needs list here

If you've contributed financially, we thank you for partnering with us and the community of Tsipasi as we look to bring quality education through the Academy. 

Would you take one more step and share this message with your friends and family? It takes a village! 

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ANNOUNCEMENT: TMP Academy Headmaster Hired

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ANNOUNCEMENT: TMP Academy Headmaster Hired

The Move Project Academy has officially hired a Headmaster! John Jerron-Quarshie, who goes by Jerron, was hired on Aug. 15th and has already begun working hard to prepare the school for the grand opening.

Throughout the construction phase (Phase 1) of the TMP Academy project we were conducting a search for the school's headmaster. We are thrilled to have found Jerron. Nick Mahlstadt, TMP co-founder, met with Jerron during a visit to Tsipasi in June, and conducted an onsite interview. Once returning to the States, he then completed the hiring process and officially brought Jerron on board. 

By September, all construction will be completed and we will move to Phase 2 which is to raise funds and purchase furniture, uniforms, and curriculum. In this phase, we will be purchasing desks, chairs, cupboards for material and supply storage, uniforms for the students, and curriculum they will use to begin their education journey at TMP Academy. 

Jerron has already begun to work with Ghana's Ministry of Education to obtain the proper syllabus and curriculum for each grade. As we work to complete Phase 2 in preparation for the school's grand opening, Jerron will be conducting English classes for the adult community members in Tsipasi. Most of the community has not been formally educated and didn't learn speak English. This is especially important for conducting business and trade in the market, as the common language used when many native dialects are present is English.

We are thrilled to announce this milestone as we continue to make access to education a reality in Tsipasi. While the school may not officially be open yet, education is still top priority and English classes is how we'll start. 

Together, we are helping the community of Tsipasi create a new reality for themselves and the coming generation. 

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The Water Ride 2016 Event Recap

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The Water Ride 2016 Event Recap

The Water Ride 2016 is in the books and the event was a blast! This year was our best event to date as we doubled our rider participation to a total of 102 and we raised just over $2,700. This year's event proceeds will be going directly to the construction of The Move Project Academy in Tsipasi, Ghana. We would like to thank each and every rider who participated and our event Sponsor, Des Moines Water Works. Without the partnerships and rider engagement, this event would still be just floating around as a dream. You all made this into a reality and because of that, over 200 children will receive a quality education! 

As I'm sure you've heard us say before, we are invested in the community of Tsipasi and events like this enable our work to continue. The children will have access to education that hasn't before existed, and the adults are seeing the lives of their children be changed. 

We are already beginning to prepare for the 2017 ride and we'd love to have you along. We are looking for a few people with a passion for event planning and cycling. If that is you, email me at Nick@themoveproject.org.

Cheers!  

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Summer Trips to Ghana

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Summer Trips to Ghana

This Summer, we were able to take two trips to Ghana. We took the first trip in July and spent some time checking on The Move Project Academy school building project.

We are thrilled with how this project is moving along. The building looks great and the crew is hard at work to make sure TMP Academy is ready as soon as possible for the children of Tsipasi. As the construction progresses, we continue to spend time with members of the village in an effort to form long lasting relationships. It is important to us that we stand along side those we serve, getting to know them as people and forming bonds that will last a lifetime. It is in these moments that we get the most joy and consider ourselves so fortunate to take part in this restorative work...and it couldn't happen without you! The Move Project and the people of Tsipasi thank you for your support. 

We followed the site visit with a meeting with women of the village. It quickly became clear the village has some very engaging women leaders.

Tsipasi relies fully on agriculture as its livelihood which keeps everyone busy with the tasks associated with farming their land. In the dry season, however, it is a different story. Without crops to plant, tend to, and harvest, the women of Tsipasi are left without a trade.

That is where TMP will come in. The community expressed a desire to learn entrepreneurial skills that will benefit their families and launch small businesses. We will be working to empower the women of Tsipasi which will further the vision of helping this community alleviate poverty. More to come on these programs as they take shape over the course of this next year.

A little over a month later, we returned as part of a larger group trip to Ghana. TMP partnered with two other non-profit organizations working in Ghana, Acts 2 Collective and AgriHope.

AgriHope is an organization that trains farmers to increase their yields using sustainable farming practices. AgriHope and The Move Project have partnered to bring this training to Tsipasi. To kick off our second trip, representatives from AgriHope reviewed a plan to use the 1-2 acre plot the community donated to TMP Academy to support the school's meal program. The plot of land will be used to train farmers using proven, sustainable farming practices. They will then be able to take their training and apply it to their plots of land. By using the learned practices, the farmers of Tsipasi will be able to achieve better yields which will be one more step on the path to full sustainability as a community. There is a lot of excitement stirring in Tsipasi and this next year will prove to be full of growth and development. 

First things first, however, let's get that school built and ready for the kids. We are roughly half-way to completion, will you join us and donate today?

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Education Structure in Ghana - Introduction

As we continue to progress through our largest project yet, The Move Project Academy, we'll not only be sharing updates on that progress but will also communicate how the education system works in Ghana. Although it is comparable to the United States, there are a few significant differences. Over the course of the next three blog posts we'll break down the Ghanaian education system into two parts and the third post will outline the current state of education with a focus on rural education. We will outline how The Move Project Academy will impact that current state for the good of the children we serve in Tsipasi and surrounding villages.

As we've mentioned before, we fully anticipate educating more children than live in Tsipasi once the school is fully functional. Quality education is extremely difficult to find in these rural villages and cost also plays a factor in lack of attendance. The Move Project Academy will work to remedy both of these factors to ensure a quality education for these children. Our immediate plans however factor in roughly 167 school aged children from ages 3-14 yrs old. Our school plans will accommodate grades 1 - 6 and we will utilize the existing structure to develop our KG/Nursery Class, which equates to Kindergarten here in the United States.

The general education structure in Ghana operates on a 6-3-4-4 system:

  • Primary School - 6 Years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 1-6)
  • Junior Secondary/High School - 3 Years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 7-9)
    • Following the completion of grade 9, students write exams to gain entry into Senior Secondary School
  • Senior Secondary School - 4 years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 10-12, +1)

Not every child continues their education beyond Junior Secondary/High School. In order to gain admittance into Senior Secondary School the students must take the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Continuing education is highly competitive and only a small amount of the total student population (roughly 150,000 nationally) gains entrance annually. 

Our next post will dive into Primary School in Ghana and continue to shed light on the vision and impact we expect The Move Project Academy will have in Tsipasi.

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4th Grade Thank Yous

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4th Grade Thank Yous

We were recently asked to present the mission of The Move Project to a group of fourth graders at Whittier Elementary in Indianola, IA. The class specifically wanted to hear about our clean water projects in Ghana.

A few weeks prior to our visit, they had discussed the global water crisis. In each classroom the kids were given an article on this crisis that they read and discussed as a group. Once they were finished, we came in to facilitate additional conversation on how important clean water is to people, especially since we take this item for granted in the United States. With pictures, stories of meeting people in the villages we serve through our projects, and demonstrations, the children were able to further engage with the topic.

It is staggering the amount of people globally that do not have access to clean water! It is currently estimated that roughly 358 million people are without access in Africa alone. We discussed how lack of access to clean water impacts children just like them. In Africa, women and children spend about 140 million hours a day just collecting water. In most cases, the water they are collecting is contaminated and causes illness when consumed, which keeps kids out of school. If kids are out of school, they aren't properly educated. Without proper education their lives are profoundly negatively impacted. This cycle plays a significant role in the extreme poverty we still see today.

 Having access to clean water disrupts that cycle.

We spent our time with these elementary children talking about how we can help. There are very practical things they can do as children to impact the lives of other children on the other side of the world. They were also able to carry a jar of water on their heads to get a better sense of what collecting water really means in Africa. As they learned, it's not as easy as turning on the faucet or getting a drink out of the fountain.

We received some wonderful questions from the children following our visit that we'll be responding to this week on our Facebook page. We also received some very creative and colorful Thank You cards which we'll highlight on our Instagram account (@The_Move_Project) with the hashtag #4thGradeThankYous. Give us a follow to see the wonderful creations!

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