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TMP Academy

Richmond

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Richmond

From the beginning our vision was to stand alongside those in Tsipasi in whatever form that would end up taking. Over the past couple of years we've launched a few projects such as digging clean water wells, education for both children and adults in Tsipasi, and job skill training. All of the projects implemented come from a priority list directly from the community that is based on what they feel they want and need to be successful and flourish. We are fully committed to the wellbeing of those in Tsipasi. The Move Project's work is guided by this vision and informs all we do there.

With this vision, our next step was to launch The Move Project Academy to provide quality education for the children in Tsipasi. The academy has been open for eight months now and with every passing month the children continue to make wonderful progress in their learning journey. One of the ways we've been able to make such great progress is by hiring a wonderful and committed staff. One staff member, Angelina, came to us from the capital city of Accra with her son, Richmond, to help launch the academy. Currently, The Move Project Academy offers Creche (pre-school) through Class 1 (1st Grade) due to the lack of prior education in the community. Richmond should be in Class 4 currently and because of this, TMP is supporting Richmond's education at Hampstead Academy which is in the next closest village to Tsipasi. You see, our desire is to support every child that is part of the academy through the entirety of their education journey and if they need something we aren't currently able to provide, we'll find the place where they can continue to flourish and support them there. As we continue to grow and offer more class options we'll be able to educate children who come to us with previous school opportunities like Richmond. But until that time comes, we won't withhold any opportunities merely because we don't provide it directly.

When you support The Move Project, you're not only supporting our immediate work in Tsipasi but you're supporting those that are working diligently each and every day on behalf of The Move Project in Tsipasi. Angelina and Richmond are a great example of this. Angelina is working every day to bring a quality education to the children in her classroom at TMP Academy and in turn we're meeting her families need to continue her son's education so he can continue to advance in his journey. 

If you would like to join us and support a seat at a desk, please sign up HERE. It's quick and easy!

We are currently in need of 78 more monthly sponsors which will cover the complete operating expenses of TMP Academy. $30/month covers everything! From daily lunch, teacher salaries, textbooks, uniforms, and more.

 

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 2

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 2

This is part 2 in a 3-part series on the education system in Ghana, and goals of The Move Project Academy. 

In Part 1 we outlined how the education system is structured in Ghana. 

It is important to understand that our focus is to work in and around Tsipasi, for the long term, rather than branching out in regions throughout Ghana. Our goal is, to borrow the phrase, to go a mile deep and an inch wide, in order to have a lasting and sustained impact on the children in the area. To help explain why, we'll now turn our attention to some education statistics and how TMP Academy was created to help fill the gap.

TMP Academy is located in Tsipasi, Ghana which is in the Ningo-Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region. 

Statistics

As of the last national reporting data (2014/2015 school year - sources below), here are a few enrollment statistics for the Greater Accra Region:

  • Creche/Nursery (Pre-school)
    • Only about 16% of children are enrolled in school
    • Greater than the National average of 10.9%
  • KG (Kindergarten)
    • Only about 43% of age equivalent children are enrolled, of which roughly 69% pass
    • Less than the National average by nearly half - 82.7%
  • Primary (Elementary grades)
    • About 75% of age equivalent children are enrolled, of which roughly 59% pass
    • Less than the National average of 91%
    • The Greater Accra Region currently has the lowest Primary enrollment rate of any region in Ghana

The current Teacher to Pupil ration is currently 1/32. TMP Academy will begin with a 1/20 ratio to ensure a successful learning environment. Keeping class sizes manageable will also help us see where we need to make improvements or where things are working well in order to scale when we're ready. 

TMP Academy Plan 

Our plan is to begin every child at the Primary grade curriculum that is best for them based on an assessment that will be administered by our Headmaster. Once school is up and running the children will advance according to the standards set by the Ghana Education System. 

As TMP Academy is launching with Creche through Primary grades, we will support the children that graduate out of Primary and are accepted into Secondary School, and on to University.

When the day comes that our students begin graduating out of Primary school and are accepted into Secondary school, The Move Project will support them with tuition and transportation assistance, the two main factors in keeping children from advancing. The nearest Secondary school is located about 5km (3.1 miles) away in the town of Dawa. The Move Project will begin a strategic relationship with that school to help create opportunities for our students.

Our future vision is to continue expanding TMP Academy and develop a Secondary school in Tsipasi. There are many additional benefits to having a Secondary school in Tsipasi beyond the educational aspect, but we'll get to that in the third part of this blog series.

English

The Move Project Academy will teach all classes in English which follows the standard in Ghana. One of the main ways people learn English and if they don't have access to school, they don't have access to learning English which is vital to livelihood in the market and communicating with other communities. Because access to education has been non-existent in Tsipasi, we're also using TMP Academy for adult English courses. This will enable them to successfully operate small business, sell in the marketplace, and work with markets and/or distributors in selling their crops. More on that HERE .

Sources

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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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Adult Education Classes at TMP Academy

As we put the finishing touches on The Move Project Academy, it's important to clarify that the school will not only be for the community's children. We will also be using the school for adult education classes. Our first offering will be an English class for 25 adults in Tsipasi. Here's why we're starting with English classes:

English and The Market

When TMP first began working with the leaders in Tsipasi, they presented us with their most pressing needs.

The number one issue was lack of access to clean water. This affected the entire village because without a clean water resource, the community had to draw water out of a trench shared with livestock. To meet the need, we installed a well and Tsipasi now has a sustainable clean water source.

The second issue facing the community was lack of education. Tsipasi did not have a formal school and the children had to walk for miles to get to the nearest school. Since Tsipasi is in a remote area, this made travel difficult and resulted in most of the children foregoing an education.

The third issue noted was a method to get crops to market more efficiently and effectively, overcoming the difficulties in transportation. Forced to sell through a wholesaler that comes to the village, the farmers are barely able to sustain themselves. Even if farmers were able to get their produce to market, they would be met with a significant challenges, as English is the common spoken language spoken in the market. 

As we met with the women of the village to hear about their specific needs we heard a common theme. They wanted to learn a trade they could turn into a small business to help sustain the family outside of the planting and harvesting times. Entrepreneurship also requires you to speak English in order to sell your goods at the market.

In the area around Tsipasi, you only know how to speak English if you go to school. Another reason we must provide access to quality education for the children, which will help break the cycle of poverty.  This is why our next move after water, was to create The Move Project Academy.

TMP Academy

In its initial stage, TMP Academy will offer schooling for Creche (pre-school) through grade 6, along with English classes for adults. Our vision for a multi-purpose school coming into focus.

With additional future financing, The Move Project Academy will expand our offerings to include secondary education (Middle School), which would require building a secondary school in Tsipasi. This will expand the access to education not only for the children of Tsipasi, but for the children in the surrounding area.

In Ghana, secondary schools are less numerous than primary schools. As a result, children stay at the school through the entire session, making them boarding schools as well. Having a secondary school in Tsipasi will have a positive impact not only in education, but the local economy as well by creating more jobs. Until we are able to build a secondary school, we will support children to qualify to continue to secondary school by way of tuition scholarships.

Soap Making

The Move Project is also hosting a training program to teach Women of the community soap making, which is a huge need in the area and a skill that can immediately be turned into a small business creating access into the marketplace. Our first class will be 25 people and done along with the English program. The training program will also include courses on small business management. These two items in concert will enable the Women to start their own business. This is all happening at TMP Academy!

This will all begin in the next two weeks. We are only able to do this through generous contributions received by individual donors.

Here is a breakdown of the cost of these programs. You'll be surprised at how little it takes to change the future!

  • Feeding Program: $875/month to feed 120 children
  • Adult English Classes: $315/course to educate & provide materials for 25 adults
  • Soap Making & Small Biz Mgmt Courses: $300/class to provide training &materials for 25 adults

100% of your contributions go directly to supporting the projects outlined above. Donate today at themoveproject.org/donate

 

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Staff Development - Innovations for Poverty Action Event

In the midst of creating The Move Project academy and all the things we're doing to provide a structured learning environment- fundraising, construction, purchasing of materials, etc. - how we develop our staff is a critical area of focus. Our goal is to provide continued educational opportunities for the staff of TMP Academy so they can be at their best. Not only do we look for teachers who will be a great fit for the Academy, be a proponent of Education within the community, and those with a passion serving the children to light the way to tomorrow.

We want teachers who have a desire to continue growing themselves. 

Part of the Academy's budget will be dedicated to continued educational development of our staff. This idea may be commonplace here in the United States, but access to these types of programs is far more difficult in Ghana. Not to mention with Tsipasi being as remote as it is, these types of programs also become cost prohibitive for teachers. In the future, we will bring these educational opportunities to Tsipasi for our staff but for now we have begun planning to send them to Accra for additional learning events. 

The first such event took place on October 10th. Innovations for Poverty Action in Ghana held a Dissemination event on early childhood education research findings. Our team was invited to participate and learn about IPA's Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training work as well as Quality Preschool for Ghana findings they have complied after extensive research. TMP Academy was particularly excited about attending this event as we will focus and invest heavily in our preschool and KG (Kindergarten) classes. This is due, in large part, to the fact that nearly all children in Tsipasi have not received a formal education, thus requiring us to begin their educational experience at the most basic level and build from there. 

Gaining this invaluable knowledge is another way to build towards a successful future.

For more information on Innovations for Poverty Action and the work they are doing in Ghana to inform schools like ours, visit their website at https://www.poverty-action.org.

To see their Ghana specific work, click HERE.

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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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