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Tsipasi

International Women's Day 2018

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International Women's Day 2018

In honor of International Women's Day, which is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, we would like to honor the women of The Move Project.

Selina, Angelina, and Rebecca make each day special for the children they educate. These ladies are relentless in their pursuit of education and inspire the young people of TMP Academy to dream, learn, and take their education seriously. They invest themselves in the lives of the children and it is because of their effort, love, and ability that the students of TMP Academy will thrive.

We believe gender parity is key to a successful mission, school, and community, and we will continue to commit to equal representation in our work. No one should be refused a job or access to education because of their gender and we've committed to the community to Tsipasi to do what we can to improve access to both of these things. 

Today we celebrate the women of The Move Project and female achievement and advancement all over the world! 

To read more about the celebration of International Women's Day, click here.

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Ghana Trip with Drake Univ.

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Ghana Trip with Drake Univ.

TMP was honored to host Drake University students on their J-Term this past week. We explored education at TMP Academy and discussed what the future holds for Tsipasi which is centered around educational opportunities for children and adults. The group also participated in a job skill training course which will be used to launch a micro-finance opportunity for the adults in the community. With the extra sets of hands, the new kitchen structure received a new paint job and is now ready to have the food and supplies moved in! That was just day one and we traveled to two other communities through the week to provide a full cultural immersive experience. The team was able to get a great view into daily Ghanaian life in various settings throughout the trip.

We love sharing what we're doing up close an personal with people and we're constantly amazed at the discussion, insight, and ideas that come out of trips like this. Our eyes are opened and understanding broadened when we choose to experience people in lands and cultures not our own. 

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 3

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 3

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

In Part 2 of the blog series we outlined how the education system is structured in Ghana. 

Mission of TMP Academy

TMP Academy exists to develop, encourage, and prepare children to advance through the academic system in Ghana, and so graduates process the knowledge and skills to be successful in the next stage of their lives.

The Academy aspires to be a model of educational excellence in Ghana.

Our initial offering will be Creche through Primary (Pre-K through 6th Grade) and the class sizes will be limited to 20 children per classroom for the Primary grade levels. This will help ensure we launch successfully, learn quickly, and give ourselves the ability to adapt wherever necessary. We desire to provide as much access to education for the community and we firmly believe we must act in a way that provides tangible the children and their families. 

When we officially partnered with Tsipasi three years ago, education was second on their list of most pressing needs. Second only to water. We have spent the last year fundraising, building, planning educational structures of the Academy, and preparing the community for what to expect when education becomes available through TMP Academy.

The community members are all in. They've dreamed of this day and it's finally here!

We will be launching with Primary school but the vision doesn't stop there. We know there is, and will continue to be, a need for Secondary education. This need will naturally grow as the children begin to progress successfully through Primary grades at TMP Academy.

Secondary School Challenges

  • Secondary schools are typically only located in larger towns and cities, making access difficult for rural villages like Tsipasi.
  • If children pass Primary school, they  must test into secondary school.
  • If the child passes admittance testing, Secondary education comes at a cost by way of increased tuition fees, travel expenses, or boarding fees.
    • Because secondary schools are spread out geographically, most also serve as boarding schools as well.

TMP Academy Secondary School

Our vision is to build a secondary school as part of TMP Acacademy in Tsipasi. This will accomplish a few things.

  • Provide local secondary education to Tsipasi children and surrounding villages
  • Increase access to secondary education by having a local option, thus decrease the overall expense (no travel or boarding)
  • Generate more jobs for the adults in the area 
  • Generate more income through the local economy

English Classes & Skills Training

TMP Academy will also be used to facilitate job skills training, various workshops, and English classes for adults. The lack of job opportunities is a problem in Tsipasi and it's right behind education on the list.

Tsipasi is in a rural setting and farming is the main source of income. While farming is a full-time job for the men, it isn't for the Women. We've been discussing with them what other opportunities we could make available. This is where the English classes and job skills training come in at TMP Academy.

Our first training will be in soap making. This training will not only provide a starter kit of supplies to get going, but will also provide them with the knowledge of soap making process so they can begin selling their soap products in the market which is in high demand. Following the training will be a small business workshop to ensure they have the ability to not only create a small business but run it effectively to help bring sustainable income to their families. 

As we've touched on before, the common language in the marketplace is English because people are coming together from various villages and Regions. English classes for adults will also be held at the Academy to provide them with the ability to successfully navigate the selling of goods and crops for themselves in the markets rather than solely relying on a wholesaler.

There are significant opportunities for the farmers of Tsipasi to increase their income if they can sell directly in the markets, and you need to be able to speak English to have the largest reach.

Here's Where You Come In

We can't do any of this work without generous supporters like you.

Nearly 100% of our funding comes from individual donors. Would you consider making a donation of any size to help sustain the work and vision of The Move Project? You can give a secure, tax-deductible gift right on our website, and join hands in the work we're doing in Ghana. 

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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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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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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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