Jul 11, 2011

Well Done Ousseina!

Ousseina Seyni is so happy and thankful she got a full scholarship this year to go to Hampaté Bâ Middle School with its unique quality education. This opportunity inspired her to work hard and we are proud of her results. She successfully passed her 6th grade exams and received two Merit Awards: one for her excellent grades and another for her human qualities. Ousseina’s father, a janitor, was very touched when he found out that his daughter had not only done well academically, but had also shown and given respect to fellow students and teachers throughout the school year.

The concept at Hampaté Bâ School is simple: Knowledge is praiseworthy when it is coupled with ethical conduct and virtuous character.In our school good behavior and high moral character come first.” says Moussa Haougui, the senior administrator. “How can we develop our country if we produce learned but corrupt and dishonest future leaders for example?” he asks.

Concerning corruption for instance, the character education program at Hampaté Bâ called “Capacity development” goes beyond providing students certain skills to fight it. It puts emphasis on the need for moral convictions and not just techniques in the fight against corruption.

 “Now I know that corruption is an injustice that needs to be fought because it offends human dignity. Corrupt practices lead to unjust social inequalities that deprive the poor of the chance to live truly human lives.” says Alhousseïni Rabiou, a mature seventh grader and also a recipient of two Merit Awards.

 It is thanks to your generous donations that Hampaté Bâ Middle School can provide the Nigerien students with courses such as these which help shape their minds to aspire for a more just global society. Your support and commitment help Hampaté Bâ students learn not only to read, write and count, but also to think and reason.

May 30, 2011

Building hope, Enriching minds, Changing lives

The end of the current academic year is fast approaching and this is a very busy time of the year at the Hampaté Bâ Middle School in Niamey.

 During the last three months, learning conditions have become difficult because of the intense heat – with temperatures rising to 39°C/102°F inside the classrooms - and the daily electricity cuts. Power cuts come without warning at almost any time of the day or the night and they can last a whole day!

 Despite the difficult material and climatic conditions, the latest test scores show that thanks to our new intensive remedial program, progress has been made in spoken and written language skills in French, but of course there is still a lot of room for improvement. The girl students with scholarships have done very well in almost every subject including French, but need more help with mathematics.

 “Punctuation didn’t mean a thing to me before and I hardly ever used it in my written work. One day, my French teacher compared language to music saying the words were the melody and the punctuation was the rhythm. Now I understand why I must put commas, periods, colons, semicolons, etc. in my written work.” says Amina, a 13 year old, with a huge smile on her face.

 Aiming for teacher excellence, Principal Hassane Baro has asked for the teacher training study circles to be geared more towards communication, collegiality, and risk-taking in order to create an atmosphere of learning and leadership for all.

 “I want my teachers to have high expectations for their students of course, but even higher expectations for themselves.

 At Hampaté Bâ, the teacher training study circles are really starting to make an impact. For example, veteran biology teacher, Tini, is willing to make a renewed commitment to his profession, his students, and himself. Ask him and he'll tell you that he's now "on board.”

 “Before I attended Hampaté Bâ study circles, I expected my students to be engaged and to pay attention no matter how boring and repetitious my biology class was. I also expected students to be well behaved no matter how I treated them (shouting, sarcasm, etc.) Now, I still want my audience to give me their full attention – but I’ve learned that it’s my job and responsibility to gain, and to keep, their attention and their respect. If I’m not doing that, I need to change my approach.” 

Principal Baro says : “If we are lucky enough to be able to continue this project, soon all of my teachers will start the day by asking ‘What miracles can I create in my classroom today?’ instead of asking ‘How many more days left before the holidays?’”

 The Hampaté Bâ School is founded on the principle of working towards the emergence of a new generation of students who will be ready and able to participate in the improving of local and global communities through a high quality training in the areas of education, culture, health, environmental action and all initiatives conducive to the social and economic development of the human race.

Les amis de Hampaté Bâ is committed more than ever to support the school. It is because of your generosity that we are able to commit to serving more students and of building hope where there is so little.

Thank you for joining our efforts, embracing our vision, taking action, and joining the celebration. None of this would be possible without your generous donations.


Apr 4, 2011

Lifting Capacities and Enhancing Quality

Our ongoing aim is to teach basic literacy skills to students who are experiencing difficulty in language and reading, and this is progressing well. "When I joined Hampaté Bâ, I realized how many learners arrived without a fluency in French," said Mr Sita, the newly recruited French teacher. "Working with students in the remediation classes brings us closer to our dream to have each and every learner who enters our school leave with the ability to read and write French fluently."

Nine teachers regularly attend teacher training study circles and the school hopes to become an example for others to follow in a country where schools are in desperate need of educational leadership.  In spite of difficult working conditions, the local staff is, slowly but surely, proving their commitment to change and have persevered over a long rough road to lift Hampaté Bâ School's capacity. The training opportunities that Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ is able to offer the teachers thanks to GlobalGiving donors’ generosity, enhance the general quality of the school and help to make Hampaté Bâ an innovative institution with a well-trained staff.

We are very happy to have given scholarships to deserving girl students in need this year.

Nafissa’s mother is a widow, with no income to support herself and her two children. Nafissa loves the character education classes, studying French and English, and drawing. She is in grade 6. Her former school didn't have any of these activities.

Hamsa is 12 and in grade 6. She loves to sew, draw, and read. She wants to go on to become a nurse. Her father has a job, but wages are low, and it's difficult to find the means to keep her in school. She has five brothers. Girls often drop out of secondary school because priority is given to brothers, and many girls of that age leave school and get married.

Thanks to your donations, girls like Nafissa and Hamsa are able to attend Hampaté Bâ.

And each year, another young Nafissa or Hamsa will peek through the school's gate and see the future of what they and the republic of Niger can become.

With your help and support, we want to invite them all in.

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