EduNations’ 1st-ever “senior class” is focused on the last hurdle in their 12-year educational quest. The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) confirms the student has surpassed standard criteria to graduate, but also may qualify some to go on to university studies!
The exam, administered in May, includes two compulsory subjects (English Language and Mathematics) as well as exams in four core and three elective subjects related to the student’s course of study (e.g. the Arts, Commerce, or the Sciences). To earn admission into university, students are required to pass five subjects including English and Mathematics.
In rural Sierra Leone, where completing a primary school education is a remote possibility, the chance to pass the WASSCE is inspiring students to study with renewed effort and enthusiasm. Teachers and students are putting in extra time together to achieve best results.
Memunatu Kargbo, a 3rd-year Commerce student who has attended EduNations’ schools all the way from Nursery to Senior High school said “I am at the verge of fulfilling a life-long dream for me and for my parents. Thank you, EduNations donors, for your generosity in educating the poor of the poorest!”
In Sierra Leone, the beginning of the Academic year is a time of special financial challenges as parents struggle to pay tuition, buy uniforms, shoes and learning and teacher materials. Even with free quality education programs sponsored by the Government of Sierra Leone, parents in villages without EduNations schools are still challenged by having to buy uniforms and other learning materials that could cost a total of $250 per student. In a country where average per capita income is on the order of $500 per year this is simply impossible and parents cannot afford to send their children to school.
So you can imagine why there were such big celebrations in each of the six communities with an EduNations school where children receive tuition and school supplies free, thanks to your generosity. From village paramount chiefs on down, people gathered to jubilantly express their thanks and appreciations to EduNations. Paramount chiefs and other leaders said they were especially grateful this year when the world is facing so many challenges and Sierra Leone is experiencing rapid price-inflation at more than double the rate in the US.
This year 3,040 students were super excited when they each received supplies including school uniforms, exercise books, pens, pencils and erasers (or erasable slates for nursery students), a ruler, and even a box of crayons! For students in developed countries, these supplies are more or less a given, but in Sierra Leone receiving them is a big deal. Teachers and administrators also get refreshed supplies and, of course, well-designed lesson plans to help students advance.
On behalf of the EduNations staff in Sierra Leone, we join the families and the people of Sierra Leone to express our sincere appreciation to the donors and Board of EduNations for their relentless support to these under-resourced communities and say ‘TENKI’.
 World Data’s estimate of 2021 consumer price inflation rate in Sierra Leone as 12% vs 5% for the US.
As we pause in the period between the end of the last school year in July and the re-opening of the new school year in September it’s a good time to reflect on what your support has accomplished.
Each school year is both exciting and challenging. Students, teachers, and other staff are energized by what the curriculum holds for the students and by the extracurricular activities such as sports, spelling bees & quizzes, debates, camps and other field trips. As in other years, EduNations’ students performed very well on year-end standard tests required for completion of primary, junior secondary, and senior secondary school levels. And while these exams mark achievement, we are especially thankful to see the growth in our students’ abilities and character as a result of EduNations’ comprehensive approach to education.
The upcoming school year is especially exciting since it will mark the first year for the Rokassa Senior Secondary School operating with three class levels (roughly equivalent to 10th, 11th, and 12th grades in a US school system) after two successful years in operation.
All of this—from uniforms, supplies, and school tuition, to provision of healthy meals for the students—is possible due to your generous donations and sponsorship. The students and staff want to thank you for “Igniting Hope” in these communities.
Going beyond the classroom can be of great value in “igniting hope through education”, which is EduNations’ commitment to under-resourced children of Sierra Leone. First-hand new experiences can be inspirational experiences as students learn more about the world beyond their own villages, including the possibility of continuing their education to the college level.
With this in mind, EduNations’ Hope Academy Senior Secondary School administrators held on February 28th two tours of 40 students each to institutions of higher learning in Freetown and Bo. The Freetown group visited Fourah Bay College (FBC), the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and Milton Margai College of Technology University while the Bo group visited the Canadian University of Modern Technology and Njala University’s Njala-Mokonda and Bo campuses.
Students were very excited and motivated to tour the schools and learn about their programs. One of the students said, “I admire the university girls pursuing professional courses and l want to be like them”. Other students said the only science-based careers they had known were in medicine (as a doctor or nurse), but now they learned about various engineering programs. Others said they enjoyed interacting with university authorities and are now confident to interact with them in the future. And as a bonus, students in the Njala tour said they saw the oldest bull in Sierra Leone, which just goes to show you never know what you’ll see or learn about when you get out of the classroom.
The institutions commended EduNations on having one of the best organized secondary school field trips they had ever seen. And students were inspired to see possibilities for their futures. It was so successful, administrators hope to make a similar trip every year.
Crucial to the successful operation of our schools in Sierra Leone is the Education Secretary position, who oversees the curriculum and programs of all of the schools and acts as the liaison between our schools and the Sierra Leone government. Over the past several years, this position was filled by Reverend Hassan Koroma, who has done a fantastic job and greatly contributed to the success of our schools. As Rev. Hassan nears retirement, he decided to step back from his role as Education Secretary and take on the role of Principal of EduNations’ new Senior Secondary Boarding School.
Over the summer, EduNations took on the task of screening and interviewing candidates to fill this important role before the school year started up. Aftermuch thoughtful consideration, we were thrilled to offer the position to EduNations’ own Michael Turay, who previously served as the Principal of the Fintonia Junior Secondary School.
Michael Turay has worked with us since 2018, when we initially connected with him through a group called the Sierra Leone Fellowship of Evangelical Students. Michael was finishing up his university studies and had applied to be a teacher at our school. After a few interviews, we offered him a position as a mathematics and basic electronics teacher in Fintonia. Though it required Michael to relocate to a community far away from everything he knew, Michael accepted and happily began his career with us.
Michael Turay wasted no time in making a difference in Fintonia. He was quickly promoted to Principal of the Junior Secondary School due to his drive and commitment to the students and the village as a whole. By the end of his time as JSS Principal, Michael Turay had helped to make Fintonia JSS very competitive among the other schools in their district. One year, they even scored second highest in the Basic Education Certificate Exams (BECE) throughout the whole entire country of Sierra Leone!
EduNations is excited to have Michael Turay as our new Education Secretary. We know that he is committed to the mission of the organization and will work hard to continue to make a difference in Sierra Leone.
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