Message from headmaster Barnabus

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Principal’s Third Update

After Liza Lindgren‘s meeting with the representative from the Health Directorate in Kuntanase in February 2014, it was agreed upon that a health worker would visit BCS and perform check-ups on the children on a monthly basis. This was followed through on March 31st, 2014 when health workers from the Health Directorate in Kuntanase vaccinated 70 pupils aged 10 and above against yellow fever disease. The health workers then returned on April 3rd and gave children aged 5 and below Vitamin A tablets, examined students to look for rashes and other abnormalities, checked their teeth and educated them on proper hand washing and teeth brushing technique.  Principal Barnabus wrote a report about the health service workers’ visit to BCS:

REPORT ON THE GHANA HEALTH SERVICE WORKER VISIT TO BCS

First visit was on the 31st March, 2014, where they vaccinated about seventy pupils between ten years and above against yellow fever disease. The second visit was on the 3rd April where they attended to the Nursery and KG pupils.

ACTIVITIES:

The children who were five years and below were given vitamin A 200,000Iu each.

Physical examination was conducted as well to look for rashes and other abnormalities.

The children’s teeth were observed too.

The health workers went on to educate the children on how to wash their hands properly with water and soap, and how to brush their teeth well.

They made the following observation;

Neat and clean environment, conducive for learning but the school needs a school nurse or a health coordinator to give first aid.

NOTE: so far no child was referred for treatment except some three children who had some wounds which needs dressing.

School Development Project

BCS and ZIS are currently working on several projects to improve BCS’s educational program and campus. Below are a few projects initiated this year (2013-14):

Basketball/Sport field construction (COMPLETED)

Ibi loved how the kids reacted to basketball. He hopes to get a sports surface for sports lIMG_3539ike soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc. Dan Allen is currently in the process of raising funds for the surface that will cost approximately 10,000 CHF with labor and materials. This court will help benefit the physical education program in
BIS. Dan is looking for people to donate money for the cause and so far it has been a success, fund raising efforts are underway. We hope to have the funds by July of 2016 to insure it will be finished by the trip in October 2016 so ZIS students can educate the BIS children on the sports.

University of Winneba partnership development

In February 2013, before the Team Ghana group had landed in Accra, Nick Bentley flew into Kumasi to meet with Miss Teresa at the University of Winneba in the hopes ofUniversity of Education in Winneba securing a partnership between Winneba and BCS. With this partnership, Miss Teresa would contact a teacher training college nearby and secure them placement at BCS. While most of their peers are forced to find placement themselves, this partnership would allow for the teachers at this college to have a predetermined placement for them as well as free accommodation nearby. At the same time, BCS can benefit exponentially – the students will benefit from an elevated level of teaching and the teachers will be able to learn from them and develop an understanding of what it takes to be a truly good teacher. Before this partnership was secured however, BCS would have to receive a B rating from the Ghana Education Service Yet and find suitable accommodation for the incoming teachers. These teachers in training at the University of Winneba now not only teach at BCS, but also provide training to the current teachers of BCS.

 

Newly Constructed Bathrooms

Completion of third classroom block and bathrooms (COMPLETED)

In December 2012, in order to accommodate the influx of new students to BCS, the third classroom block on the property was constructed. This building provides 5 additional classrooms.10 bathrooms were also built at this time. The new classrooms have white boards, large tables and glass windows. They accommodate the increase in student numbers and provide a better learning environment for children in all age groups.The new bathrooms have European style toilets which provides a more germ resistant environment for students and teachers. Both of these projects were finally completed and both buildings were being used as of July 2013.

 

Current Construction of new library and fourth classroom block (COMPLETED)Third Classroom Block

BCS and ZIS are currently working towards finishing the third classroom block (seen right). The newest classroom block will be built on the location of the oldest block, which was in need of renewal. The classroom will be facilitated with modern school white-boards and other classroom furniture. Along with new, bigger classrooms, the block will provide room for a library. ZIS is bringing hundreds of books with plastic covers over to BCS. To read more about the library project, click here. 

Principal’s Second Update

Teaching

Teaching

MONDAY

This week happens to be the revision week as well as the inter-privet schools gala. So after both batches had arrived, the kids moved to their rooms to begin their academic work.

The time table was strictly followed till 11:00 and the terms were called to the field for training.  Because this was their final training, they spent only two hours physicals without kicking a ball. The building of the fence was on going. Every activity on this day was successful so we ended it at 2:30.

 

TUESDAY

This day was full of academic work due to the periods that we have been given to the soccer terms for training; the children wanted us to be with them so that they can recall all that we have learnt from the being of the term. At 1:30 Madame Felicia who is in charge of culture called all the members of the culture group for a meeting.

Generating water was a problem due to blurred fuse of the water switch, so I worked on it as quickly by changing the fuse. On this day, I left the school for a meeting at the education office but I returned before closing. All the front tyres were changed that very day. The day ended successful at 2:30.

 

WEDNESDAY

The inter-private school gala started on this day, so at 7:15 in the morning all the two batches were on campus and the soccer term took-off at 7:30 to the field where the gala would take place.

I reported very early on this day to water the grass since the children will not have any time for that activity. The circuit supervisor from the GES came to vet the way the teachers have been marking the register for the attendance of pupils. Even though some of the children left for the gala, those that were left in the school enjoyed intensive academic exercise to prepare them for the end term examination which begins next week.

At the games itself, BCS first match was against Destiny Child Experimental Basic School and the boys won by 3 goals to null and their girls lost to the BCS girls with the same score line.

 


THURSDAY

Earnest

Both batches arrived early due to the next game but this time the players took off 8:20. The remaining children wanted to do academic work. The spring of the bus got broken so it was sent to the fitting shop for repairs. BCS team played against Great Bethel that very morning but our boys lost to this school by only one goal. The score line of the girls was in our favour with the same score line. Due to time constraints, the organizers suggested we should use penalties to determine the rest of the matches for the winning teams to play finals. There we lost on penalties at the semi-finals to Trust Experimental School. This news ended the joy of the kids but I encouraged them for the good work they did and wished them better luck next time. We ended this day at exactly 2:15 so that the players can have enough time to rest for the next morning.

 

FRIDAY

Academic work began after the arrival of the second batch. Every activity on this day was successful and before closing the teachers, including the non-teaching staff, were paid their salaries.

Principal’s First Update

This page is an opportunity for Barnabus, the principal of BCS, to write updates on the what progress the school is making:

The first term of the 2013/2014 academic year began on 17th September 2013 with sixty five pupils and five teachers present. The first day of school started with an opening Assembly and the introduction of our four new teachers who have been recruited on probation. The presence of the teachers caught the attention of the pupils.

The teachers are Akwaboa Albert, Opoku Sarkodie. E, Kayil Keziah and Mensah Mavis.

TeachingDuring the first day back, the pupils were divided into groups and supervised by the teachers. Their task was to tidy up the environment. The academic work started the next day. As usual, the teachers tried to stimulate the pupils by revising with them what they had learnt the previous term.

The second day of the term saw a new dimension. Ten parents came to the school with their wards seeking admissions for their children. Eight of the children were admitted after some reading and oral tests were administered. Four of the parents sought permission for their children to report the following week.

The same day, I received a letter from the Ghana Health Service, asking for permission to come to the School to vaccinate all of the pupils between the ages of 9 months and 14 years against measles.

The following day, September 19th 2013, they came and vaccinated all the pupils who fell within the age range. On the last day of the week, classes continued until lunch. Afterwards, pupils were taken through physical education lessons, since all play and no work makes Jack a dull boy.

TEACHERS

The list below shows the current teaching staff at the school.

1.       Otoo Felicia, who teaches Nursery kids. On the reopening day she was not present due to a recent breast cancer surgery she did.

2.       Mensah Mavis, who teaches the KG 1 and 2

3.       Kayil Keziah. U, who teaches class 1

4.       Osei Stephen, who handles Creative Arts, Religion and Moral Education

5.       Opoku Sarkodie. E, who teaches English and Ghanaian language

6.       Akwaboa  Albert, who teaches mathematics and general science

7.       Micheal Berko, who handles I.C.T and citizenship

I teach general science in class five.

NON TEACHING STAFF

1.       Cooks/ Cleaners were all present on the reopening day to put their work place in order. They worked hard throughout the week.

2.       Bus Driver started work on 16th September 2013 putting the bus in order for the term.

PUPILS

Sophia in class four threatened to stop attending school if she was not promoted to class five. I met with her and her mother in my office. I made her commit herself to working hard when she enters class five.

These are the names of the pupils who were admitted on the second day of school and their various classes:

1.       Krobea Adu -Nursery

2.       Dominic  Adusei -Nursery

3.       Sandra  Kyerewaa-   KG 1

4.       Appiah Casscius-Class 1

5.       Gyamfi  Stephen -Class 1

6.       Akaber  Belinda  –    Class 3

7.       Obeng    Daniel  –     Class 3

8.       Richmond  Adusei-  Class 3

BCS Campus

The BCS Campus currently has a library, cafeteria, bathrooms, and 7 classrooms for nursery up to grade 5. ZIS and BCS are hoping to extend the campus with new classrooms for grades 6, 7, and 8, more PE facilities, and a playground.

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History of the BCS Partnership

In June 2004, Ibrahim Oubda and Maud Moor, both PE teachers at the ZIS Lower School, visited Ghana (home country of Ibrahim). During their stay in Kumasi, they met a carpenter, Joshua Mensha, who started a school in the Bosomtwe region.

After a long conversation, it became clear that Joshua needed help to keep the school running. He had started the school with very few resources and was struggling to keep it going. Joshua had founded the school to help the children in and around the village of Behenase in the Bosomtwe region, there being no school in the area for them to attend. Both Ibrahim and Maud were touched by Joshua’s energy and idealism and decided to find a way to help him and his pupils.

During their stay in June-July 2004, they visited the school regularly and shared ideas with teachers, parents, and pupils. A small first donation was made towards buying books, pencils, and other writing materials.

After their return to Switzerland, they started thinking and planning. Private friends and companies were contacted for support. Maud and Ibi were happy with the positive replies from many people. They also shared their ideas with the principal (Rob Risch at that time) who thought it would be a great project for our Lower School pupils to support. The idea of creating awareness of other children and the realities of their lives in an underprivileged country was born, the aim being to create an understanding of what it means to live without sufficient food, or not to be able to go to school.

Their aim was to create a learning environment for both schools (ZIS and BCS) in which learning could be shared between the pupils and teachers living in totally different countries. Ibrahim, Maud, and Rob introduced the idea of a sister school and began to create awareness at ZIS of the Bosomtwe Community School in Ghana.

The sister school project was then enthusiastically adopted and actively supported by staff, pupils, and parents.

Since those early days of the project, regular activities have taken place with the objective to raising money to support the pupils in Ghana and their school. All school campuses of ZIS and private donors have supported the Bosomtwe Community School, allowing Ibrahim and Maud to make constant improvements to the school and it’s immediate environment.

In 2010 ZIS extended the sister school project with yearly trips of 9th grade students in February and 10-12th grade students during the Classroom Without Walls trip in June. ZIS Students have been touched by the lives of the Ghanaian children and continue to work on individual projects to help BCS.