Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bosomtwe Community School?

Bosomtwe Community School (BCS) is a private primary school for children aged 3-13 located 40 minutes outside of Kumasi, Ghana. The campus is just outside the village of Behenase, which is a rural, farming community without a sufficient number of public primary schools. Classes are taught in Twi (native language) and English. There are 2 nursery and kindergarten classrooms and one classroom in each grade through grade 6. Plans are under development to include a grade 7 classroom in the coming school year (2013-2014). To learn more about the history of BCS, click here.

How many children does BCS serve?

Enrollment at BCS has increased exponentially in recent years. At present (Autumn 2013), there are approximately 100 children at  BCS. The majority of children at BCS are enrolled in grades 2 and below. Although some of the children are able to walk to the school from the local village of Behenase, many children travel on the school’s van for up to 1 hour to attend school each day.

Does BCS charge tuition?

BCS charges a daily fee for all students, rather than an annual tuition. The fee is nominal, but it fully covers the cost of a hot lunch prepared at school. All other operating expenses are covered by donations from the ZIS Community. BCS students are required to wear a uniform, for which the family must pay. Philosophically, studies have shown that parental and student commitment to education is much stronger when it carries even a nominal fee.

What is the nature of the involvement of Zurich International School?

Ibrahim Oubda, a ZIS lower school Physical Education teacher is from the Kumasi region. When visiting his family in 2004, Ibi learned of plans to start a school in an area where children were traditionally under served. At first, ZIS’s involvement was limited to clothing and football boot drives, primarily at the Lower School. At present, the relationship has grown to include awareness and activities at all campuses, to annual grade 9 “Team Ghana” trips, a Classroom Without Walls (CWW) trip annually, and over 15 ZIS teachers have spent time at the BCS campus. Through the annual Ghana Weekend Activities, the Ghana Cup and the extravaGHANzA, as well the Kilchberg Middle School annual Ghana Dinner, enough funds are raised to pay for buildings and improvements as well as all teacher salaries. For more detail, please go to the History tab on the menu.

Who are the teachers at BCS?

Barnabus Kayil, the principal at BCS, is a highly trained educator who most recently taught Science at university level in Ghana. BCS employs 8 classroom teachers, each responsible for their own grade. Many of the teachers are universities graduates, but several of them, primarily in the lower grades, are not trained. It is a short-term goal of BCS to have 100% of its teaching staff fully trained. Towards this end, ZIS and BCS have arranged a partnership with the University of Education at Winneba (Ghana), whereby several undergraduates will serve as teachers at BCS for the duration of their practical training as they work to earn their final degree.

What is “Team Ghana”?

Team Ghana is the name given to the annual grade 9 service trips. A highly selective process begins in the Spring of grade 8 and carries into the Fall of grade 9. During this process, students must show their ability to work with young children, their commitment to cultural understanding,  and their ability to work as a cohesive team. Approximately 20 students are chosen each year to work at BCS for 4 days and to visit few of Ghana’s historical and cultural sights during the remainder of the week. This year (2014), two groups of 20 grade 9 students will be selected for a service trip in February and a second service trip in April. Beginning in 2012, Upper School students from 10th and 11th grade were given the opportunity to apply for a  one-week service trip to  BCS through the Classroom Without Walls (CWW) program.

What difference can ZIS students make when visiting BCS?

Students visiting BCS fill several roles; they break down cultural barriers, teach in the classroom, assist with building projects, and undertake special initiatives while on campus. Through games, music, and an annual football game between local residents and students, friendships that transcend cultural differences are forged. Part of the year-long preparation for ZIS students visiting BCS includes lesson development in several subjects including English, Math, and Science. ZIS students spend the day in Lower School classrooms and offer lessons at the Early Childhood Center to ensure their readiness for the classrooms at BCS. Depending on the needs of BCS at the time of the service trip, ZIS students have helped build a dining hall and desks, plant a garden, and repaint walls. Special initiatives each year have included the performance of a play, literacy and numeracy benchmark testing, and the creation of  picture books for the children. In addition, students visiting BCS are encouraged one or two of their favorite children’s books to share with the students, helping to build a small library.

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