Greetings from Koro,
It is tempting for me to follow around the masons at the building project rather than force my mind to put words together to describe what is happening at the school. I am not a good writer . . .
Days pass while I go back and forth between workers to make sure the technical instructions are respected, so that we end up with a solid and reliable long lasting school building.
We hope you had a very happy Easter, and that it was a time to remember the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Freedom costs and it costs much!!! The Easter holiday allowed us to start building the second floor of the school. In just two weeks much is done toward three more classrooms. We are so grateful for that. Easter was celebrated with joy and happiness. We had Easter camp and many youth activities in which many of our students were highly involved.
During this dry period of the year huge destructive fires are very common in Koro. In the middle of a recent day very dark and heavy smog changed the clear view in the environment by the school in construction. Masons, technicians, workmen ran to help the family overcome a blazing fire in the grass hut in front of their living quarters. There was very little chance of success in fighting this fire if the construction team was not there with such a large quantity of water. It was a great relief to the family. Two powerless kids were in the house while the door was on fire. Their mother was outside and couldn’t help and their dad was away. This fire could have happened to us when we were in the grass walled classrooms. It is such a blessing that we are now out of this hazardous situation, that we are freed from these risks.
We always thank you for your support that has such direct and indirect lifesaving impacts. Thank you for praying for the water crisis here. It is a miracle that we did not stop the work in two weeks because of water. While city construction projects starve, at Grace we have water from a relatively shallow well to continue the building. It is a miracle!!!! Some families get drinking water from us. We would like to continue sharing with them as long as they have the need and we have the water.
We are grateful and thankful for your partnership, which allows us to do all we are doing in this education work.
God bless you.
That's Kadidia on the far left.
Many of you may remember that Grace student Kadidia has dreams of becoming a journalist. Well, we decided to provide a taste of that dream but having her interview one of the middle school teachers. Mr. Podiougo teaches 8th grade math. Here is her report:
Kadidia: Hello Mr. Poudiougo. I am Miss Kadidiatou Konaté, a student at private school Grace Private School here in Koro. Would you please answer some questions?
Mr. PODIOUGO: Yes, with pleasure!
Kadidia: How do you see the level of achievement of the middle school students at Grace?
Mr. PODIOUGO: I personally find that the level is generally low.
Kadidia: How do you explain, sir, this low level? Shouldn’t private schools be better than public?
Mr. POUDIOUGO: They should be better but they cannot be when they don’t have a good base. Indeed many come here from all over to succeed, but they don’t have the basic training (good study habits and knowledge from cycle 1)
Kadidia Why do these students fail to catch up to where they need to be?
Mr. PODIOUGO: Many of the students are accustomed to having fun and not working hard in class. So it's difficult for them to suddenly try harder.
Kadidia: What responsibility do you think the teachers have in this struggle to learn and succeed?
Mr. PODIOUGO: As a teacher it hurts to see a lack of ambition in our students. Our responsibility is to support those who engage in this good fight against mediocrity.
Kadidia: Do you think that parents have a role in this problem?
Mr. PODIOUGO: Of course!!! Their role is even more crucial. The education of a child is the first role of parents. The state and the schools are only facilitators and partners for education.
Kadidia: What are the concrete roles of parents for children’s education?
Mr. PODIOUGO: Parents should look after their children at home. Each parent must provide a way for the child to study. They should ensure that the child does homework at home, budgets their time, and is up to date on all courses.
Kadidia: What is your last word for this struggle to help the students succeed?
Mr. PODIOUGO: The ball is in the court of the students. Whatever the parents or teachers want, if the student does not turn in their work, there will not be satisfactory results. With a valiant heart nothing is impossible and God will certainly bless the efforts of each child if she or he is obedient and hardworking!
Kadidia: Thank you Mr. PODIOUGO for your kind answers to my questions.