At the 2003 AFNA convention held in Merrillville Indiana, members decided that AFNA would intervene to stop the decline in secondary school education in Aguleri. Of the three secondary schools in Aguleri, Father Joseph Memorial High School (FJMHS) was selected for the commencement of action as it was in a more dire situation than the other secondary schools namely, Justice Chinwuba Memorial Girls Secondary School (JCMGSS) and Iwene Tansi Secondary School (ITSS). The following is a summary of what AFNA has achieved from that time to date.
ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2003-2004
The many problems that faced FJMHS were, run-down infrastructure (especially dilapidated buildings); vandalizing of facilities and insecurity; inability to attract and retain teachers; and low student enrolment resulting from the unattractive environment and indigence of prospective students. AFNA decided that priority should be given to improving and securing the physical environment in order that future efforts to tackle the other problems would be successful. From the funds raised, the sum of N54,000 was spent to carry out initial clearing of overgrown bushes and weeds.
The school premises were a mini-jungle and did not provide an environment conducive to learning for the students or working and living for the teachers. AFNA engaged the services of four laborers to continually maintain the grounds for one year. AFNA also paid the salaries of two security men to guard the school premises, which had been subjected to frequent robberies and vandalizing of property. The total amount that AFNA expended on maintenance of premises and security during the period was N324,000.
It was agreed with the school principal that he should find a way of funding the maintenance and security of the premises after that initial one year that AFNA had committed to.
The importance of security cannot be overemphasized in the Nigerian environment. On the 30th of November 2004 armed robbers attacked the school and removed all the laboratory equipment in the science laboratory. Therefore the priority that AFNA gave to security was not misplaced.
ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2004-2005
At the 2004 AFNA convention a decision was taken to carry out the renovation of key buildings in Father Joseph Memorial High School (FJMHS), which had fallen into disrepair. Some of the buildings had totally collapsed and many were in various stages of ruin. Click here to see pictures of some dilapidated buildings.
Using N615,000 out of the funds raised at the 2004 convention, AFNA carried out renovation of the biggest building in the school. The building housed the school hall and computer lab on the upper floor and a number of classrooms on the lower floor. Click here to see a picture of the renovated building and a picture of a plaque inscribed on the wall of the building acknowledging the work of AFNA. With the renovation of that building and the efforts to keep the school premises clean and tidy, the school began to wear a new look and attract more students.
In order or grow the population of the school AFNA awarded scholarships to the tune of N574,000 to incoming and current students. This strategy was so successful that the school population grew at an amazing rate. Here are the statistics: in the academic year 2002/2003 only 4 students enrolled in the first year of the Junior Secondary School class (JSS1). At the beginning of the 2004/2005 academic year the JSS1 new enrolments grew to 121 students; AN INCREASE OF OVER THREE THOUSAND PERCENT in two years.
This is an achievement that AFNA is very proud of. But for the intervention of AFNA many of the current students would have never had the opportunity of attending a secondary school throughout their lives. Click here to see a picture that an AFNA delegation took with some of the new students.
ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2005-2006
With the successes achieved during the previous two years in reviving the fortunes of Father Joseph Memorial High School (FJMHS), AFNA members became really fired up and ready to take things to the next level. Realizing that a school is only as good as the teachers can make it, AFNA now shifted its emphasis to attracting and retaining quality teachers for FJMHS.
It is customary in Nigeria that teachers in rural schools are provided free quarters on the school premises. This spares the teachers' meager salaries for more important commitments. Teachers are also saved the cost and time of commuting from town. In return for getting free quarters teachers give their services after school hours to supervise extra-curricular activities and remedial studies for students. Spending more time with the students by living in close proximity with them enables teachers to put in extra effort in building the character of the students.
At the time FJMHS was built, there were a large number of teachers' quarters constructed to accommodate over 80% of the teaching faculty including the principal.
By 2002 most of the buildings were in ruins. Following its 2005 convention, AFNA undertook the complete renovation of a duplex block of teachers' quarters. This renovation work cost N783,630.
Click here to see a picture taken while the renovation work was going on. Also using part of the funds raised at the convention AFNA gave scholarships to students in senior secondary classes 1 to 3. The value of the scholarships was N114,000.
ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2006-2007
In 2006 AFNA decided it was time to spread the good work done at FJMHS to the Justice Chinwuba Memorial Girls Secondary School (JCMGSS), which had also suffered neglect, though to a lesser extent.
AFNA disbursed N654,000 to be used for renovation work as well as scholarships to students at the two secondary schools for the academic year 2006-2007. The implementation of the approved expenditure is currently ongoing, and is expected to yield very satisfactory results.
Your donations will be very much appreciated by the children who are beneficiaries of AFNA projects and scholarships. For many children in Aguleri your donation will make the difference between whether they get a secondary school education or they remain illiterate throughout their lives.
ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2008-2009
Continuing with its committment to further the education of the youth in Aguleri, AFNA disbursed scholarships totalling N339,300 to 58 students in the community, in the 2008-2009 academic year. Each student recieved N1,950 for 3 terms.
In addition, N60,000 was disbursed for 30 Aguleri students to use the Col. Mike Attah Special Center to take their WAEC exams. Thus, bringing the total disbursed for educational projects to N399,300.
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