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Brightest Academy

Ga, Greater Accra, Ghana

School proprietor Edwin Emissah Evans standing in one of his classrooms.

Older wooden school buildings

Newest concrete school building

Brightest Academy is located in Bortianor, a coastal community of approximately 10,000 people located on a lagoon next to a popular resort. It is fenced off from the resort, undoubtedly due to the poverty of its inhabitants and the fact that the beach is private. The most common housing is mud shacks with thatched roofs, many of which are dilapidated. There are also some stone and cement buildings, but the housing is in general of very poor quality. There is no running water to houses, but rather a central location where water is gathered for household needs. Electricity serves the entire community and is quite reliable. Its basic industries are fishing and farming which are practiced by hand as there is no capital to mechanize production.

Most of Brightest Academy's students live within the community, although a small minority comes from outside of the area. All students walk to school as there is no bus service. Brightest Academy has been in operation since 2001. The school has 3 buildings containing 9 classrooms. The school blocks are long white wooden structures that have doors and wooden bars on the windows. The buildings need basic repairs but are otherwise sound. There is also a new concrete structure that houses two classrooms and an office and a computer lab is soon to be added. The school is well located off of the main thoroughfare and the buildings surround a small tidy school yard that is shaded by a large tree. Its proximity to the road also means that it is often traversed by the townspeople (as well as chickens and goats) as there are no fences that enclose it.

Brightest Academy serves 450 students from nursery through upper school (grades 7 through 9). Class size averages 35 students. The proprietor of the school is Edwin Emissah Evans: There are 15 full time teachers. They all have Secondary School education; however two teachers possess advanced teaching certifications. The average term of employment for teachers at the school is three years and average compensation ranges from 350,000 to 450,000 cedis ($39 to $50) per month. Tuition cost at Brightest Academy ranges from 120,000 to 250,000 cedis ($13 - $27) per child per term. A small percentage of students who cannot pay full tuition are given discounts and orphans and single-parent students are allowed to attend at no cost. If a family sends 4 children the fourth attends for free. The average family income in Bortianor is approximately 500,000 cedis ($55) a month, so families can typically afford to send one child to school.

The school has 2 pit toilets and 2 urinals. Wash basins are provided for students to wash. Mr. Evans would like to install flushing toilets to improve sanitation. Minor first aid is administered at school, but when a child falls ill the school simply takes them to their parents. On-site medicine and trained personnel to administer it is therefore another school goal. Electricity is available and reliable and internet access may soon be available. The school has 2 computers that are located in the proprietor's home, where children are periodically brought for lessons. There is one computer teacher who is also able to service and maintain the computers.

Brightest Academy is very interested in participating in the Singer-Kids4Kids program. Ideally, Brightest Academy would like assistance with the addition of a new computer room with 20 computers; however, there are many other needs that the school has that require a much lower level of funding, such as 500 new library books at a total cost of $420.00.



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