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Jezreel Montessori School

Ga, Greater Accra, Ghana


The proprietress Felicia Omam at the school's new site during construction

Two new classrooms under construction
in 2006

Furnishings in transit from old school
in late 2006

Jezreel Montessori School is located in East Legon, approximately five miles from Central Accra. There are approximately 5,000 inhabitants in East Legon, which is made up mainly of high-level workers and more affluent members of Accra's population. However, the section of East Legon where the school is located is outside of the wealthy part of the community and much closer to the socio-economic status of the poor Madina district (where the Bethany Home Academy is located). The neighborhood is middle to low income with unpaved streets and average sanitation conditions (well-tended open sewers). The majority of the houses are cement, but some are mixed cement and mud shacks. Water, electricity, and phone lines are all available and reliable.

Some of the school's students come from the immediate community, however the majority come from Adenta Flats, a suburb located 2 miles away and populated by young workers and their families. The student population in the Madina and Haatso districts will also be served by the school's new location. Living conditions in the Madina and Haatso districts are not as high as in the area where the school is located and the average income is quite a bit lower. Students from the outlying neighborhoods are bussed to the school for a moderate cost in its transport service. Jezreel Montessori School has been in operation since 1996. The school has a new facility that began construction in 2006 and was open for the 2006 - 2007 school year with five operational classrooms, a large bathroom and library space. The new building currently makes up only one wing of an eventually quite large nursery building. The new building is a quite well-built and attractive structure that shows the intention to erect a quality school. It is well located and should attract a large student body (one of the reasons the school was moved to its new location). Unfortunately the school cannot afford to build more classrooms before the next school year starts, but what has been built shows a commitment to quality.

Jezreel Montessori School currently serves 55 students from nursery through upper primary school (grade 6) with plans to add more students as additional classrooms are constructed. Class size averages 20 students. The proprietor of the school is Mrs. Felicia Omam: loupoii@yahoo.co.uk, 0244-082507. There are 5 full time and 4 part time teachers. Part time teachers are classified as "trained" teachers; the five full time teachers each specialize in a particular subject. Teacher salaries range from 600,000 to 700,000 cedis ($66 to $77) per month. Tuition cost at Jezreel Montessori School 910,000 cidis per term ($100) with half paid at the beginning of the term and half at the end. Approximately Twenty-five percent of students can fully-pay tuition and twenty-five percent are unable to pay tuition (however, these children are still permitted to attend) with the balance of students paying some portion of the fees. There are currently four students on academic scholarships. Students that have lost one of their parents are offered half off of transport fees (if applicable) which normally amount to 450,000 cidis a term ($50). The average income in East Legon is around 5 million cidis a month ($560); however, the average income in Adenta Flats (where the majority of students come from) is quite lower, estimated to be around 1 million ($115), so it is difficult for families to pay full tuition.

The new school has both boys and girls water closets in what appears to be an exemplary sanitation facility. Mrs. Felicia's late husband was a pharmacist by training and was very concerned with the health of the students. Previously, the school was visited each term by medical personnel, however now they only offer first aid and bring the children to a nearby clinic (at their own expense) when needed. Better on-site medical supplies would be a good addition to the new school facility. Jezreel Montessori School has reliable electricity available but has not yet hooked up power to the new school building. Phone lines and internet service are reportedly available within the community and the school plans an internet connection once the new computer lab is constructed. The school has 1 working computer and several additional computers that are not in working condition at this time. There is one computer teacher and one parent who are both knowledgeable about computer hardware and software and who are able to service and maintain the computers.

Jezreel Montessori School is very enthusiastic about the possibly of being chosen to participate in the Singer-Kids4Kids program. Mrs. Felicia has repeatedly expressed her enthusiasm in the program, emphasizing how much she needs help after her husband has passed away. It is very impressive what she has been able to accomplish on her own (with the help of her young children) and it is clear that she is dedicated to the educational experience of her students. She hopes to sponsor a summer exchange program for Ghanaian and American students during summer holidays. She has made a major investment in her facilities despite her lack of capital, demonstrating her ambition and desire to build a lasting institution.

Jezreel Montessori School would like to establish a long-term relationship with a U.S. school that will exchange information and help it to improve the education that it offers to its students.

 

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