Ga, Greater Accra, Ghana
Stanley Moamesi Degboevi, the school's director, standing in front of the main class block.
divided into 3 classrooms)
Rapid Academy is located in South Ofanko Residential Area, about 12 miles from Accra. The 2,000 inhabitants are mainly employed in construction and petty trading, and as caretakers for the area's new houses. South Ofanko can generally be described as "very poor;" however, many houses in the area are new, built by Accra residents as second homes or for speculation. The remaining structures are wooden shacks and mixed mud and concrete brick houses, giving an impression of the poor conditions in which the residents live. The area has a semi-rural feel to it as it is quite remote with fields in the area under cultivation.
Half of the students are local and the others come from quite far, being residents of poor neighboring communities. Students arrive to the school on their own, often on foot due to the poverty of their families and their inability to arrange other means of transport. Rapid Academy has been in operation since 1992. The school has 3 buildings containing 12 classrooms. The school is an attractive rectangular compound with one two-story building (soon to have a third story) and a lower building that wraps around to a peripheral wall. The interior of the compound has a spacious gravel school yard. The higher levels classrooms are well maintained and high quality, while the nursery is slated for renovation. The classrooms are separated by walls of wooden boards. The administrative space is organized with two computers and the storeroom is a tidy space that is intended to eventually serve as a computer lab. There is also a spacious canteen area.
Rapid Academy serves 200 students from nursery through upper school (grades 7 through 9). Class size averages 30 students. The proprietor of the school is Stanley Moamesi Degboevi, director: 0244-750310 - email@example.com. There are 12 full time and 3 part time teachers. They all have a minimum of Secondary School education; however six are graduates and two teachers possess advanced teaching certifications. Teacher salaries range from 500,000 to 700,000 cedis ($55 to $77) per month. Tuition cost at Rapid Academy ranges from 255,000 to 390,000 cedis ($28 - $43) per child per term. Twenty-five students are currently attending on full scholarships based upon either financial need or academic merit. If a family sends 4 children the fourth attends for free. The average family income in South Ofanko is approximately 600,000 cedis ($66) a month, so it is difficult for families to pay full tuition. As a result, Rapid Academy has significant delinquency of tuition payments that is difficult to collect. Nevertheless, it continues to educate these children.
The school has pit toilets, urinals and wash basins for students; however, there is no running water and tanks are filled from a water truck every two weeks. There is definitely a need for improved toilets and water storage capability. Minor first aid is administered at school and when a child falls ill the school takes them to a local clinic at the expense of the school. Better on-site medical supplies would be helpful. Rapid Academy has reliable electricity but no phone lines, although internet service is reportedly available within the community. The school has 2 working computers and five additional computers that are not in working condition but are used for demonstration purposes. There is one computer teacher who is also knowledgeable about both hardware and software and able to service and maintain the computers.
Rapid Academy is very enthusiastic about the possibly of being chosen to participate in the Singer-Kids4Kids program. Rapid Academy 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.