Vula Students visit African Gifted Academy in Ghana

All students at AGF Academy

88 Students from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, South Africa, the UK and the USA attended the AGF second Summer Academy in Accra August 2013, an outstanding group from wide range of backgrounds, all of whom are prominent as mathematicians at their respective schools.  

Three of these students,  and their teacher chaperone, were sponsored by the Jackson Foundation to attend the academy. The four had been involved in another Jackson funded project – Vula Maths, where their maths expertise had been honed and recognised.  The Vula team put them through a vigorous selection process and supported them to prepare for the trip before their departure to Accra.

During their time at the Academy the students took part in a series of mathematics courses by specialist lecturers from around the world.   This included lectures by David Cope from Bletchley Park, the home of the legendary British code breakers,  Dr Simon Roberts, from the UK National Space Academy who taught the students to launch their own rockets, and Simon Hayley from London University’s Cass Business school who gave a fascinating course on Financial markets and trading. The students visited Ghana’s biggest daily print newspaper, the Valco aluminium smelting factory, and the Ghana Planetarium.

Vula Students boarding plan to Accra

“The learners came back motivated, with hunger for success, and more desire to learn.  These are the future leaders and mixing them with future leaders from different countries is always a good idea as they get to view life from different perspectives.”(Pezinarah Amoni, teacher)
“They (the learners) were taught about having a vision and not being self-centred, but to think about others as well, and to think about giving back to the communities from where they came after succeeding in life.”(Pezinarah Amoni)
“I also learnt a lot as I had to meet teachers from different countries.  We had a chance to sit down and discuss the challenges and possible solutions to the problems we face in the day to day teaching we do.”(Pezinarah Amoni)
I run short of words to thank you.  You have changed my life in a duration of only seven days.  It is true what they say: There are many ways of showing love.  I feel blessed to be part of the African Gifted Foundation.  I am now very focused at school.  I am determined to reach 100% pass percentage and get some bursaries.  I have only one dream now, that is to help save the world, my country and my community.” (Feseke Sithole Grade 11 pupil at Amaphisi High School. )
I myself deeply appreciate what you did for us and also admire your virtuous act of sponsoring us.  (You) gave us the opportunity to experience more about Africa itself, and to experience more about Ghana and its own history. “ (Thabo Mahlobo Grade 11 pupil at Tabhane High School)
“This trip was a dream come true.  I have grown so much.  [before the trip].. I didn’t have confidence, but now it is all a thing of the past.  The trip has opened my eyes wider.  It made me realise that Africa is so big with different people living on it.  It made me realise that we are lucky to live in a war free country, a country where we are protected by human rights some people do not have.” (Nkululeko Mdunge Grade 11 pupil at Nobomi High School )

Students preparing to leave home to travel to Ghana

On their return Vula staff interviewed the School Principals to see how they thought the visit had impacted on their students.  They reported that the trip had:

  • Emphasised the important of Mathematics and how it was the key to education and the future,
  •  Brought departmental recognition  by raising the profile of the schools and their communities,
  •  Widened the horizons and changed the lives of those who had attended,
  • Allowed the delegates to meet young people from other countries who had made a profound impression on each of them, and
  • Motivated the other pupils at the three schools to want to achieve better results.

The Jackson Foundation recognises the hard work by all at Vula and African Gifted to achieve this impact.  For more information about their work please see:

http://www.vulaprogramme.com/mathematics-project/

http://www.africangifted.org