Bethel American International School (BAIS) Serving the people of rural Nigeria, Africa
To establish a Primary and Secondary school of excellence in the American tradition, which serves the complete educational needs of the students but is a school where music education and the study of computer technology are required of all students attending.
Using the curriculum from the United States of America we intend to set the educational expectations very high so that students will be prepared for higher education anywhere in the world. The music and education departments of US colleges will be sought as partners to develop the curriculum and the teaching models.
It is our observation that in the rural areas of southwestern Nigeria, particularly OYO State, mastery of academic subject matter is less than acceptable. In fact, the national test, which determines further educational opportunities after secondary school, is failed almost 90 percent of the time. It is also our observation that despite the fact that English is taught to, and required of all students, English comprehension ( or lack there of) is the main reason for this poor percentage of passing grades. Creative ways of teaching need to be devised to help the students improve their ability to comprehend what is on the written page.
I have personally experienced the results of such creative teaching in what I call accelerated learning packages. Accelerated learning packages are simply … games, illustrations, dramatizations, etc. of concepts and ideas that stimulate thinking on new levels and new directions. In this way, the student begins to connect these concepts rather than just learning random facts. It is difficult to transfer random facts to a test paper but connected thinking … transfers to all areas of thinking and to the application of those thoughts.
Accelerated Leaming Packages are not only very valuable to learning in traditional subjects but will be critical to teaching music (western music) … a subject that will be completely new and beyond their normal sphere of thinking and understanding.
The goal is to enlist education students from a US college or university, under the guidance of creative professors and in coordination with our creative team to develop “accelerated learning packages” for each subject. We would develop these, one grade level per year over six years in both the primary and secondary school.
When the creative learning packages, teaching modules, are completed for Kindergarten and First Grade and the 7th grade for example … we will take our team to Nigeria, invite 30 or so native teachers to come to a 4 to 6-week training school where we will teach them these “accelerated learning” techniques.
We will then select the teachers we want for our School and will open the school offering only Kindergarten and First Grade in the primary school and 7th grade in the Secondary School. This process will be repeated each year for 6 years. Each year we will develop and train the teachers for the next grade level.
Along with the development of the TGSSA Mission School, and as part of the music and technology portion of education will be an effort to preserve the musical heritage of Nigeria. We intend to develop a music archive as a resource for the people of Nigeria and interested musicians from around the world.