Educating children in English, to enable them to be future national and international leaders.
Describe the need affecting community
1) In the Democratic Republic of Congo, French is the usual language of instruction in schools. Many families, especially in southern Congo where the school is located, understand that a good knowledge of English, along with French, provides an opening to educational and job opportunities, not only in USA, Canada, or Europe, but also in southern, central, and eastern Africa. 2) Moreover, a quality education in any language is a stepping stone to higher education and careers. While there are many schools in Lubumbashi, not all provide the education needed for many 21st century jobs. 3) Families are also seeking a school environment where academic honesty, hard work, and respect for all are priorities, many specifically prefer a Christian school. 4) Most families prefer to have their children grow up with them rather than sending them to another country to attend boarding school or live with distant relatives just to have a better education. 5) Most schools are large and the programs provide little opportunity for struggling children to regain their confidence and move forward.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
1) Our school offers education in English, quality teaching for development of future leaders, and an atmosphere that values Christian beliefs and principles. 2) We continue to hire skilled teachers, and receive volunteers and missionaries to work with our students, including children who are still learning English. 3) Because the school is growing rapidly, we need additional classrooms and other facilities such as library/media room, science labs, and athletic fields. In 2015 we completed payment on the land and worked on Phase 2 (walls and roof) of our second 4-classroom building. A major priority of our Advance is continued construction and development of our new campus. 4) Another use of Advance funds is for scholarship assistance to help more children attend our school, particularly in cases where children have come from English-speaking countries and are already well along in their education. Switching to a Congolese school system in French would be very difficult. In some cases the parents are Congolese citizens who had been working or studying in another country and then returned home to work, or they may be nationals of English-speaking countries in Africa or elsewhere.
Describe the primary goal of the project
Early in the school’s history, we agreed upon the major goals of the school, as follows: 1) Serve children whose ability in English enables them to study in a school where English is the major language of instruction. [We now provide more English Language Learning classes]. 2) Accept children of varying ethnic, cultural, and religious heritages and varying abilities as full, valued creatures of God to be developed to their individual God-given potential intellectually, socially, spiritually, and physically. 3) Develop the students’ fluency in both oral and written English so that they can, when necessary, live in an English-speaking country and/or study in its higher academic institutions. 4) Develop in the students an adequate ability to function in the French language in a French-speaking country. 5) Select a staff of educationally-qualified persons who are committed to the philosophy of The English-speaking School of Lubumbashi.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
1) A long-term goal is improving society and governance through development of leaders with strong ethical foundations. 2) We would like to make it possible for more people in the community to attend TESOL by, most urgently, having sufficient space for them and then being able to offer more scholarship assistance. We also need to work more on publicity to make our school better known to newcomers and residents alike so that those seeking a school like ours can easily find out about us. 3) At our new campus we will be much freer to reach out to the surrounding community. (a) One idea is to offer English lessons in the afternoons to neighborhood young people. (b) We can also share our athletic facilities either through planned activities or by making our sports fields available to neighborhood teams. (c) With cooperation from the staff of neighboring schools, their students and ours could get together to share songs and dances. (d) As they become better acquainted with the surrounding community, our students may find other ways to help the schools or clinics in the area.