AME believes that education is a fundamental right of every child, and that the problem of educational attainment is most pressing in rural areas. We further believe that a truly transferable educational model needs to pay close attention to the realities of rural life, while being economically and ecologically self-sufficient.
All secondary education in Ghana is fee-paying. As a result, almost sixty percent of children will not gain any qualifications after primary level. This sixty percent find themselves in a cycle termed: the 'Poverty Trap.'
The problem is further exacerbated in rural communities where families rely almost exclusively on agriculture. Seeking a subsistence living out of smallholder cultivation often results in families living on less than $2 per day.
Only fifty percent of Alma Mater students pay fees, of around $100 dollars a term (compared to the low quality state schools which charge four times that amount). The remaining fifty percent, from the most impoverished backgrounds, receive full Alma Mater Scholarships. Further, we ensure that half of all of our students are girls, helping to redress the gender bias in Ghanaian education. This innovative but simple approach allows us to cover all running costs, and not be reliant on continued donor support. As a result, we only fundraise for seed capital, constructing schools that are 100% financially self-sufficient.
We also believe that education needs to be contextually relevant, and this means combining formal education with the reality of rural life in rural Ghana. By incorporating a 25 acre organic farm and Sustainable Agriculture Training Centre, students become active participants in creating a sustainable educational environment for themselves and their community. The food grown by the students is used in the school feeding program, while parents and local farmers can attend training seminars in sustainable farming.
The Wioso Pilot is intended to demonstrate our approach, and to show how a self-sufficient and high quality school for 600 students can be constructed in rural Ghana for less than $1 million. It is our intention upon completion of this project in 2019, to expand provision in Ghana and beyond.
our approach our values
- Design and implement a one-time capital cost investment into sustainable rural secondary school and farm.
- Ensure long-term financial self-sufficiency of our projects without reliance on continued donor support.
- Providing an education to those who would otherwise not receive one.
- Combine standard formal education with farm skills training.
- Encourage rural development and increased food security for the entire community.
- One-time capital cost of $1 million.
- Learning through the four pillars of: Academia, Personal Exploration, Social Understanding, and Community Awareness.
- That youth education does not exist in a vacuum.
- Recognizing the importance of nurturing the skills and experience of the local community.
- Partnering and incorporating the local community wherever possible.
- Placing local staff and civil society at the center of project management.