Students from underprivileged communities face daily challenges that hinder their educational advancement. Poor living circumstances prevent their ability to participate in programs that encourage creative thinking and effective studying. Congested households do not foster an environment conducive to learning. Students from better economic backgrounds, on the other hand, are surrounded by supportive and healthy learning environments that inspire a deeper understanding of classroom concepts and materials.
On a national level, the Ghanaian education system differentiates between the good students and the poor performers when they are just 14 years old. This exam directly dictates the quality of high school a student attends. As a result, students from underprivileged communities are at a greater disadvantage from a very young age. A large percentage of these students are unable to transition into high school after the national entrance exam, the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), due to their poor grades. The few students that do enroll in high school mostly attend C or D ranked schools, limiting their chances of pursuing higher education. This vicious cycle hinders the progress of the youth and subsequently stunts the growth of poorer communities.
The Scholar’s Solution:
Nolbed Foundation is tackling this challenge through its Abóta Initiative, which kicked off on April 3rd, 2017. The program is run by our scholars each year. The word Abóta is derived from the Hausa language, which means ‘friendship.’ Abóta initiative is an afterschool program that provides the necessary resources and supports to encourage learning in order to enhance academic achievement. These resources and support are provided through a structured yet casual friendship, Abóta, created between Nolbed scholars – who have gone through rigorous training in the Nolbed Program – and the BECE candidates. Nolbed scholars teach, mentor, and provide resources to high-achieving students from public schools. The primary goal of the program is for scholars to help candidates increase their BECE score in order to attend A or B ranked high schools, rather than the C or D ranked schools their current environment pushes them into. Nolbed scholars run the program until the BECE entrance exam which is usually around June each year.
The mission of the Abóta Initiative is to increase the quantity of A and B high school enrollment rates from underprivileged communities. Our belief is that helping underprivileged students attend quality high schools will accelerate their path toward higher education, and eventually break the cycle of poverty in their communities.