In Ghana, school teachers have a heartbreaking term for students who excel academically, yet are unable to afford further education. That term is “brilliant but needy.” These are the students, those with endless potential, but limited opportunity to shine, that Educating Every Child sponsors.
Our board members, Suzanne Dyer Wise, Francis Mercer and Genia Peterson first heard the term when visiting the Senior High Schools in Manya Krobo. During their trip, they noticed that the schools’ directors would refer to students as “brilliant but needy”. When asked why the term existed, the directors responded that academic talent is universal, but opportunity is not. The hurdles that these young needy girls had to overcome to excel academically were truly amazing.
Just to have the opportunity to attend Senior High school, students in Ghana must clear two daunting hurdles.
- Primary School Hurdles: Just making it through primary school is a feat in and of itself for students in the Manya Krobo region of Ghana.
- National Qualifying Exam Hurdles: Students in Ghana must pass a National Qualifying Exam in order to be admitted to a Senior High School.
For students in Ghana, the struggle is not over after their qualifying exams. Senior High Schools only accept the top performers on these exams, meaning that over half of students in Ghana are not given the opportunity to attend Senior High School. Those who are accepted must pay tuition to attend, as there are no free Senior High Schools in Ghana.
EEC sponsors young women who, against all odds, have achieved exemplary scores on their exams and show tremendous potential, but would otherwise be unable to pursue education beyond junior secondary school (the equivalent of our 9th Grade). With scholarships from Educating Every Child, these young women are able to complete a Course of Study that will prepare them for the future, ultimately bettering themselves, their community and the world as a whole.