Rector’s Newsletter – May 2022

Rector’s Newsletter – May 2022

Dear Friends

Greetings from all of us Bishop McAllister College and Anglican Seminary! When we received news that all schools would fully reopen in January 2022, we were excited, but decided that the best approach was cautious optimism. I’m happy to report that as we are well into 2nd term, things are completely back to normal.  Students of all classes are back! Yay!

Reporting Day

Early January was a busy time, trying to organise the school, call teachers back (some hadn’t taught in two years) and prepare them for what was to come. Workshops were quickly organised as brief refresher courses but also to prepare teachers that there would be a great need for remedial work, and potential discipline issues they might face amongst their students, and how they might address them. We were told to expect a dropout rate of up to 30% due to teen pregnancies, early marriage, work, low morale and loss of interest in pursuing education. The good news is that things went quite smoothly in those early weeks. At Bishop McAllister we experienced a 20% dropout rate, but in some areas it has been as high 50%, all this is pretty much a rural issue where children face greater hardships and challenges. Government officials in those areas were told to go out in their areas and push children back into school. (In other words force parents who have liked having their children dig in the gardens or engage in other petty income generating tasks, to send their children back to school). We continued to experience a few students dropping out, up until the end of first term. As much as we tried to encourage them, they couldn’t either cope with being back in the restrictive environment of a school, or rekindle their interest in getting an education.

Teachers Workshop

First term went very well and we closed smoothly after 14 weeks. The length of the school term has been increased from 12 weeks to 14 weeks, to allow extra time for catching up on missed work. Students were fairly cooperative in those early weeks with wearing masks and following SOP’s.

Student Assembly & Vaccination Clinic

Of course, things have relaxed now in second term, pretty much reflecting society. We have lost the battle when it comes to enforcing mask wearing etc., apart from when someone needs to access the offices. The good news though was that all the older students (18 and above) were fully vaccinated in the first term, and we have been told a campaign will be launched sometime this month for all the other students.

This term has already been busy with the election of student leaders and sports days, so I feel confident enough now to say we are truly back to normal.

Prefectorial Campaigns & Swearing In

We have accomplished some good work on various projects across the campus. School entrance and compound has been completely transformed.

The new Administration Building Annex is now fully complete apart from landscaping (next rainy season). It consists of five sections, (L -R) Rector’s office, Receptionist, Board Room, and Accounts Offices. For the first time in our history this building is equipped with toilet facilities. We are really stepping into the modern world now.

As much as we would have loved us to make further progress on the music department it wasn’t possible. I was reminded of some forgotten areas (out of sight out of mind) where work had begun but then focus shifted to the library project in 2016. All this time the girls in the Seminary (primary section) have been living in the dust of an unfinished dormitory. So, we returned to that project to improve their living conditions. We plastered the walls inside and out, finished the veranda and floors. We also embarked on building them stairs to their main compound, so hopefully they will soon no longer have to use the goat path they made for themselves, winding up the side of the hill.

We also made some progress on one of their classroom blocks that was unfinished reaching the roofing stage on two additional classrooms, staffroom and computer room. Slowly, slowly we continue take steps forward.

Hopefully we will be in a position to resume work on the music department, where are all three main building are ready for roofing.

It is hard to believe how many years have passed, and how quickly they passed. I have now entered my 25thyear here at Bishop McAllister College. It has been a rich and rewarding ministry, that I’m so very thankful to have been called to be a part of it. God’s grace has been with us through out and I’m so grateful for that, and for how He has worked through all of you to make this ministry possible. The school has truly blossomed and it wouldn’t have been possible without your financial support and countless prayers. But most importantly I thank you for your support of the student sponsorship program, so many young lives have been changed and opportunities given as a result. I know the past couple of years may have been discouraging, with the closures, and students abandoning their studies, as well the tough conditions many of you also faced. Thank you so much for sticking with us, and continuing with your support of this important program.

Lastly thank you so much for your support of myself. You have been with me throughout, and I can’t thank you enough. Pray for me as I take these next few months and think about my future.

I pray that God will continue to bless you and keep you, now and always!

“To God be the Glory!”

God Bless!

Paul

Posted in Bishop McAllister College and Anglican Seminary.

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