Letters from Fr Augustine
I just sent the letters as promised. The school vacated yesterday but for those writing their O level exams who will be here till September, those on computer training and those writing their junior secondary certificate exams. We have about 80 students still in school.
This term was quite tough for us because of the high cost of things in the market. The economy of Nigeria is getting worst and prices of goods and services have skyrocketed. To be able to pay salaries of staff, buy foodstuff and maintain the school was really tough and stressful. I had to borrow to pay the staff again. This situation has made us increase the school fees in order to succeed next academic year.
We started the fencing of the school compound this term. This is because some locals started encroaching into the school land. That also made things difficult for us.
Just like we agreed last time, some of the money you sent for this academic year were used to upset the debt I owed our teachers bc of the effect of Covid.
Few weeks ago the Vatican announced the appointment of a new Bishop in our diocese. He is Msgr Peter Chukwu. He will be ordained a Bishop on the 19th of August. I was made the chairman of the Episcopal ordination committee. Get us in prayers.
Send my regards to our esteemed benefactors and Alison.
God be praised the letters got to you safely.
My regards to Peter Broderick. Tell him that he will be in my prayers. With the covid still ravaging the world, I don't know if I would be visiting UK this summer. So far in Nigeria there's no vaccine. Thanks to God that we still have more young people and our temperature is not too favourable to covid.
My regards to Alison and all our sponsors. When I am ready with the feasibility study of what it might cost to do online studies I will let you know.
Sorry for the late reply. I have been very busy. My assistant was removed by the Bishop to man a parish and the pastoral work plus the school work was too much on me.
The school has opened for second term amidst the Covid pandemic even though we don't have many cases in Nigeria plus that our hot weather is not favourable to Covid.
Covid and the economic crunch it brought affected admission this academic year. So we have less students this academic year.
Our greatest challenge is to upgrade our computer laboratory, train our staff to be computer literate, so we can start online teaching. When schools were closed down earlier, we were unable to teach our students for over six months. This project will cost us a lot.
So far, we thank God for life and thank you and our sponsors for your support. It could have been worst without you. We will ever remain grateful.
My regards to Alison and all our sponsors. I will be posting the students letters in couple of days.
Hello Paul and dear Sponsors,
I write to acknowledge the receipt of $5,422.06 sent to me out of your benevolence to keep some of our students in school. This age long tradition is always appreciated. I am also happy to see new names of sponsors every year. May God continue to bless you for your magnanimity.
We are yet to reopen schools in the country. The only students in school are those writing their O level exams and those that will write their junior certificate exams. We still hope that before the end of this month that the rest of the students will be back to school.
We couldn't teach our students during the Corona lockdown bc we are unable to equip our computer lab to enable us do online teaching. This is one of our biggest challenges but we don't have the fund to actualize that dream.
I wish to appeal that you grant me the permission to use some of the money you sent us now to pay salaries we owe our staff as I indicated in my previous email. This will cost us $2,100. Your approval will help me still keep the staff.
I sincerely thank you all for your help all these years. May God continue to bless and reward you abundantly.
My best regards
I am pleased to hear from you. Church activities have started fully in our diocese now. Just the two classes that has final exams are in school now. We don't know yet when the new academic year will start. The government are yet to say anything on that.
My regards to Alison and our benefactors.
The pandemic has really caused harm to the world and our education system. Up till now, schools are yet to reopen. Since we didn't end the second term as schedule, and weren't in school for third term, I couldn't get the beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme to write to their sponsors.
Since our school is not assisted by the government, we were unable to pay salaries of our staff till date. As at the time we were forcefully closed by March because of the pandemic, some students have not finished paying their second term school fees. This affected the school financially too. It was the remaining money from the scholarship scheme that was might for third term that I used to pay salaries of our staff their April and May salaries. Now cannot pay for June and July. This is one of my problems
The government is planning to reopen schools just for the final year students. This is to allow them take their O level exams which they should have taken from April to June this year. Maybe after then, the rest of the classes will resume. From the look of things, the academic calendar will change.
This is the situation of things now. We pray that things get better. Your prayers and assistance will be appreciated as always.
I am glad to hear that you are good and that the situation in the UK is getting better.
Unfortunately, our story in Nigeria is different. We are still having more cases.
Schools are closed down in Nigeria, ours inclusive. We normally vacate on Easter Monday but bc of the pandemic, the government forced schools to vacate two weeks before the normal vacation for Easter. Since then our students are still at home. By now we should have been half way into the third term of the academic session but it's not possible. No one is sure when the schools will be reopened. What I am sure is that when it's reopened, students will be in school till September when the next academic year should start.
Our students have lost a lot. This is because we don't do online lessons. We could have been engaging them academically even during this period. The school is now planning on how to equip our computer lab and train our staff to be able to go into online teaching. This project will be costly and I don't even know how to go about it because of funding.
We are praying that things get better so we can reopen school and prepare our final year students for their o level exams.
That's all I can say for now.