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Good Shepherd Preparatory School Report

By Ndomenga Dickson, BS in Accounting, Assistant to Sister Jane Mankaa

Good Shepherd Preparatory School opened its doors on 11/24/2019 in the midst of the Anglophone crises in Cameroon. It was established with the aim of preparing the secondary/high school children of Good Shepherd Home in Bamenda for Good Shepherd Academy in Bafut, which is currently closed due to heavy fighting/casualties in the area. Within this first semester of the academic year 2019/2020, the student body stands at 26 coed students.

With 12 boys and 14 girls, the school offers courses in Technical studies (building construction only), Grammar (languages, sciences, history, geography) and Commercial studies (business, accounting, economics, commerce). With a qualified staff, some of whom are General Certificate of Education (GCE) Examiners, Good Shepherd Prep has six permanent and three part-time teachers.

Six of the students are registered for the GCE Ordinary Level Exam with three students in the Commercial section and three in the Grammar section. We hope with God being our helper to have good results.

As the philosopher John Locke once wrote, “A disciplined mind is a successful spirit.” With this in mind, we have tightened the discipline of the school through a rigorous daily schedule.

 

Daily Schedule

5:00 AM Students Arise
5:30-6:00 AM Morning Devotions
6:00-7:30 AM Morning Chores
7:40 AM School Arrival
8:00 AM Classes Begin
10:00–10:30 AM Breakfast
10:30 AM Classes Resume
12:00–1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Classes Resume
4:00PM School Closes
4:15 PM Supper
7:00–9:00 PM Reading Room/Classes for students about to take GCE Exams
9:30 PM Lights Out

Mission

The mission of Good Shepherd Preparatory School is to establish a coed residential secondary/high school for students in Bamenda, Cameroon during periods of political crises, such as the one we are currently experiencing. Good Shepherd Prep emphasizes academic excellence with sustainable agriculture, physical/emotional well-being, and spiritual growth integrated into the academic curriculum.

Our Motto

“Enhancing the intellectual, spiritual, and physical growth of each student.”

Goals

  1. To be a respected educational institution in Cameroon and the world-at-large, offering contemporary, practical, flexible and evolving learning programs for secondary/high school students in times of political crises and school closures.
  2. To provide high quality learning programs that support the development of students in times of political crises who will be able to contribute to society in meaningful and productive ways.
  3. To support the uniqueness of each student so they are able to strive toward their highest potential in a safe, supported and inclusive learning environment, even in times of war.
  4. To teach students to create their own financial independence in win/win ways through the practical agricultural lessons learned at Good Shepherd Prep.
  5. To help students turn their dreams and ideas into reality.
  6. To help students accept life’s challenges with a resilient and flexible attitude with the help of Learning Advisers.
  7. To create a happy and healthy life balance, even with all the gun shots students hear while in class.
  8. To teach students to communicate with maturity, openness, and integrity by learning that their opinions count.
  9. To enable students to embrace fun and to live with curiosity in periods of crises and in periods of peace.

Teaching Methodology

At Good Shepherd Prep, our philosophy is that we are all here to support young people to learn, develop, and mature on their path to adulthood. The young person’s emotional/spiritual growth and development  are central to this journey. Our educational philosophy is student-centered.

To achieve this goal, each student is assigned a dedicated Learning Advisor (who is also a Home Teacher) who works directly with the students to develop a strong understanding of each student in their care. Their focus is on developing student awareness through the process of learning and ensuring that the student feels connected to and responsible for their Learning Plan, even in times such as the ones in which we are living.

The Learning Advisor is committed to:

  • Developing a deep understanding of how the student learns, behaves, and is motivated
  • Understanding each student’s personal life circumstances
  • Helping students develop an understanding of themselves so they are able to self-manage
  • Acting as an advocate for the student in the teacher planning processes with the teaching team
  • Developing processes to empower the student’s voice
  • Encouraging a growth mindset
  • Working in partnership with the student, during and after school, to make sure the student is both physically and psychologically healthy.

Advisors meet one-on-one regularly with students on the development and management of their Personal Learning while in the Good Shepherd Preparatory School.

Distinctive Curriculum & School Offerings

Good Shepherd Prep’s curriculum is unique in that it ensures every student participates in and gains real artistic, dramatic, and handwork skills that they can integrate into their lives. These subjects are given importance in the Timetable alongside academic programs. The following subjects are included:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Handcraft
  • “Sow, Harvest, and Grow” Learning Program incorporating gardening, animal husbandry, and cooking
  • Entrepreneurial Education

Extra-Curricular Activities

Good Shepherd Prep School is committed to providing extra-curricular learning opportunities for students to distract them from the environmental happenings like the frequent gun shots they hear while in class. Putting this commitment into action, the school offers a range of extra-curricular activities and services. The opportunities offered are by no means complete; this area is a work in progress, and over time we hope to offer additional activities.

The following extra-curricular activities are currently offered to students:

  • Handball
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Active After-School Sports Program
  • Before/After School Care
  • Student Advisory Groups (Playgroups)