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DPS Ghana pips 50 schools to top Cambridge IGCSE exams

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Accra: The Delhi Public School Ghana left behind around 50 schools to top two levels of the 2015 Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations in the west African country.

DPS Ghana, which is part of the Delhi Public School system of India and is present in over 150 countries, came on top in both the 2015 Ordinary and Advance level examinations, school founder Mukesh Thakwani said.

Developed over 25 years ago, Cambridge IGCSE is one of the world’s most popular international qualification for 14- to 16-year-olds. It is recognised by leading universities worldwide, and its curriculum offers a variety of routes for learners with a wide range of abilities, including those whose first language is not English.

“The idea of the school in Ghana is to help build society rather than make money out of an educational facility,” he said.

Thakwani, who is also the owner of the B5Plus Steel company in Accra, said that when the school was established, his dream was to make it the best in west Africa.

Two years after it started, two students won the national mathematics and Spelling Bee competitions to represent the school in Hong Kong and the US.

One of the students, Vishal Thakwani, who won last year’s Spelling Bee, has now been named Ghana’s brand ambassador.

“It is not only the school that is winning laurels, I have been awarded the West Africa Personality of the Year by the West Africa magazine,” Mukesh Thakwani said.

He said the DPS Ghana which started in 2011 with students from the west Africa region only, now has students from 24 countries across Africa.

“This is fulfilling my dream of making DPS Ghana an educational landmark in west Africa to provide affordable education for all.”

When Thakwani arrived in Ghana, his desire, in addition to his steel company, was to build a top class school whose fees would be affordable to all, but with a high level of teaching.

He was able to establish the school 20 years after he arrived in Ghana.

“We took a loan of $16 million with my personal guarantee to ensure that the school is built to an international standard,” he said.

“One can describe it as part of B5Plus’s social responsibility in the country, but it is also my personal belief that when you want to build a society, you must develop the people through education and that is why DPS Ghana must be seen as serving society rather than an economic venture,” he said.

Thakwani attributed the school’s success to the way teachers were committed to their work by providing extra classes to weak students after school.

The school has also built an amphitheatre with a capacity of 2,000 as well as a sports complex as part of its efforts to provide holistic education to its students.

Ghana has a substantial Indian community, numbering about 10,000. Some of them have been in the country for over 70 years. Business activities of Indians in Ghana have led to the country being the second highest investor in Ghana in terms of number of projects.(IANS)(image: urbanpro.com)

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Talkative Children Perform Better at School: Study

Chatty kids do get good marks at school

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Researchers have found that young children go on to achieve more academic success when their verbal skills are enhanced. Pixabay

Dear parents, if you want to boost your childs academic performance, let them chat more. Researchers have found that young children go on to achieve more academic success when their verbal skills are enhanced.

The study, by researchers at the University of York in the UK, looked at why children from wealthier and well-educated family backgrounds tend to do better at school.

The researchers found that children from families of higher socioeconomic status had better language abilities at nursery school age and that these verbal skills boosted their later academic performance throughout the school.

“Our findings show that a child’s learning at home, when they are under five, is really important to their chances of later academic success,” said study lead author Sophie von Stumm, Professor at the University of York.

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Children from high socioeconomic backgrounds were at an advantage when it came to their non-verbal skills – such as solving puzzles, drawing shapes and copying actions – before they started school, the researchers said. Pixabay

For the findings, published in the journal Child Development, the researchers looked at data from nearly 700 British children.

The children’s pre-school ability was tested at four-years-old and their educational outcomes were tracked throughout school up until the age of 16.

According to the researchers, differences in language skills between children explained around 50 per cent of the effect of family background on children’s achievement in the first year of school.

This achievement gap widened over the course of their education, the study suggests.

“Kids from more advantaged backgrounds are more familiar before starting school with the language patterns and linguistic codes that are used in formal educational settings and are expected by teachers,” Stumm said.

“Not all kids get the same start in life, but this study highlights the importance of helping parents of all backgrounds to engage with their children in activities which enhance verbal skills – such as reading bedtime stories and engaging the child in conversations,” Stumm added.

According to the researchers, activities designed to improve verbal skills boost cognitive, social and emotional development, in addition to benefitting parent-child bonding.

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The researchers also looked at non-verbal ability at nursery school age and found that it had a smaller, but never-the-less significant role in explaining the link between background inequalities and academic success.

Kids from high socioeconomic backgrounds were at an advantage when it came to their non-verbal skills – such as solving puzzles, drawing shapes and copying actions – before they started school, the researchers said. (IANS)