The principal of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), Mr. Alexander M. Massey, last Saturday disclosed that the Institute has embarked on the hiring of qualified teachers.
“We recognize that our programs here at BWI are only as good as our teachers. As such, we have begun the tedious task of hiring more qualified instructors to teach here at BWI.
Delivering his academic report during the Institute’s Founder’s Day last Saturday, Mr. Massey said BWI was interested in highly qualified teachers with integrity, who are dedicated and committed to upholding our institution’s legacy and have our students’ best interest at heart.
“I also hasten to say that this effort must be augmented with better teachers’ salaries and living accommodations.
Teachers training, both short and long term, rank high on our list of proprieties,” Mr. Massey said.
BWI’s current enrollment stands at 1,361 students down from a population of 1,755 of last school year.
The ratio, he said, is roughly 25% females to 75% males of last school year remains the same in spite of some of the best efforts to narrow this gap. The gap is too wide and efforts are being made to narrow it, he said.
The school is determined to provide a most conducive learning environment for each of the students, he added.
“Our ratio of 70% day students to that of 30% boarding students of last school year has changed to a roughly spilt of 50/50 this school year. The reason for this change in part can be attributed to the policy of returning BWI to the tradition of a boarding school. Starting this school year, we made it mandatory that each freshman student lives on campus.
“Although we have experienced a modest increase in the number of students making the honor roll this year over last year,” said Principal Massey, “we still have about 65% of our total enrollment failing two or more subjects going into the final exams.
Last year two of the students were fortunate to have travelled to Berkley, California on an invitation from All-Power Laboratory to participate in a two-week training program on the new generation of Gasifiers and Lister Machines in the Biomass Generators Program.
“Similarly, if we can work out all of the modalities, another two of our students are scheduled to travel this September to the State of Illinois in the USA to participate in a yearlong student exchange program under the auspices of the Illinois Career Pathway and the Ralph C. Norman Foundation. This is the direction in which we want to turn, gaining more exposure for our students.”
“We have also begun the process of upgrading and improving its existing facilities within the confines of a limited budget. From the dormitories to the dining hall, the Institute’s clinic and the auditorium, we are making small progress.”
The school has conducted a comprehensive assessment of all costs attached to each of these facilities, and now intends to direct attention to the renovation and or modernization of our trade shops and classrooms along with acquiring adequate instructional equipment and materials for each section, the principal told the quests.
BWI authorities have realized that the Institute can no longer depend wholly and solely on GOL budgetary allocation for the school’s survival.
“We must find alternatives sources of funding to enable us to achieve our goal of turning BWI into a center of excellence. We have committed ourselves to increasing our own internal revenue generation and have contracted the service of a professional fund raising consultant to help us find or develop creative ways of fund raising,” he said.