The 4th annual meeting of the SmartKids Foundation took place in Kumasi on June 4 and 5 2011. Again it was very well organised by the older smartkids, it was very successful and great fun, like a real reunion.
On Saturday June 4th the actual annual meeting took place, filled with speeches, verbal reports and occasional lighter issues, like another play by the SmartKids Happy Genius Literary Club. More on that in a later publication.
Around 75 of a possible 92 smart kids were present, many of them traveling all across the country to take part. Apart from the kids, over 30 other guests made their appearance, like parents, teachers, university lecturers and invited guests. Some of them came for the full length of the program, others for a few hours. Most came from Kumasi, some even from as far as Cape Coast.
Among the many guests present were the the proprietor of the Joy Standard School Mr. Stephen Donkor, Mr. Francis Cornah
(Chief of Kukuavile in the Ajomoro/Apataim Traditional Area, Western Region, also known as Nana Toku Nyamekye III), who acted as the chairman for the event, Mr. Prosper Deku and Dr. Emmanuel Kofi Gyimah, both lecturers at the University of Cape Coast and specialists in the field of Special Education, medical doctor Kathryn Spangenberg-Donkor, director of the play Penelope Onuman and many many more.
Master of ceremony for the second time in a row was the now 14 year old smart girl Miata Kuyichiana, this time together with older smartkid Kwame Nature.
Speech by invited guests
One of the speeches delivered by an invited guests was the one by Dr. Emmanuel Kofi Gyimah; he related of the fact that he already met Kees Hoogendijk in 2002, when the latter was visiting Ghana for the first time while on an exploratory mission.
Speech by international coordinator
In his speech international coordinator Kees Hoogendijk commented on the financial challenges of the foundation, among other issues. As a result of the financial status of the foundation, there will not be any selection of new smart kids this year. Also smart kids in the tertiary level might be asked to reduce their expenditures.
He also announced that granting of scholarships to smart kids who want to move on the next level (JHS, SHS, Tertiary Level) from now on will be on the following basis, in case of lack of funds:
1. Academic Performance
2. Relative Poverty among peers
3. Smartkidsness (the level of personal contribution to the foundation)
He also commented on the relatively poor attendance of older smart kids to the annual meeting and encouraged smart kids who got the chance of visiting their regional directors during the vacations.
Speeches by national coordinators
The outgoing national coordinator Dr. Ross announced her resignation as a national coordinator to the foundation and encouraged smart kids to stay focused on their education and to do their best for the foundation.
The new national coordinator, Dr. Dawn Belton gave a speech in acceptance of the position of national coordinator and in which she stated to do everything possible to promote the goals of the foundation.
Signing of pledges
The new smart kids who were selected in the summer of 2010, where introduced by Aliu Alhassan. The SmartKids pledge was then read by Aliu to the hearing of all students. This pledge was signed by new selected smart kids and the new national coordinator Dawn Belton. By signing the pledge, smart kids promise in writing to be co-responsible for the foundation from now on and to contribute to its funding as soon as they start making money. In the picture: some of the smartkids with their freshly signed pledges.
Presentation of awards
Different awards were presented to smart kids to motivate them to work harder. An award was also presented to the outgoing national coordinator to congratulate her as one of the best national coordinators ever of the foundation. More on the award ceremony in a later item.
Grouping of smart kids
Smart kids were grouped into regions with each region having older smart kids and younger ones. The main reason for this is the future decentralisation of the selection procedure.
Several workshops were organized. One was on poverty ranking by the international coordinator, one was on blogging by Aliu Alhassan and one by the international coordinator on the addressing of headmasters by smart kids. It was decided that the latter one needs to undergo revision by the junior board before it can be put into use.