Nia Imara first got involved with supplementary education for children of Afrikan heritage back in 1992 at the age of 24 after hearing a request for assistance for the Nubia Foundation Saturday School which was based at the New initiatives Community Centre in Stockwell, South London, on a community radio station.
Nia was coming into a new form of consciousness where he wanted answers to the many questions that were posed in his life and to make a difference to the next generation. While he had weekends free in his catering career the intention was to help young children achieve higher standards in education and also to relearn mathematics, but the added bonus was learning substantial amounts of Afrikan history that was completely ignored in his education in mainstream schools and also at home. Nia witnessed children who had been excluded from mainstream schools and deemed “uneducatable”, excel in all areas with voluntary teaching staff who were not all qualified teachers.
Nia vowed that when he eventually had children that they too would attend a Black supplementary school to make sure they had a better start to their education and have a better self confidence due to an early induction to their historical and current heritage.
His first child attended the same Black supplementary school, Nubia Foundation, that he had previously volunteered in 8 years previously when his daughter turned 4 years old. Nia witnessed his daughter learn to write her name in hieroglyphics and learn algebra. When his daughter eventually started mainstream school at the age of 5 she was able to educate her own teacher and her classmates about hieroglyphics during a trip to the British Museum. Nia also witnessed the schools refusal to even attempt algebra as they deemed children of that age incapable of learning such mathematics.
As Nia’s daughter and son progressed through their education in mainstream and weekend supplementary education, their learning ages were accessed as being 18 months ahead of their classmates.
Nia became a single parent since his son was 7 months old and his first daughter was 3 years old but still insisted that they attend weekend supplementary education.
NABSS first went online with a directory in 2007 and then the latest website was launched in June 2008 with further educational resources which include an events calendar, home education information, news, workshop directory and much more.
The first NABSS National Conference was launched at the Hackney Museum in June 2009 in conjunction with Black and Other UK Home Educators. The following year the event turned into the National Black Supplementary Schools Week and has continued every year since bringing in other individuals and organisations that are involved with education of Black children and their families. This years event is themed on Business and Science during August.
Nia is in demand in the media to comment on cultural and educational issues on both radio and TV and is also invited to contribute to both public and private events.
Nia is also involved with applying for a Free school licence with the Ma’at School of Excellence, in North West London, The Black Identity Zone at Harlesden Library, the Nzinga Lecture series with Black History Walks, the committees for the National Black People’s Day of Action, the Interim National Afrikan People’s Parliament, The Role Models and Mentor Centre in Willesden, the Sister’s Health Forum and a few other organisations while also being a parent governor at his children’s school.
NABSS can be contacted at www.nabss.org.uk or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org