Zaria Academy- Shika is an excellent co-educational, boarding secondary school whose name is synonymous to academic excellence, discipline and high moral standards and whose mission is 'To provide education that will enhance students' knowledge, through physical, mental, social and intellectual development'. With a priority to help every student discover and develop their individual potentials through involvement in both the curricula and extra-curricula activities of the school
Over the years, it can be emphatically stated that the mission of the founding fathers of Zaria Academy has been achieved. Early 2013, 17 year old Maryam Abdullahi Suleiman (Admission No. 2224) won the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme scholarship pre-selection competition from Kaduna State. She won the scholarship against over 200 other students from across the state and went for the one year student exchange programme in the USA where she attended the Belleville East High School in St Louis, Illinois and was sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US department of state in conjunction with the Iowa Resource for International Service (IRIS).
Again, this year 2014, for the second year in a row, Zaria Academy's Muhammad Tafida (Adm. No.) also won the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme scholarship from Kaduna State and will soon leave for the USA on a one year full scholarship just like Maryam Abdullahi Suleiman, he will have the opportunity to enhance his understanding of the American society, its people, institutions, values, cultures and above all, improve his academic standing. He promises to be a worthy ambassador of his family, Zaria Academy and indeed Nigeria.
In the same vein, one of Zaria Academy's seasoned teachers, Mr Usman Garba, a Physics teacher with over ten years of physics teaching experience, was recently announced as the 2014 winner of the Murdock- Thompson Fellowship Award for Innovative Teachers.
Mr Usman's remarkably new eclectic teaching approach which he conceived, designed, tested and evaluated at the Zaria Academy- Shika was found to be very effective in teaching almost all the basic concepts taught in pre-university physics.
The Murdock-Thompson Fellowship for Innovative Teachers has been a national competition in the USA over the past 18 years. Starting with the summer of 2014, the Center had adopted the JMW High School in Pawtucket, Rhodes Island (USA), and the Zaria Academy, in Shika, Kaduna State, Nigeria, into the competition.
The guiding philosophy of the USA based Murdock-Thompson Centre is that schools are in need of reform, and systematic reform is not working; positive innovation and reform can be initiated by the individual teacher who should be free to motivate students in new ways and to change the way they learn.
Murdock-Thompson Centre believes that good teachers should be honoured for their initiative, and should be given the means to replicate innovations and share them with colleagues. The award came with a $2,000 stipend intended to liberate the teacher from other pursuits and to facilitate the work of either researching and preparing materials for pedagogical or curricular change or replicating successful programs and writing about them for the benefit of colleagues.
Obviously, through these feats, Zaria Academy teachers and students have demonstrated that they are judiciously using the conducive learning environment and state-of-the-art facilities available in the school to bring to life the vision of the school which is 'maintaining high education and moral standard, through efficiency and effectiveness in providing quality education to produce high quality potential leaders who will pursue integrity, transparency and accountability for the benefit of the citizenry both in Nigeria and abroad'.