Geography Twinning Project with Ghana
During Half-Term two teachers visited Ghana to see first-hand what life is like for pupils in a school in Ghana. This is part of the school’s Geography Curriculum where, with the help of the charity Tzedek, we have twinned with a village in Ghana to teach our pupils all about life in Africa.
The teachers kept a journal and below are a few short excerpts from their interesting journey;
Teaching 90 Children in one class
After observing lessons all day yesterday, I had become somewhat apprehensive about Ms Rose and I taking the reins ourselves-because the class was so large it was extremely difficult for their teacher to ensure that all children were paying attention. There was a lot of background chatter, which by instinct put me on edge! I don’t stand for it in my class of 30, but how much of it could we control in this class of 90? Ms Rose and I had previously discussed our lesson and decided we would make our behavioural expectations clear from the start. We told the children they would be discussing ideas in groups but that when we clapped for attention, we needed silence. The lesson was structured so that we read out 3 case studies. The first one was: “James lives in a village that has been struck by local flooding. He and his family have lost everything. Imagine you went to school with James. What could you say to cheer him up? How could your community help?” Working our way around the discussion groups, it was very interesting to hear the solutions provided. Some children suggested they could tell him to “take a bath and remain hygienic.” While missing the point of it somewhat, it gave a clear insight into a value clearly instilled in them at school – the importance of personal hygiene. However, it was pleasing to hear some more relevant answers from the other children. After also discussing the other 2 case studies, we drew the lesson to a close with the conclusion that we should all help each other regardless of race, religion or country as we are all one people.
Overall I was pleased with how the lesson went. The evening before I had been worried about whether we would hold the attention of so many children, but they were engaged and the vast majority provided sensible, well-considered responses. I’m so happy I can officially say I’ve taught in Ghana! It has been a hugely valuable experience that I have taken a lot from, and hopefully I can say the same for the Ghanaian pupils and their teachers.
The Impact of the Charity Organisation Tzedek
Today we have been fortunate enough to visit a small village outside Tamale where the community makes shea butter. This is an area aided by Tzedek whereby they provide the villagers with a loan to set up the facilities to start earning their own money. We learned that a lot has changed for the villagers since they became associated with Tzedek in 2011. The children now go to school, they have more food, and they have plans to set up a day nursery. With further loans the women felt they would be able to produce more to earn further revenue. It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to visit the community and witness first-hand the positive impact Tzedek has had (and will continue to have) on areas that need it the most. The women of the village were proud to take us around their homes, and readily answered our many questions with the help of our co-ordinator Mr Sole. One of the many positive things about Tzedek’s work is that it’s not a case of simply assigning money to a poor area and expecting it to thrive; by granting a low-interest loan it gives small communities the opportunity to invest in a sustainable business. The fact that they have to pay it back means that they will work hard to keep up their trade, producing more revenue and becoming more independent.