I teach the children because I want them to have a better future
25 children come to my class every day, 9 girls and 16 boys. They are of different ages, 9 years, 14 years, 11 years - really mixed. These children never went to school before coming here even though they should have; or they dropped out at some point. Some had to help their parents at home or on their farm, for others the parents couldn’t afford sending them to school. Now they are too far behind for their age in order to join the “normal” school. For 9 months I teach them basic reading, writing and maths to make up the leeway. The current cycle started last October, so now we are about halfway. At the end they pass a test to prove that they are ready to join regular school.
For class we usually use the small community Kindergarten where we have desks, chairs and a blackboard. And we speak Dagbani, our native language. I try to make the class as interactive as possible – I ask many questions, let the children come to the board to write, we do numeric exercises with little stones. It’s very different from the “regular” school I attended, which was quite formal and the teacher was lecturing. Here, the children are much more attentive, interested and they learn really fast. The children are full of life and so eager to participate - it is really nice to see most of them raising their little hands when I ask a question, excitedly waiting whom I call on for the answer.
Two women and three men from the community are supporting the class - the “local committee”. Their key task is to supervise teaching and learning in the CBE class. At least one of them is always present when I teach. They also talk to parents if a child is missing class, or convince them to send their children to formal school after the 9 months CBE.
Me, I am actually not a “real” teacher. I’m a junior high school graduate from Nyerigiyili and completed a three week intensive training to become CBA facilitator. This was financially supported by UNICEF and technically by School for Life (SfL). I haven’t studied, even if I would have loved to. After finishing junior high, I was really keen to continue school. I started senior high but then I unfortunately had to stop because I just could not afford it. Now I teach the children as a volunteer because I really want to help them grow, make something out of their lives and have a good future.
Adam’s class is one of 30 in the Savelugu-Nanton district of the Northern region of Ghana. These 30 classes give 750 disadvantaged children the chance to get basic education and transition to regular school every year. UNICEF piloted and is supporting CBE in Savelugu-Nanton, Afram Plains and the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA) districts. Since 2011, almost 4,500 children have attended CBE classes in these districts. UNICEF is planning to expand the programme to enrol 15,000 out-of-school-children by 2016. Results are encouraging - 8 out of 10 children that graduate from CBE transition into