Thursday, July 8, 2010

Uniqueen Academy

Uniqueen is the school is work at. It is a nursery (pre-) school and kindergarten. The school is two rooms, built from stone and concrete, with a metal slab for the roof. The school owner, Eunice, has build the school from the ground up. She is an amazing woman, read her full story about the school here: Seriously, the story is worth your time.

I work mostly with the kindergarten class. They have it split- KG1 and KG2, but they are in the same classroom and do things together some of the time. KG1 is about 5 children, and KG2 has 9.

The children are adorable. Almost everyday when I arrive at the school I am greeted with the chant “Auntie Katie, you are wel-come, Auntie Katie you are wel-come!” Then as more children come into the school they greet the teacher by either a curtsey (girls) or salute (boys) and say “Auntie please good morning.” To which I, or a teacher, will reply “Good morning, how are you?” And the child, “Fine, thank you, and you?”

The way they do school here is drastically different than in the states. It is actually may be similar to what we did years ago. When the children read, they read in unison as a group. When they are misbehaving, they are whacked by the teacher. They write, write, write all day long. Even the three-year olds. They have their little notebooks; the preschoolers write numbers, letters, and even short words; the kindergarteners write sentences, addition, subtraction, and even some multiplication.

I’ll be honest, my philosophies for teaching children are drastically different than how they do it here. It has taken me a while to be okay with the fact that I am not here to change Ghana’s curriculum or ways of teaching. While what they are doing is far from developmentally appropriate, they are doing what they can with the knowledge and resources that they have.

Hopefully I will be able to put up pictures of the school and the children soon! 

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