Sunday, November 07, 2010

In-Service Training Day 1

[Belated post]

My counterpart and I arrived yesterday afternoon in Kukurantumi at a hotel in the town that I had not been to before. We traveled as a pair from Hohoe starting at about 11AM and getting to our destination just before 5PM. Not bad in terms of time spent on the road, and we even waited for a half hour at Kpong for the tro-tro to fill up to head over to Koforidua. The ride was pretty much how I remembered it to be – cramped and just a touch dirty everywhere. Most of our drivers were good though and we made great time on the roads as not many people are traveling on Sundays.

We walked into the hotel and then suddenly there were the familiar faces of my teaching volunteers spread out in the lobby. Well, many were very familiar as it looked as though the Volta region had gotten there a bit early. Most of the faces have visited me at the house on campus at least once. But it wasn't long before a lot of other volunteers arrived from all the other regions of Ghana. It was especially good to see all of those from the upper regions descend on our old stomping grounds here in Kukurantumi.

The moment you meet another teacher the questions are quick and to the point: how do you like your site? What is the school like? How many classes are you teaching? Are you having trouble getting the form 1's into classes? Several of the questions are relating to the difficulty that schools at the Senior High level. About three years ago the government passed a new law saying that high school was now going to be four years of education. The most recent government however rescinded that law making the schooling three years in length. Many schools did not have the capacity for four levels of students so they are just now getting to the first “fourth” years. Since the schools may not have had the budget or time to create a new space for the fourth years, this poses a problem of where to sit all four levels of students.

It gets even more complicated than this, but where I leave you with the story is about the end of my comprehension of what is going on. It is best to leave it at, “There are a few problems in the high school.” For me, the college is fine and the students are going to be missing a few ICT classes this week which I will make up next week. I am very hopeful that I get to talk at length with the rest of our ICT teachers and counterparts on what we can do to expand our knowledge and improve things.

Two Maltas and a good dinner and that was about it for me. I went to bed at 9:30PM or so. My counterpart and I are sharing a room so it is our first time being roommates. Should work out nicely, he is very laid back and about my age.

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