With a scholarship from the Swedish church, I was given the opportunity to travel to Ghana in West Africa. My goal was to learn about their school system and what would be better. I was also investigating NGOs ´ roles in Ghanaian kids’ education.
The school system in Ghana is based on the British and includes nine years of primary school and three years of high school. The proportion of children who go to school is higher than in other countries in the region, but there is a great shortage of trained teachers, classrooms, and school materials. Teaching is in English, although local languages may occur in parallel in the first years.
A small introduction to the education system in Ghana. There are currently 18,500 primary schools in Ghana (grades 1-6), and then Junior High School (8,850 units) is offered for three years. These nine years plus two years of preparatory preschool are what constitute “Basic Education” in Ghana.
If you have gone through the first eleven school years, then there is Senior High School plus a lot of different vocational and diploma programs in different specializations.
There are 6 public and 15 private universities in Ghana.
Importance of voluntary organizations
Most students have fairly easy access to undergraduate education. The official language in the schools is English, but up to year three, education can be conducted in any of the 11 local languages.
There are also several foreign private actors who have their own schools, Sweden has, for example, voluntary organizations several different ones, one example is Star of Hope.
The goal of their school projects is to give children a good start in life and a better future through education.
The goal for the Star of Hope’s preschool in Ghana is to provide poor children with the knowledge they need to get into primary school so that in the future they have better opportunities to manage their own lives. In their schools, children also receive meals of nutritious food and basic health care. Together, these things create the conditions for children from poor backgrounds to be able to get up and grow up to be healthy, educated adults who can support themselves and their families. In this way, they are involved in developing entire communities! For how can a child rise from poverty if he or she cannot read or write, is always hungry or ill?
Another important goal of the activity is to show these children and their parents that there are people who see their difficult situation and who want to help them change it.
They currently run six preschool projects that include about 900 children.
Step by step and in village after village, they try to raise the standard of their schools in Ghana. This is made possible by all the generous and caring sponsors, monthly donors, gift-givers, and sponsors.
They have implemented several successful programs in recent years. These have improved school results and the general level of health among children.
The management of Star of Hope Ghana has set a new high long-term goal. The head of operations in Ghana, Charity Frempong, says:
“We want to make our preschools some of the best in the country to compete with the prestigious schools in the capital Accra and in other provincial cities in the country.”
To get there, a seminar was recently arranged for the teachers in their projects. They discussed new ways of working and the implementation of new short- and long-term programs to achieve the overall goal.
My traveling around in Ghana to visit schools made me very tired. I wasn´t used to the low standard of living so that also affected me, to not have a real bathroom or real bed was tough. But I feel ashamed to even think about it. For me, it was just under a limited time, but most people I met were living with lower standards than what I had.
Usually, at bedtime, I play a bit on sites like solitr, pokerstarscasino or mahjon, but that was something I had to stop with during my time in Ghana. Since I mostly stayed in the countryside during my trip, access to wifi was really limited. But it was actually somehow nice, to sort of get a break from all that. You got like a break from answering emails or checking Facebook 56 times a day. And, in fact, one discovers that it goes quite well, at least temporarily.
My trip to Ghana was very interesting and it really taught me a lot. Now I feel like I want to go back to start my own school project there.