Not long before our tropical disease-induced flit to the UK, I started going round some schools with a local education officer, Benedicta Addo. She is a gem – a driven and selfless individual committed to the school children she is there to help. Her main role is to try to keep female students in school, but she has also heloped a few schools develop links with volunteers in the past.
She and I, with the support of Aidan Cantwell, have linked up two schools in Ghana with two in Scotland. The idea is to give them the opportunity to exchange cultural and educational learning between pupils, teachers and communities.
We spent a lot of time identifying schools here that were committed to the idea and then took them through the process of developing their understanding of what was involved, how they should prepare and how both schools could get out of it what they wanted. The principal challenge was to embed the understanding that for a partnership to work it has to be equal and therefore shared learning should be at the core of the relationship rather than a donor-recipient situation.
The partnerships are between
Mile 50/ Adweso Primary School, Koforidua and Skene Square Primary School, Aberdeen (http://www.skenesquare.aberdeen.sch.uk/)
Densuano Primary School, Densuano and Alves Primary School, Alves, Morayshire (http://www.alves.moray.sch.uk/)
You can learn about the Scottish schools from their websites.
Mile 50/ Adweso School is located on the south edge of Koforidua with an interesting mix of students from all social and cultural backgrounds. My esteemed visitors Mike and Evin were treated to some dancing and drumming performed by the kids, as you can see below.
Densuano is located in the eponymous village approximately 10km along a dirt track out of Koforidua. It’s a relatively new school and was built following a campaign by the local community, with huge support from the village chief. Alves Primary School gifted a set of football strips to the school and some gifts are winging their way back to Scotland as we speak.
So far things are at an early stage but I hope to post more more partnership updates in future as they develop.