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Volunteerism: Edu-Mentor Programme Overview And 89.78% Success Rate At Abokobi Presby “1” – 2016/2017 (2nd Semester)

Some of the pupils excitedly taking a photo with a volunteer.

Edu-Mentor Programme Overview And 89.78% Success Rate At Abokobi Presby “1” Basic School – 2016/2017 (2nd Semester)

Overview

Some of our volunteers with the headmaster of the school.
Some of our volunteers with the headmaster of the school. (Click here to see the full album.)

As part of the volunteerism programme of TTCJN, members are supposed to go to any deprived basic school within the catchment areas of their universities, and go and volunteer their services to teach and assist the teachers in the school. Each member is supposed to volunteer at least, two (2) hours a week for this cause.

In addition, each member is supposed to adopt one of the pupils as a little brother or little sister in order to serve as a role model to the child. This programme is known as the Edu-Mentor Volunteerism Programme. That is to say, an education and a mentorship programme.

The objective of the Edu-Mentor Volunteerism Programme is

To inculcate the spirit of selflessness and patriotism in all members of TTCJN so that wherever they find themselves, they will be willing to help the less privileged or needy people in society.

The collaborating TTCJN Chapters for this particular Edu-Mentor exercise were the TTCJN Chapters on the campuses of the University of Ghana (UG), the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA). The beneficiary school was the Abokobi Presby “1” Basic School

At the end of the project, we delivered over 28 hours of tuition and impacted the lives of 448 pupils out of a total student population of 499 (89.78%)

 

Authorization And Initiation

We initially went to the Ghana Education Service (GES) headquarters in Accra for them to recommend an appropriate basic school for our Edu-Mentor programme in the Greater Accra Region. After making our intentions known, we were directed to the Ga West Municipal office of GES. Though the process at the Ga West Municipal office was bureaucratic, eventually, our Founder,  Mr. Minkah together with some of the executives of the University of Ghana Chapter of TTCJN, were able to get audience with the Municipal Director of Education for Ga West, together with some of her deputies.

More Photos of this Activity  |  Full Edu-Mentor Gallery

After making our volunteerism intentions known, the Director granted us the permission to carry out our volunteerism programme at the Abokobi Presby “1” Basic School. We were then introduced to the headmaster of the school, Mr. Joseph Kofi Kwarteng, as well as other staff members of the school. They were all very happy with our Edu-Mentor Volunteerism Programme initiative and graciously welcomed and accepted us. They promised to help make the initiative a success.

 

About The School – Abokobi Presby “1” Basic School

Abokobi Presby ‘1’ Basic School is located at Abokobi, Ga-West Municipality in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. It consists of eight (8) primary classes and three (3) JHS classes, with a total enrollment of four hundred and ninety-nine (499) pupils. The school has regular and sufficient teaching staff out of which six (6) are for the primary side and eleven (11) are for the JHS side. It has an average teacher to class ratio of 1:1 and 1:3 for the primary and JHS respectively.

With respect to their BECE results, the performance of the pupils hasn’t really been the best. But, the 2016 year group had the best result in the BECE.

Some of the wooden structures being used as classrooms and some pupils of the school.
Some of the wooden structures being used as classrooms and some pupils of the school. (Click here to see the full album.)

The school has a special counseling unit for the pupils but there is no mentorship program for the students. However, plans are underway to develop such programmes for the pupils. The school operates on regular full day basis without running a shift system, and aside their academics, there are a couple of extracurricular activities available for the pupils to engage in.

Though the teachers are doing their best, the Headmaster echoed that the school needs help in all the classes, especially in the core subjects.

It is against that backdrop that we saw that our Edu-Mentor Volunteerism Programme would be of immense benefit to them.

 

Scheduling And Planning

The school’s timetable was then obtained and used to draw a teaching schedule for all the members of TTCJN who would be collaborating on the programme for the Abokobi school. The collaborating Chapters were TTCJN Chapters on the campuses of the University of Ghana (UG), the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA). The schedule was designed in a way such that the volunteers had lessons of the subjects they preferred to teach, at least once a week and it was going to be at their free times. Hence, their academics were not going to be affected negatively.

 

Duration And Subjects Taught

In all, we had twelve (12) volunteers who availed themselves for this operation which commenced on Wednesday 15th March, 2017. On that day, all members who were going to be volunteers, were introduced to the staff and were each assigned to a class to teach. Per the academic schedule of our members, we could only go to the school on Wednesdays and Fridays.

A duration of three (3) weeks was used for the operation and it was focused mainly on education and mentorship. So we ended our operations for this semester on Friday, 31st March, 2017.

A volunteer teaching a observing a pupil solve a question in class.
A volunteer teaching a observing a pupil solve a question in class. (Click here to see the full album.)

Our team members handled these subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Religious and Moral Education, Information Communication and Technology, and Citizenship Education at the various classes of the school. We had supervising teachers who were assigned to every class being handled by a volunteer to help with the smooth process in our period of delivery.

One major challenge was the limited teaching and learning materials such as textbooks and exercise books, which did not encourage the pupils to study on their own.

 

Practical Lessons

In addition to the theories that we taught them, we also took them through some practical aspects of their lessons which were important. That allowed the pupils to have a feel of what they were being taught.

One of the subjects to talk about in this case was Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It was being handled by IT students from the University of Ghana who were well equipped in that area to handle such aspects. The practicals helped the pupils to appreciate how interesting Information Communication Technology was and how it could solve problems in the society. It was overwhelming and pretty to see most of the pupils happy and excited during the practical sessions.

 

Observations About The Primary Levels

Students at the primary level were respectful and also obedient when they were being instructed. We noticed in their activities, a kind of enthusiasm and commitment toward their education. The various class teachers at this level were ever ready to grant a helping hand to students who needed their help in any case. They also put them right whenever they needed to, in order to prevent them from going wayward.

We found out in the process of teaching and assessing that, most of the students in this category were not equipped enough with the speaking and writing of the English Language. But overall, the primary pupils were orderly in class. They paid attention to the teachers and also answered questions when their teachers asked them. There was discipline at the primary level and the pupils were mostly dressed neatly even though some of the students wore torn uniforms to school.

More Photos of this Activity  |  Full Edu-Mentor Gallery

To sum it up, the students showed an amazing reaction and contributed well during our lessons. We delivered our lessons in accordance with each class’s syllabus given by the various class teachers and subject teachers. The pupils were enthusiastic about our lessons which made our sessions with them interactive and interesting, and they did not hesitate to ask questions when they did not understand anything.

Pupils at the primary level being taken through their lessons.
Pupils at the primary level being taken through their lessons. (Click here to see the full album.)

 

Observations About The JHS Levels

In the same vain, students at the Junior High School (JHS) level of the school, exhibited some level of maturity in their endeavours in their various classes. They were quite attentive to our teachings as we taught them the core subjects according to the syllabus we were given. Even though they like talking a lot in class, they also paid attention to us and contributed when necessary.

Some students even went to the extent of asking some of our volunteers to continue with what they were being taught when it was time for their break. They asked excellent questions when they didn’t understand a subject area and we tried our uttermost best to explain things to them for them to have the perfect understanding they needed. Time-consciousness was indeed a hallmark associated with students at this level and most of the JHS students were neatly dressed in their prescribed uniform. We also came by hardworking students who obeyed whatever instructions they were given. Academically, they are not the best but are encouraged to strive for the best. They put in much effort to learn whenever they made mistakes and were corrected.

Pupils at the JHS level being taken through their lessons.
Pupils at the JHS level being taken through their lessons. (Click here to see the full album.)

 

Monitoring And Evaluation

Attendance Books by the staff of the school and Attendance Forms by TTCJN headquarters were used to monitor TTCJN volunteers in the course of the project.

Additionally, pictures and short videos were taken whilst the volunteers taught the pupils, to confirm that each volunteer actually taught in the particular class that he was assigned to. The Team Leader assigned for that day of operation, also went to the various classes regularly to check on the members whilst they were teaching, and to evaluate their performance as they taught the students.

Periodically, the heads of the school and the coordinators assigned to our volunteerism programme, came round to observe, monitor and assess the progress of volunteers as they did their teaching in their assigned classes.

Mr. Minkah (Founder of the organization), together with some officials of from the headquarters, making rounds to monitor and evaluate the volunteers.
Mr. Minkah (Founder of the organization), together with some officials of from the headquarters, making rounds to monitor and evaluate the volunteers. (Click here to see the full album.)

 

Achievement

At the end of the project, we delivered over 28 hours of tuition and impacted the lives of 448 pupils out of a total student population of 499 (89.78%). We helped reduce the burden on the staff, encouraged the students to learn by sharing our life stories with them, and also helped light up their spirits.

We did not only establish a formal relationship with the pupils but also, we were able to make them see us as big brothers/big sisters and role models. Above all, the main factor or reason of portraying patriotism and helping the less privileged in our societies, was achieved.

Our achivements during the 2016/2017 (2nd Semester) Edu-Mentor Volunteereism Programme.
We really achieved a lot. (Click here to see the full album.)

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