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Comments: 122 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

Blair_A7 karma

Hello from California! I am a special education teacher. Are students with disabilities (both physical and mental) able to attend school with you? Thanks!

tchustz2 karma

From Taylor: Students with disabilities do attend school, but it depends on the level and they usually do not get any special treatment. Everything is through integrated teaching.

Technically there is supposed to be a special education teacher assigned to each school, but because there are not many certified teachers with that specialty the school appoints a teacher who is supposed to help.

PugMcGee7 karma

What do some of the students want to be when they grow up?

tchustz3 karma

Charles: I want to be a lawyer Felicia: I want to be a journalist Joseph: I want to a business man Emmanuel: I want to be a scientist

StormCrow17707 karma

I have a question for the students: what's your favorite subject?

I also have a question for the teachers: what's your favorite subject to teach?

tchustz2 karma

Joseph: English

Felicia: My favorite subject to teach is math

fauxcrow6 karma

Hi kids!!

I am in Connecticut, usa. I would like to know how you imagine living in America, and I would also like to know what is your favorite thing about school?

Is there anything you guys would like from the united states that you are curious about or that might help in school?

I'm waving at you and blowing kisses, have a great day!

tchustz2 karma

Georgina: I think living in the US would be fun! And cold! I heard it snows a lot. I think I would like to know how kids get to school. We walk to schools in our village.

From Taylor: Georgina says she wants to be your friend!

fauxcrow1 karma

Awww...Hi Georgina! I will be your friend. It's a long way to travel to come over and "hang out" though! You made me smile!

It does get cold in the winter, but usually snows only 10-12 big storms over the whole winter. I love snow, it's pretty and makes everything look magical and sparkly. The cold is easier to deal with because we wear layers and layers of warm clothes.

Kids here usually go to school in a school bus. They are always bright yellow-orange. Have your teacher google it and show you. The kids walk to "bus stops" near their homes, then the bus picks them all up.

Is there anything I can send you all to help with school, or just for fun?

I am so happy to hear from you! I send my love!

Any more questions?

tchustz2 karma

From Georgina: We love school supplies! I love pens in different colors. I think my other question would be do you know how to swim? Ms. Taylor knows, but I never learned.

We have things like buses here, but they are called tro tros and we use them to ride around town or travel long distances if you do not have a car.

fauxcrow1 karma

If it's ok, your teacher can give me your school address and I would love to send your class a package! How many kids, and how old?

I can swim! I love swimming pools and beaches! I learned to swim when I was 5. Today is very warm here (88°f) I have a little river in my back yard. Maybe I will go in to cool off. It is too shallow to swim though.

Do any of you have pets? :)

tchustz1 karma

from Georgina: We do not have any pets, but there are a lot of dogs and cats near my house. I will ask my teacher and we will let you know!

cheesemarq6 karma

Can one of your students describe his or her daily life? And how do you compare it to Western culture?

tchustz4 karma

Joseph: When you wake up at 6am you do your chores. So on weekdays I fetch water and get ready for school. On weekends I work on the family farm in the mornings. After school I help prepare food. So I pound fufu. If I don't have to help with food I can play football with my friends. I usually go to sleep around 8pm. I think life is different from what I see in the movies. I do more chores earlier in the morning.

kidl33t3 karma

Hello from Canada!

What does it cost to attend high school there?

Is cost the biggest barrier to a secondary education?

Does having a secondary education significantly change the average Ghanaian's earning potential? I've been places where a high school education could mean the difference between working a menial job and being a relatively well working in tourism, etc.

tchustz2 karma

Taylor: High school costs depend on where you go and what type of student you are. Most students are boarders because the schools are far from many villages. School costs range from $100 to $500 a school year. It is lower if you are a day student living near by, but it varies.

Most students struggle paying their fees because families can not meet the costs in full. You can pay off a little as the year goes on, but still there are gaps. In my experience, many of my high school students had to take a year off between junior and senior high school to work to raise funds for school.

And having a secondary degree really helps. You have to pass secondary school to work in tourism, unless you lie on your application. You can also teach in private schools with a secondary degree.

highfidelliot2 karma

Hello from Michigan!

What can we in the US do to make the biggest impact in providing access to education for more and more children throughout Africa?

What are the students favorite games? I would assume football, but any other popular ones?

tchustz2 karma

In regards to what the US can do. I think that is a very hard question to answer. Aid isn't the answer, and sometimes volunteering for short periods of times isn't the answer either. I think investing in Ghanaian work and communities on a local level is the best. When it starts locally then it has a chance to succeed. If that really answers your question.

tchustz2 karma

Football is a favorite game for sure. As well, the students just like to run around and play a jumping clapping game called ampa.

From Taylor: I never learned how to play ampa...it was explained to me but I am never sure...

thats_bone2 karma

Have you seen the movie Poverty Inc?

It says some horrible things about NGO's and the people who participate in them. I personally hated the movie and think that its noble to educate and feed Africans.

Has there been any talk of a shifting tide in the effort to modernize Africa?

tchustz1 karma

Taylor: I haven't seen the movie, but I am sure it is interesting. I think there is a shift to have organizations start locally because NGOs pull out a lot and leave communities still in need. We are trying to shift our organization to have more local staff as management and those running the program so if something happens to the NGO due to funding there can be a local staff who can continue programs

brokenearth032 karma

What is a normal day like?

tchustz2 karma

Joseph: in the morning I wake up at 6 am and help my sister fetch water. Then I help my younger siblings get ready for school. I get to classes at 7am, and stay in school till 3pm. When I get home I play football with my friends, but my sister will begin helping prepare the soups and work with my younger siblings. If they need help, I will pound the fufu because it is hard work. After we eat I will study and do any homework I need to do. Then I sleep at 8 or 9

brokenearth031 karma

Describe fufu please, I've not heard of it.

tchustz2 karma

It is a dish that is made from cocoyam and plantains. When you make it you boil the yams and plantains. When they are soft you remove them and separate them from the hot water. Then you mash them in a bowl till it is elastic like and mush it into a ball. You serve it with soup .

Bloodvault2 karma

What are some of the requirements to join a program like this and teach? Also, what made you decide to teach in the area you did.

tchustz1 karma

From Taylor: Expo doesn't have specific education requirements, more so that you can be culturally sensitive and flexible. Also, if you have had experience working or teaching kids in some sort.

I decided to come to Ghana because my BA was in international relations and educational policy. I have worked in the US a lot, so I wanted to have an experience outside my comfort zone.

tchustz1 karma

From Taylor: Expo doesn't have specific education requirements, more so that you can be culturally sensitive and flexible. Also, if you have had experience working or teaching kids in some sort.

I decided to come to Ghana because my BA was in international relations and educational policy. I have worked in the US a lot, so I wanted to have an experience outside my comfort zone.

MossyMcfly2 karma

In your school system, how many different languages are you required to study to "graduate" or complete your high school program?

tchustz1 karma

From Charles: It depends on the course you are doing. If you are doing general arts you pick between Twi or French. In other courses it doesn't matter. So Sciences it doesn't matter. but English is a core subject that everyone must take.

mary-go-round2 karma

Hello from Slovenia!

My husband and I have actually visited Ghana in 2011 and it is an awsome country! I love how kind and relaxed everyone was to us during our trip - it is one of my favourite countries and I hope to come back one day :)

My question is for the students - what do you want to do when you grow up? Would you like to stay in Ghana or would you rather move somewhere else?

tchustz2 karma

Joseph: I want to travel to different countries, but I want to come back to work for my home country to help the people in my country.

Charles: I want to be a lawyer and study in the US, but I also want to come back to my homeland, Ghana.

MsAtomicBomb231 karma

Hi all! I want to know what the kids like to learn about the most-a certain subject, or topic?

tchustz2 karma

From the students: We like to learn a lot of things. The sciences are fun when you can do the experiments.

sendmeyourdicks1 karma

[deleted]

tchustz1 karma

None of use have a TEFL certification since English is a required language here. Good luck though!

codemoney1 karma

So kids, who would you vote for (any country) and why?

tchustz1 karma

Any country to be the boss?

_heartPotatoes1 karma

How can a college student possibly volunteer?

tchustz1 karma

Many organization offer different forms of volunteering from one month to a year. It depends on your level of time commitment. Also, you can volunteer in education or agriculture or really anything. You just need to find an area focus. Are you looking to volunteer in education?

_heartPotatoes1 karma

Not exactly the routine education... I am getting a degree in Athletic Training and would like to volunteer with an organization that involves that. But I can only find internships and such that are like the professional sport teams and such.

tchustz1 karma

Hm, I don't know any on the top of my head. There was an NGO that hosted football academies and an education aspect. I know they have sports training academies abroad that focus on promoting education at the same time. If I remember the NGO I'll message you. But there are other opportunities out there.

MINKIN21 karma

Hello teachers,

What is the IT literacy levels like in your school and if you have them, what are you using?

tchustz1 karma

Taylor: Students IT literacy is very low. Most students don't have access to computers and maybe when they are 15 they get to see one in their classes. A lot of students have old phones, but not smart phones. If the school is lucky to have laptops, they are the government issued ones. I don't know the name though on the top of my head :/

RakuRaku1 karma

Is it safe?

tchustz1 karma

For the most part yes.

burrcat1 karma

Just read about the floods in Ghana, I hope you are all safe?

tchustz2 karma

Yes we are! Kumasi (at least in Antoa) doesn't have floods

confused_ne1 karma

From what I've heard about African countries' outlook on school, it would seem that since it is taken very seriously (because it is so expensive), the students would be considerably more proficient that the 16% and 35% you listed here. What do you guys think the reason is for such low proficiency in a culture that (I've heard) takes education very seriously?

tchustz1 karma

Charles: Sometimes it is the local language. Many of our students learn in English, but they never really get past memorization. Also a lot of the students don't have continuous education. You may go to school at age 5, but your family moved or can't afford to have you go to school so you need to work. So many students have gaps in their learning.

AWESOMENESSKD11 karma

What are some things there that you can only experience there?

tchustz2 karma

There is a type of fabric called kente that is local to Ghana. As well, many of the traditional religion practices and food are best here!

pressheart1 karma

Do you like cats?

tchustz1 karma

Personally I am a dog lady: From Taylor Cats are great!: From Sharifa

sagaof1 karma

Asamoah Gyan: hero or villain?

tchustz2 karma

From Charles: he is a hero

Marquis771 karma

I've always been somewhat curious about programs such as these that travel to foreign countries to render aid or social programs that are not readily available to the local communities. Here are my questions for the (edit) program director(s):

  1. Do you find this kind of work to be fulfilling in any special or unique way, as opposed to doing some kind of community service or volunteerism in your home country?

  2. Apart from the obvious (lack of technology, super-sanitary conditions, access to 'first world luxuries'), what kind of hardships do you go through when you choose to do something like this?

And here's a question for the kids:

  1. If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?

tchustz1 karma

  1. From Taylor: I am a big volunteer at home. I have worked with City Year, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and many other smaller organizations. For me, I love the work I do in Ghana and I live in Antoa, so I feel particularly close to my students and families. In the US we may be in the same communities, but here I see everyone daily and get to interact on a personal level that means a lot to me.

  2. I think the biggest hardships are sometimes language and just issues you experience in a developing country. Although English is taught in all the schools, in Antoa, the local language is Twi and everyone speaks it, sometimes only Twi. For me, it has been difficult picking up the language but I am trying! I also live in the community with no running water so I fetch my own...which hurts my head sometimes. Plus the power...Electric Company of Ghana doesn't have a schedule so when the power is out we are unsure of when it will come on again.

From Felicia: I would want to meet The Rock. Because he is famous and he can give me tips on how to be a strong man and movie star.

SmokeyFiend581 karma

What's the most crazy and outlandish thing you have seen?

tchustz1 karma

From Taylor: This is a hard one. In Burkina Faso I saw about 40 people stuffed inside a small bus (supposed to hold maybe 20) with 10 people on top with 15 goats strapped to the top and sides.

MisoMesoMilo1 karma

How have you applied what you learnt in your day to day activities?

tchustz1 karma

From the tutors: We have learned a lot of different ways to teach. The programs use the peer-to-peer tutoring model, so now we work and tutor our peers more rather than just going to the lecturer

mbraderz1 karma

What's the students favourite part of school?

tchustz1 karma

Charles: The dining hall.. I was always hungry

flammablepenguins1 karma

What are some of your favorite animals?

tchustz1 karma

From Joseph: I like tigers and rhinos!

fart_beast1 karma

Hey! Greetings from India!

I would like to know what the students' perspective of the outside world is like and what do the children think about other countries that they have only ever heard about?

tchustz2 karma

Charles: As a Ghanaian who has a lot of friends from abroad now I think I used to think everything was amazing and great and free outside of Ghana. You see the movies and you think that life is wonderful and no poverty exists anywhere else but in your home country. I know now this isn't true. But we get one side of a story.

cookinshithatingshit1 karma

Hello, and greetings! Question for students. It appears in everything that I have seen or read that students in villages like yours actually enjoy and take pride in going to school, whereas here in the USA, many young people look at going to school like its a chore they hate doing. Is this true? Are most students in the class eager to be there and learning?

tchustz2 karma

Students: We have never been to the US, so we can't say. But we love school. Education is the way to get out of poverty and we want to go to help ourselves, our families, and our country.

Nuzzer1 karma

Ete sen?

Volunteer q: Considering the fact that so many students are less comfortable in English (and more comfortable in Twi/Akuapem/Fante), is it difficult coming in as a volunteer with a language barrier? Tried picking up the language?

General Q: How do you see this scheme growing? Do you think that it would be more or less successful in bigger areas (like Cape Coast/Takoradi)? If it is successful, do you see it going up to the north of the country?

Tutors/Students: What are your favourite activities to teach? Similarly, what are your favourite ones to learn? What kind of games do you use?

tchustz1 karma

Taylor: Aye! For me picking up the language has been difficult. I try to pick it up though! Luckily for our programs we hire local high school students to teach so I more manage and they teach in the local language.

We plan to continue moving to more schools. We are limited to being near a junior and senior high school. But we hope to hire more local staff to work as program associates and work in their own communities. We try to go where the need is. We were in Accra, then moved to Kumasi because the need was great. Maybe we move north.

Students: I like the activities where we get to run around. We play a game called slap the board sometimes where we run to the board and slap the right answer or write the answer that is right and slap it.

Dchama861 karma

Were you at all affected by the recent floods?

tchustz1 karma

In Antoa, no. We are safe!

NowURgonnaGETitBOBBY1 karma

What is your pay for a day of work and how long is it?

tchustz1 karma

Taylor: I am volunteer so I do not get paid for being here. Charles is a local staff member and is paid 200 ceids a month for his work at the school

G0_pack_go1 karma

Do you know how frustrating it is to see an AMA of only questions?

tchustz1 karma

I know! We are trying. The power cut out and it dropped our signal from the tower. We are answering some now that are here then will try again tomorrow because the kids need to head home to help with dinner. Sorry-o

calaber24p1 karma

What is an average amount of funding a middle school like yours gets in a year? What issues do teachers personally encounter because of a lack of funding (if there is a lack of funding)?

tchustz1 karma

Taylor: I am not sure the amount for funding, but usually each school gets what is called a grant for the government to run the school. After that if there are any missing costs the students will pay a small amount. Teachers get paid anywhere from $3000- $5000 a year. Many teachers have to take second jobs though to support themselves.

vxevxb1 karma

What time is recess?

tchustz2 karma

We have breaks during the day but no recess.

reasonably_uncertain1 karma

Seems like there are a ton of NGOs and the like that are promoting 'simple' technical solutions to benefit places like villages in West Africa - have you seen any of those types of organizations/companies etc. bring technology or simple solutions to the places where you are teaching which have made a significant impact on the community?

tchustz1 karma

Taylor: Where we are no, but I have seen some NGOs that bring in things like tablets for e-learning. Usually there is a big jump in literacy, but when the NGO leaves or the program discontinues it falls apart unless you trained the local community and staff

jmra_ymail1 karma

Not sure about how long you have being doing this but do you receive lots of (grateful) feedback from former students ?

tchustz2 karma

Emmanuel: I have been a tutor for almost a year. The students tell me many times they are happy I am their tutor and ask me questions. They are more like my brother or sister than just my student.

lolagabriella1 karma

Kids, what do you think makes a good teacher?

tchustz1 karma

One who makes you laugh and respects you. Who cares that you want to learn

penatbater1 karma

Hello from the Philippines!

What would say is the quintessential Ghanian food out there? If you ask any Pinoy (local term for a Philippine national), most would probably say Adobo. Adobo is basically a dish of chicken or pork stewed in vinegar and soy sauce. We're not very familiar with African cultures so I hope you can shed some light on local Ghanian culture. :)

tchustz1 karma

There are many types of food in Ghana. A favorite dish is fufu though. It is mde from cocoyams and plantains. They are boiled and then mashed down into a big almost carb ball. Then you put it in a soup you enjoy and eat!

rapmachinenodiggidy1 karma

whats the weather like over the course of the year and does the length of daylight hours vary greatly from summer to winter?

tchustz1 karma

The weather varies in Ghana. At the start of the year we experience the harmattan where it is very dry and dust comes in. It can be very cool at night. Mid year it is normal, then we experience a rainy season. After that it is normal and then goes back to the dry season. All around though it is pretty comfortable weather.

MOWilkinson1 karma

I did a design project focused on education for kids in Ghana, and repurposing waste materials. We tried to make an engaging learning tool that works for both spelling and math games read a description of the project here or go right ahead and download the free instructions here

Do you think any positive learning outcomes can come from a game like this?

tchustz1 karma

I think it would be something that would be cool to play! Anything that provides some game like atmosphere for learning really helps! I will share it with our staff and see what they think. If we use it I'll share the results!

usernema1 karma

What is your favorite thing to do after school is out?

tchustz2 karma

From Georgina: I like to study after school with my friends. From Joseph: I like to play football with my friends.

jtheking71 karma

[deleted]

tchustz1 karma

It depends on what you mean by danger. The village of Antoa is pretty much safe from any robbery or violence. We do have scorpions and wild dogs that are troublesome. As well common illness like malaria and typhoid are common.

UnAmusedCynic0 karma

Hi from Ohio. What is your weather like today? Here it is 70 degrees and raining.

tchustz1 karma

Today is nice. It is 78 degrees now with the sun setting and a lite breeze.

tenfolde-1 karma

Why don't you answer any questions?

tchustz1 karma

We had some technical issues, but we are answering some now and then will try again another time! Sorry-oooo

_Skylake_-17 karma

How do you plan to escape to USA?

tchustz1 karma

From the tutors: We plan to continue our education and will hopefully study abroad, maybe in the US, maybe in the UK. Where ever we can get a scholarship!