At times, during the TA trips, not everything goes as planned and sometimes there are a few drawbacks here and there. For instance, in Ghana, learning for Basic Education ends at 12 and this means that time for doing the distribution was minimized. In schools where the team would arrive after 12, the headteacher was called prior, to wait for the team’s arrival. In one of the schools, the headteacher was not at the school when the team arrived despite being notified and therefore the books were taken back to the storage to be delivered or picked at a later date.
The reallocation of the materials affected the original packing. Previously, the cartons were well labelled per school and the contents of each carton were well particularized. Some of the cartons had to be reopened and labelled for a second time affecting the original labelling.
Besides the work experience, there are always some personal experiences that the technical team encounters when in the field. The experiences may range from the people, culture, climate, history, school infrastructure among others.
Well, for Ghana, the people are very friendly and welcoming as portrayed by the huge sign at the Kotoka International Airport that reads ‘Akwaaba’ meaning welcome to Ghana. The splendor of Ghana lies in the diversity and enthusiasm of both its people and of its food. Ghana has a rich culture and Samuel enjoyed the different aspects of it during his stay. Pepper is part of every meal, prepare to cry and cough as you eat if you aren’t used to hot food. The temperatures are really hot and you will not miss an air conditioner or a fan inside the rooms. There are beautiful beaches but Samuel did not get the chance to visit one since he was travelling to the Northern Part of Ghana, Tamale, which is extremely hot.
At the schools, both the teachers and children were exuberant to receive the Correctbooks and pens. However, Samuel couldn’t help but notice the poor infrastructure and conditions in some of the schools that lie in a state of despair. Lack of proper classrooms and lack of enough desks is a major challenge that needs to be addressed. The poor infrastructure has made some learning institutions in the Northern Region of Ghana almost nonfunctional. The situation vividly paints a picture of just how inequality in the education sector is affecting children in the area and this affects their learning. The challenges have unlevelled the education playing field.
At one of the schools, rains accompanied by strong winds destroyed some of the classrooms and have never been repaired since then. They didn’t have any roofs and some walls were crumbling. In another school, the students didn’t have any desks to sit on hence they are forced to sit on the ground during lessons. Regrettably, children are forced to brave the harsh conditions in their pursuit of education under these deplorable surroundings that pose health and safety concerns to both the students and teachers.
Despite the difficult circumstances, the learners are eager to attend school and learn, with the perpetual hope that one day, the situation in their schools will be better. The strong winds blew away the roofs to their classrooms but not their desire to learn.