Teacher Sponsorships have been an important part of our growth and commitment to improving the quality of education at Dekpor Basic. Starting in 2010, we had two teachers sponsored. Now, in 2013, we have 8 teachers being funded by generous DSDO supporters. One teacher is dedicated to the library, the other seven are in classrooms. Two of our teachers offer adult literacy classes (more below).
When we started our work, the kindergarten class had anywhere from 150 - 170 students on any given day. We have brought the numbers down to 40 - 80 in most classes, right from kindergarten up to JHS 3, but we know that in order for a teacher to be able to successfully deliver the curriculum, to be able to make contact with individuals, and to teach most effectively, the student-teacher ratio still needs to decrease.
Sponsoring a teacher impacts every child in the class… the ripple effect is huge!
Adult Literacy Classes
The adult literacy programme has generated much interest, and several dignitaries from the School Board and from other parts of Ghana have come to see what is being done. Many adults have taken up the challenge of learning to read and write, first in Ewe and later in English… a daunting task at any age. They come after regular school hours and stay for two hours or more, three times a week. The focus is on language skills related to their every day lives — about farming, rural life, markets. They started with the Ewe alphabet, learning phonetic sounds and some simple words. Some students have progressed so quickly that they are now starting to learn simple words in English as well. They are very proud of their accomplishments and work so hard at learning. Their motivation is to better themselves, but also to act as role models for their own children, to encourage them to work hard at their basic education. These dedicated individuals are actually role models for the entire village population.
In August 2011, Linda writes:
Mr Hologbe (one of the teachers), got a call about an adult literacy competition and was asked if he had someone who could come. He said 'yes' and immediately took a motorbike out to a farm to pick up one of the students and take him into Dzodze for the test!!! The man obviously had NO prep time at all and wrote the darn test in his farming clothes! I have no idea if other towns got any more lead time than that, but this poor guy surely had none. He ended up placing second out of all the people there… so all the more reason to be doubly proud of his accomplishment!
In August of 2012, we saw more success!
Janet Tetteh, one of our adult literacy students, made us extremely proud by winning the Adult Area Literacy Competition! Despite a VERY long walk, being physically disabled, and needing a stick for support, she is determined to get to each class that our DSDO adult literacy teachers, Mr. Hologbe and Mr. Tay, provide. Janet is an extremely hard-working mom of two who works as a seamstress, a trader who buys and sells provisions, and a farmer! What an outstanding achievement!
'Summer' Vacation School
All of the children who are fully sponsored and those on our food programme, get to attend vacation school for a month in August, for 3 hours a day, from Monday to Friday. It is an amazing opportunity for the children to get some more time in class when the student-teacher ratio is greatly reduced.
Our sponsored teachers are making a huge difference!