Last month, Barry Comprehensive School teachers Miss McCormick and Mr Gamble visited Juaben Senior High School (JUASS) in Ghana.
The trip was designed to strengthen the link between the two schools. The reciprocal partnership was started a year ago on Miss McCormick’s first trip to the country and last December two Ghanaian teachers visited Barry. Our project aims to link areas of the curriculum at both schools with initial links being made in Art, Geography and Science with a view to link other subjects.
Having landed in Accra, Ghana’s Capital city at 11pm, we travelled through the night to arrive at our hotel in Kumasi at about 4:30am. With 2 hours sleep we were picked up and driven to the school. This journey was around ten minutes by car and allowed a view of the landscape and nearby villages alongside the road. Once we arrived at the school we were made to feel welcome by all and were taken straight to a whole school assembly of more than 2000 students where we were officially welcomed and the school anthem was performed.
The school has many similarities to our own. I observed a Chemistry practical exam which was almost identical to those tasks expected of Year 12 students. Though a major difference was that any latecomers to the lesson ran the risk of receiving “the cane” as a form of punishment. Another difference is that Juaben is a boarding school and the students are expected to be awake a 4:30 am when they help to clean the school site before breakfast.
Resources that were kindly donated by departments from Barry Comprehensive and the local community were given to the school. These were extremely well received and will have a positive impact on the learning of the students at JUASS.
During the week we met many people, teacher and students. We were able to observe different lessons and some exams. In order to set up a joint science project about climate change I was able to teach a lesson which was a very interesting and rewarding experience.
We managed to “Skype” a live debate between the schools, made possible by an internet connection partly funded by funds raised by Miss McCormick and the Ghana School Partnership team before Christmas, with a laptop kindly donated by Mr Mark Stock of Paternoster consulting of Cardiff. The debate was a great success with members from both teams performing admirably!
In all, the trip was extremely rewarding and interesting. It has allowed the partnership between Barry Comprehensive School and Juaben Senior High School to move forward in a positive manner. Hopefully, this is a link that will last for years to come.
Mr D. Gamble
The visit was also reported in Ghanian newspaper The Daily Graphic