In just over 4 weeks I shall be leaving Nadowli and heading home at the end of my placement. Much of what I see day to day I have documented in this blog over 2 years. Many postings have included photos to illustrate my experiences. However, most of my photos lie unseen, here in my laptop. I am going to take the opportunity, during these final weeks, of posting some of the best ones and those that evoke the more vivid memories of my life here in Ghana.
I have to begin with a school photo. This is Class 3 who I have come to know better than any other group of children. They arrive each morning, most punctually, to await happily whatever learning experiences are available to them. I never cease to be in awe of their enthusiasm to be in school when I consider the lack of stimulation afforded these pupils. The attendance of a teacher heralds a good day in itself. If their teacher had had the privilege of the best training available, he would still be lethargic in his daily delivery at the front of the class when denied access to the most basic of resources. If you live in interesting times and have imaginative stimuli surrounding you almost constantly and you feel valued and respected, you can strive to be an imaginative and exciting teacher with very little equipment and funds. However, when your own education and teacher training involved solely the use of chalk, ancient theories and monotonous instruction, and imagination is not considered an asset to teachers or pupils, then you are hardly likely to break out of the mould from your own initiative.
It may be true that for most children in these schools who will live out their adult lives in this same community unaware, largely, of the outside world, their school education will suffice as it exists. Oblivion can allow peaceful, stress free existence. Nevertheless, there are some who could spread their wings, be exciting and contribute to the development of their country if they were empowered. The injustice of this poor educational provision and the frustration that I feel is about those children with unrealised and stifled potential. They are tethered chickens scratching in the dust who could be eagles exercising their wings and preparing to soar.