Each summer KickStart Ghana works with a local school for their children for a section of their children to attend a summer school and reading club.
The project is focuses on non-compulsory and extra-curricular education. In the summer of 2013 we ran a pilot scheme with St Cecilia’s School to run a summer school for 80 of their year 6 children and a reading club for 25 of their younger attendees. The school had three key aims:
- To increase the educational attainment of the students
- To help increase the opportunities available for extra-curricular activities
- To broaden the experiences of the teachers involved in the school.
Year 6 is an important year for students as to go to Junior High School they must pass an exam. If the child fails then they have to repeat year 6.
KickStart Ghana, in conjunction with the PTA, Governors and Head Teacher of St Cecilia designed the summer programme that would give children much better access to Ghanaian teachers (18 to 1) to work on the following core curriculum subjects:
The programme was also designed to have lessons that focussed on extra-curricular development. The four key focus areas were:
- Physical development
- Social and emotional development
- Language and communication skills
- Cognitive development
These lessons were delivered by a mixture of Ghanaian and European volunteers, all with the relevant skills and training.
Each class would six classes a day, four being curricular and two being extra-curricular. Each child received a new exercise book and a nutritious lunch each day they attended school.
The reading club, of 20 students, had a mixture of one-one teacher pupil reading lessons and group English lessons based on learning through play.
We were delighted with the results and feedback from the summer school. It is normal for some pupils to repeat the year but 100% of students went on to Junior Secondary School for 2013/14.
Madame Al’orbi, the Head Teacher of St Cecilia said, “I think the summer school has gone very well. It has been full of activity. It has been activity orientated, exciting. People are psychologically present in the classroom. That is reflected on the attendance levels positively.
My teachers’ methodology has learnt from your teachers, especially in how they present their lessons.
“My teachers’ methodology has learnt from your teachers, especially in how they present their lessons. We have learnt from them. They have a lot of learning and teaching materials, the lessons are rich. I have enjoyed the teachers work. Their input is more than the normal classes work and the children have benefitted.
“There is a traditional problem of parents providing exercise books but the ones provided by KSG means it has been much easier for work to go on. The children have benefited from this.”
Mr Dzahene Stephen, one of the Ghanaian teachers fed back, “They (the children) have benefited immensely as most of the fundamentals needed to start the junior High are introduced to them and an orientation to psychologically prepare them for the next stage in their lives. It will make them confident and aspire for high success.”
The children have learnt a huge amount from the teachers and volunteers and have been coming home each day excited to tell us about their lessons.
The Chairman of the PTA, Kale Moses, said, “We thank KickStart Ghana for their work and we hope this relationship continues into the future. The children have learnt a huge amount from the teachers and volunteers and have been coming home each day excited to tell us about their lessons.”
We were delighted that all stakeholders agreed that the projects three key aims were met and we are looking to repeat this work in the summer of 2014.