My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

Get Involved

Learn More


Thursday, December 8, 2011

School Inspection

We had our school inspection today. It was kind of a nerve-wracking experience for me. I didn't sleep well the night before just thinking about what was going to happen that day. I just didn't have a clue, and if you know me, I am not very good with the unknown.

In any case, Mr. Francis and I went and picked up the ladies from their office in Dodowa. We brought them to the school and the first complaint we heard was that we didn't have any signboards up to advertise where the school was located. We told them that we've been working on that one for awhile, but getting our artist to follow through with actually coming and completing his job...that's the hard part.

In any case, they were really impressed with the grounds of the school. When we told them that we were a K-6 school, they weren't really happy as most schools here start with preschool and each year, will add an additional class. Well, we never do anything in small parts here. We jumped in fully with a preschool through sixth grade program and intend to continue on to junior high next year.

We took them on a tour of the school, visiting each class and the restroom facilities. Then, we all sat down together for a little chat. Most of the stuff that they brought up was really small and inconsequential. Sometimes, the things that people worry about here are really silly. They can be so formal and so informal at the same time. In any case, the big things that they were worried about was 1) the fact that we're operating all these classes without starting with just one class at a time, and 2) the fact that we're using international curriculum.

We talked to them about the fact that our students won't be writing the B.E.C.E. (which is the test that they take after finishing 8th grade here) and they were very upset with that. They wanted us to give them proof that the parents have approved of this and that they agreed with the curriculum that we were offering their children. They told us that we had to resubmit our application and put all of things things in our application and that we needed to decide if we wanted to offer a Ghanaian curriculum/American curriculum system in our school or if we just wanted an American school. If we want an American school, then we won't be approved by the Ghanaian government. So, we're going to have to work through this process very carefully.

You see, the thing is...we want QUALITY. And the curriculum that I have seen here in Ghana...oh, it frustrates me! Sometimes there are visible errors in the government approved curriculum and this is what is taught to their children. I want our students to learn what is taught to them and know if well. So, it's a debate for me. Yes, I want their culture in their education, but I have to be careful too. I don't want to sacrifice quality just to appease these Ghana Education Service big wigs.

Mr. Francis and I brainstormed after we dropped the ladies off and I think we came to the conclusion that we will have to have the parents sign something that shows that they have understood our course of study and that their child will not be eligible to write the B.E.C.E., but will continue through their entire senior high school program if they are accepted into our school. Then, we'll probably offer, as an option for students, holiday classes or after school classes that teach the Ghanaian curriculum. Those students who are admitted into those classes will be given the option of taking the B.E.C.E.

We'll see how the new presentation is received at their offices.

The ladies were most impressed though with City of Refuge Ministries. I told them about our work in the Volta, in Tema New Town with our single mothers, and here in our children's homes. And then we took them for a tour of our children's home and, of course, Malvin and the staff girls were all there to greet us. They were really impressed with the ministry and how far we've come in such a short time. That was really encouraging and perhaps will help us to go farther now that they've seen the progress that we've made.

I'm so glad that first inspection is over. I know that there will be more to come in the future, but thank goodness that one is over and I can worry about other things for now! So many things to get done before I leave in ONE WEEK!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment