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!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Bring out the Advocate in Me

There are some things that are absolutely frustrating being an American starting a school in Ghana.  There are things that I don't know if I will ever understand.  And there are things that happen because I am an American starting a school in Ghana that puts us at a distinct disadvantage.

This past week, our teachers went to a training that Ghana Education Service provided to train them on the new curriculum syllabus that Ghana has developed for the upcoming year.  Here is the wrench that has been thrown into our system:

All students from KG (preschool) through Primary 3 (3rd grade), must have their English Language class instruction (as well as other classes, but their ENGLISH CLASS instruction) primarily in the local language. 

How does that make sense?

And how does that work for our population of students? 

While about 70% of our students speak the language of our area, Adangme, the other 30% will be completely lost. 

In our school, each class will be guaranteed a student who speaks Twi.  Or Ewe.  Or Ga.  Or Chimuru.  Or Krache.  Or English Only.  And yet, they are required to sit in classes, where our common language is English, and listen to only Dangme.

We received our district-wide final exams and 70% of the ENGLISH exam was in Dangme. 

I don't get it.

And it makes me frustrated.

And it puts our children, our rescued children, at a distinct disadvantage.

And because we are a new school, we were the last to know. 

And so, we weren't given the same curriculum as the other schools.  We just had to hunt down what we could and trust that it would be good enough.

Yet, some district exams today proved that our curriculum wasn't the right one because there was literally on 7 out of the 40 questions that were found in our curriculum.

This brings out the fighter in me.

The advocate.

We want our student's best.  And every step we take is working towards their future.  And yet, it seems like a battle sometimes. 

But, we will work this out.  It's not the first battle we have faced and it certainly won't be the last.  We have to trust that we will figure out something to make this work for our kids.

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