About Me

My photo
I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Akwaaba: Educational capacity-building in Ghana

I've spent the past 10 days in Ghana, presenting a couple of keynote addresses at the inaugural TIME conference which was coordinated and hosted by Ghana International School. I also led a seminar at the same conference with a focus on educational research to inform practice. I was able to do a follow-up question and answer period a few days later on some of the research I presented at the conference. Our host for our time in Ghana was Dr. Mary Ashun, a former colleague and writing collaborator, now principal of Ghana International School. I was welcomed ("akwaaba") with open arms.

The conference was a tremendous success and was a reminder to me that great things are being done by teachers in many different parts of the world. As Mary said at the introduction to the conference, "Ex Africa semper aliquid novi ... Out of Africa, always something new."

TIME conference introduction with Dr. Mary Ashun, Principal of GIS

Receiving a piece of art from Dr. Mary Ashun (centre) with my wife in appreciation for my keynote addresses at the TIME conference

I was delighted to be able to share the experience with my wife (Karen, pictured above) and son, CJ, and we enjoyed many memorable moments beyond at the TIME conference. Here are some examples:

Accra Mall - I love sharing pictures like this to illustrate the diversity of the developing world
Another example of contrasts ... a beautiful house in Accra ... is this what most people imagine when they think of "Africa"?

"Trashy Bags" - a NGO that recycles plastic into products such as this!

A highlight of the trip was visiting the school that Dr. Ashun established a couple of hours outside of Accra, the capital of Ghana, which serves needy children from that community.

His Majesty's school - note the Canadian flag beside the Ghanaian flag!

I've always loved markets and those of Accra did not disappoint!

Kakum National Park and the "canopy walk" - stunning scenery

The slave castle at Cape Coast was a sobering reminder of the past ... and what continues in different parts of the world today

Another example of what we often don't think about in the developing world ... beautiful beaches!

Nkrumah memorial - a major leader in the fight for independence from "Gold Coast" to "Ghana" - you will have to investigate to find out why his head is not on his shoulders!

A final picture ... a new little friend, EJ ... his eye is on the future of Ghana!