Monday, November 9, 2015

TENI Volunteers Urged to Take Volunteerism Serious

Mohammed Awal Abukari

Community Volunteer Teachers (CVTs) engaged by NOYED-Ghana and VSO-Ghana under the TENI II project, have been urged to take their jobs seriously, so as to make positive impact on the lives of children they are teaching in their respective schools.

The CVTs have also been challenged to see the volunteering work they were doing as a springboard, on which to jump-start a totally new career in their lives in the near future.

Head of Administration and Accountant of NOYED-Ghana, Mohammed Awal Abukari, said this at a three-day volunteer sharing workshop held in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana.

The workshop, according to Mr. Abukari, was intended to understand the challenges volunteers were going through in their respective schools and communities, problems they thought were impeding the smooth progress of the TENI-II project, and come out with solutions to those problems.

Tackling Education Needs Inclusively (TENI-II) is a 4-year (2014-2017) project initiated by VSO-Ghana with support from Comic Relief–UK. It is a follow up on TENI I which was successfully implemented between 2009 and 2014.

The goal of TENI II is to achieve systemic change by improving transition, completion and quality basic education for some 14, 938 disadvantaged children, especially girls and children with disabilities. This is done through active involvement of multi-stakeholders such as teachers, NGOs and parents, all aimed at complementing the work of the Ghana Education Service (GES).

Beneficiaries of TENI II are located in five (5) districts of Northern Ghana including Talensi and Nabdam in the Upper East Region, Jirapa in the Upper West Region and West Mamprusi and Mamprugu-Moaduri in the Northern Region. 

The Executive Director of NOYED-Ghana, Alhassan Abdulai Iddi, in an interview explained, that all CVTs before their placement in their respective schools, were given intensive in-Service training. “This was to make them effective in teaching. They were taken through classroom management, lesson notes preparation in English language, mathematics and integrated science. 

“They were also taken through the teachers’ Code of Conduct as designed by the GES to guide every person serving as a teacher”, he emphasised. 

Volunteers At A Workshop in Tamale
According to Mr. Iddi, the CVTs were also taken through various topics under volunteering in order to deepen their understanding of the concept of volunteerism. “It is however expected of them that, while doing their work in the classrooms, they will share the values of volunteerism with the community members and their colleagues to trigger more volunteering initiatives in support of quality basic education delivery”, he intimated.

Boodomo Winifred, a volunteer of the TENI II project said: “When all hope was lost, I wanted to run away from my family and never return home. I lost respect from family and my peers just because I wasn’t working. 

“Now my name has been magnified through the TENI project implemented by NOYED-Ghana and partners; I have earned back my respect from peers and family members. The project has given me a job as a volunteer teacher at the Ul-Kpong Junior High School in Jirapa”, she noted.

Anisatu Halitu also a volunteer at Chapuri D/A Primary School in the Jirapa District, said through volunteering she had been able to take care of herself and her family. “TENI has also equipped me with skills and this has boosted my interest in the teaching profession”, she said. 

While lauding the project, the CVTs appealed to NOYED-Ghana and VSO-Ghana to supply beneficiary schools with teaching and learning materials and keep organising training workshops for volunteers. 

They also advocated for more volunteer teachers to be recruited to fill vacant classrooms still dotted around in many communities in the districts where they worked as volunteers. Some also stressed the need for NOYED-Ghana and its partners to give scholarships to volunteers who were qualified and interested in pursuing further studies in education.

The volunteers equally called on the GES to consider those of them that had professional qualifications in teaching and recruit them to fill existing vacancies in the communities they were working.

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