Objective


To introduce participatory teaching methods with the use of school gardens and thus ensure quality education of children in Northern Ghana.

Background


Despite that Ghana has been investing heavily into it’s education system, educational outcomes remain low. Access to education has increased—nationally it doubled from 2000-2014—but retention and completion need improving: there is a 30 % drop out rate between primary school and junior high school before completing Basic Education. Many students are not receiving quality education: classes can be overfull and there is a low supply of trained teachers. Teachers are often not trained in child-centred teaching methods, gender and disability sensitive learning approaches, and use of practices that motivate children.

Further, the curriculum content is poor: it is not based in local context and culture thus not delivering students with opportunities for relevant life skills training. This also discourages parents from sending their children to school as they might not see the value of education if it is not relevant to their way of life.

In Northern Ghana, a majority of the population lives in rural areas and subsides off of agriculture. Thus, using school gardens as a method of teaching is a way to make learning relevant and practical for students.

What we do


In July 2017, RAINS and AXIS partnered to implement a pedagogy project in communities in Northern Ghana. The pilot project was implemented in two schools in Nyoglo and Bunglung. The key feature of this project is the establishment of school gardens to serve as tools and avenues for teaching and learning. Four more gardens are being built and managed by schools in Tibali, Nabogu, Yemo, and Kadia. Students manage and care for the gardens, and teachers utilize the gardens as instruments to teach.

Focus Areas


  1. A partnership with local authorities, such as the Ghana Education service, to guarantee support and institutionalizing of the intervention
  2. Building of local authorities’ and teachers’ capacity to implement and teach participatory teaching methods to other stakeholders
  3. Revamp Parent Teacher Associations and School Management Committees to ensure that they will support the teachers

Key Strategies


  • Teachers are trained through workshops facilitated by officers from Ghana Education Service on how to integrate the school garden into the delivery of lessons
  • Lessons in science, math, and language are taught using the school gardens
  • Resource support to circuit supervisors so that they are able to monitor schools
  • Development of School Performance Improvement Plans
  • Organize Student Garden Clubs, comprised of 25 students with equal girls and boys per school
  • Development of a teaching manual for the school gardens

Partnerships

  • AXIS, Denmark
  • Ghana Education Service
  • Ministry of Food and Agriculture
  • Traditional authorities/Community Leaders
  • PTAs/SMCs