Back in action now that the strike is over!

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Above: Diosdado, Daniel, Godfred and Selby. Missing: Abigail

Despite a brief hiatus in this term’s programs due to the teacher’s strike in Ghana, Expo’s after-school programs are well underway and our tutors and students have started getting into a routine. Initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect of my tutors from Kenyasi SHS, but they have more than impressed me so far. All five of them have been working hard each week to teach as much as possible to our students at Aberim JHS.

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Above: Kaia with one of her JSH students.

I got my first hint of their dedication upon grading their qualifying exams to work with Expo. Apart from scoring very well on the math portion, they had some pretty inspirational things to say in their written essays (for which they were supposed to specify their hobbies and why they wanted to be tutors for us).

One student wrote: “Being part of Exponential Education as a tutor gives me the chance to transmit and apply my knowledge on the younger ones. Even though that is not my hobby, I believe [it] is our responsibility to teach others.”

Another student describes her hobby of reading: “I sometimes engage in arguments with my friends for pleasure and I make sure I win every bit of it. This is because my sentences are well constructed and tenses correctly used due to the numerous books I read. I read to lead.”

As you can imagine, I was very excited to start working with the tutors I’d chosen!

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Above: Abigail tutoring math.

Because of some scheduling conflicts, they have been willing to miss 30 minutes of their last classes one day a week and instead spend extra time with me working on these subjects after our program (on Fridays, I must add!). They are always on time; one day, a few of my tutors showed up five minutes early out of breath and drenched in sweat because they had run to Aberim from Kenyasi in fear of being late.

They each have a unique but attentive and effective way of teaching: Abigail likes to make her students laugh, Daniel encourages his students to self-correct with explanations, Diosdado makes sure that each student is actively participating at the board. When the program is over and the six of us meet for discussion, they are always inquiring about improvements they can make in order to reach out to every student. There was one tutor who, when asked how everything went, replied (a bit unsettled), “Madam… I would just like more time for the lesson!”

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Above: Aberim JHS students learn math.

It’s been two weeks since we’ve been able to have our program, and now that the strike is over I’m very excited to be able to start up again today. These five young men and women are exceptional, and it is truly wonderful to see their earnestness and motivation in helping their younger peers to succeed academically.

Kaia Smith is a program associate with Exponential Education.

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