Please let me introduce you to Mrs. Teresa Prah, Managing Director of Greater Heights School in Takoradi. I visited with Mr. Eddie Prah and his lovely wife Teresa for several days in Takoradi (Ghana). I met Eddie Prah through Rotary and our Books for the World Program. It was such a wonderful visit as I stayed in their beautiful home on a hill looking out over Takoradi.
Teresa Prah has given her life to education in Ghana and has a wonderful reputation and legacy in one school, Archbishop Porter Girls High School. (They even honored Teresa with her name on one dorm.) Since she “retired”, Theresa started her own school that matches our dreams of our school in Medie. While we are building, it is wonderful to see our vision in action and ultimately fulfilled.
I learned so much during this visit and I thought I would share with you because many of you may wonder about the system of education here, the buildings, the teaching methods, etc.
Of course, all of this varies throughout the country. The larger, highly populated and most developed cities such as Accra, Takoradi and Kumasi have wonderful school buildings that are maintained, providing a solid education for those living nearby. There are the government-run schools, the private schools and the international schools.
Regardless of the type of school, each school must meet the accreditation requirements of the Ghana Education System, much like the requirements in the U.S. So yes, they must be able to pass tests.
Joy2theWorld is building a private school, a Catholic school in the rural community. The mission is to provide our rural kids the same quality education in the same quality building as their counterparts in the city.
St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church has generously given us 6 plots of land (about 1.5 acres) to build and we will be breaking ground soon.
Parents in the community are curious and all are invited to register soon… Catholics, Muslims (yes, they are often first in line!), and Christians of every denomination are welcome; all desiring the Catholic education and associated discipline that the church is known for around the world. I keep saying that “freedom of religion” is most represented here where everyone acknowledges and respects each others’ beliefs.
Back to Takoradi! Well, here is what I loved the most about Teresa Prah’s school: There was a sense of peace and order and with 500 students that is amazing. Students were in class, of course, but when I met a student on the stairs, they waited politely for me to finish climbing the stairs before beginning their decent. They introduced themselves and responded well to any question I had.
When I asked Teresa about this, she said, yes, we have a short class every Friday for all students to learn proper etiquette, teaching respect and self-discipline.
Greater Heights promotes leadership in their Student Council, creativity in art and music (with band instruments), a science laboratory and a lending library.
Teresa has created a wonderful school and I only hope that we can replicate some of the many practices she includes while preparing students for their futures. The parents and students appreciate her school too and there is a high demand for registration. So Teresa and Eddie are building a second school to meet the needs of her community.
The subtle differences between her school and our rural school will be that we will add some opportunity for parents to participate in basic education. Most of our children will be coming from homes of illiterate families so homework assignments will be completed in a “study hall” type of class where children can get tutoring and general assistance in completing their assignments. Parents will be encouraged to support our children to read at home.
General guidance in self-discipline and comportment will be repeated at many levels to give our children the knowledge necessary to pursue lives in a developing country. They may be learning certain practices for the first time.
They will be learning, of course, all the typical studies and at the same time, beginning to develop their own dreams of a life beyond poverty.
We ask that you join us in this future. Our funds are very slow to come in, but we are making every effort to find generous people who can help us create leaders here and put an end to illiteracy and poverty.
If you care to share a donation with us, that would be great. If you know of a corporation, foundation or university willing to partner with us, please let us know.
Here is a picture of our future…