In July, a team of AOV volunteers traveled to Ghana with the mission of improving the quality of our service and support to the people of Yaw Tenkorang in our focus area of education. The team of educators and other volunteers administered assessments to 171 students in Kindergarten through Eighth grade. The assessments were the brainchild of Volunteer Education Leader, Traci Hatcher, who identified the need for assessments after hearing concerning reports from some of our in-country secondary school partners.
Every student sponsored by Adopt One Village has passed the Basic Education Certification Examination administered by the Ghana Education Service, and is therefore eligible to attend secondary school. However, many students from rural villages, while eligible for secondary school by national standards, do not have sufficient English language skills necessary to excel in a secondary school environment, where instruction is given exclusively in English. The assessments given to the students of Yaw Tenkorang were designed as a first step to address this issue.
Of the assessments, which were carried out over three days during the most recent mission trip, Ms. Hatcher reports, “Our assessments were centered around gauging the students’ ability to read and comprehend (grade-appropriate) English. Across all grade levels we tested their letter and sound correlation, which is the foundation of reading fluency, and [their] sight word recognition. We also used this information to better educate ourselves for the conversation that we had with the faculty. We were not only able to assess the students, but from the two days spent with the teachers, we were able to assess their understanding of basic English fundamentals as it pertains to delivering knowledge to students.
I think more importantly than anything else, we were able to make meaningful connections and build more trust with the students and faculty at the [village] school and demonstrate our investment in their success!”