Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ministry at St. Charles Lwanga Primary School

Teaching at St. Charles Lwanga Primary School has been great fun and nourishing experience for Dominic and I. We go to school every Thursday morning on bicycles. It’s quite a long trip, mostly going uphill. I remember while coming back from our first day of ministry, Dominic said to me, “We must get used to this going uphill to school every Thursday morning, bro.” Almost five months ago, travelling to St. Charles seemed long and hard. Today, Dominic and I see that the trip is just another short trip around the corner.
The students and staff are very kind and helpful. Their approach to people like us – Novices – has been very encouraging. They are very respectful and always approach us just to know if we are well. At St. Charles we quickly felt at home as people came to us and welcomed us.
Most students come from families whose daily income depends entirely on farming. Thus when it comes to the dry season, life becomes difficult for the students to attend school, especially the girls.  While female students are about half of each class at this time of the year, at other times girls are required to work at home and so attendances drop.
Dominic and I both teach in year six, which is the final year of primary in Ghana.  Students are obedient when asked to do something, but, like all school children when left alone, need some effort to keep them in order. Teaching has meant a growth in patience on our part.  The school year is just ending so our students have been writing exams for entrance into Junior Secondary School (JSS). Contributing to them gaining entrance to JSS, and so being able to continue their education, is very satisfying for us.
Dominic and I have learnt a lot in different ways through our encounters with students and teaching staff. The school comprises mostly Muslim students, with some from Christian and traditional backgrounds. Being in a school like this gives us a broader experience of interacting with people of different faiths and traditions.  Christians and Muslims in the school work along well and respect each other’s values and beliefs. Though the students are not in the stage of identifying contradicting values of the two religions, the values of their cultural traditions have contributed a lot in maintaining peace and harmony.
The students come from families and villages who mostly have just the basics.  Their life is simple, but this very simplicity of the students has affected us.  Being with these children gives us joy and a desire to learn more about them.  Though our time at the school has come to an end, we have been greatly enriched by our time there.
Francis ToLiman with Class 6 Students

Dominic with student friends

We are Champions!

Who says teachers can't
dance for their students?

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