World Class: Teachers' face learning curve in Ghana

Schools in Ghana learns to appreciate the "child-centred frame of mind" thanks to a NGO run by British teachers

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Teachers Beyond Borders is a small NGO set up by a group of friends who wanted to share their professional skills with teachers in Ghana.

Project leader Amanda Budge, who lives and works in Accra, recalls early meetings with Ghanaian teachers.

"We met really disheartened teachers who felt their jobs were unacknowledged," she said.

"They were badly paid. They felt like there was no resources. It was a real struggle."

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Ms Budge also remembers how teachers in Ghana felt about their country: "Ghana's in a bubble. We're not connected."

Ghanaian teachers were therefore excited by the opportunity to develop international connections and get fresh input and access to British teaching practice.

In the four years since TBB was founded, it has been a steep learning curve. The team identified literacy-teaching as a priority, and were offered a gift of 26,000 books to distribute in schools. However, they soon discovered that schools had no lending system for pupils, and in most cases no book shelves where pupils could see the books.

TBB found themselves training teachers to run a library, to use computers, and even building secure rooms to keep valuable assets.

Teachers Beyond Borders Amanda Budge from Teachers Beyond Borders

Teachers Beyond Borders aims to tap into the idea of global education. They focus on promoting the child-centred approach used in the UK to teachers in Ghana more accustomed to 'chalk and talk'.

Ms Budge says that one of the biggest challenges is getting past the emphasis on resources. "I've spent years trying to say to teachers you don't need the resources, what you need is an interactive approach to work with a child-centred frame of mind."

The project also enriches the learning in London where Judy Lawson teaches in a special needs school. Severely autistic pupils in her school are making and selling gifts made from Kente cloth, which gives them an opportunity to run a small enterprise and a focus for working with pupils in the mainstream school.

A co-production between the BBC and The Open University.

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