Deaf Education Teacher

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Peace Corps domestically and internationally.

The information provided for each assignment is subject to change, including the tentative departure date.

Project Description

Ghana is one of the friendliest and most peaceful countries in West Africa. Ghana is known for her stable democracy, forward-looking development, beautiful beaches, rich culture, and hospitable people. Ghana is a diverse country with different tribes and over 70 languages throughout the sixteen regions, co-existing harmoniously. Welcoming visitors is a point of cultural identity. Hosting visitors is the ultimate expression of Ghanaian culture. Acknowledging the presence of another human being by greeting them, honors their existence. In the local communities, visitors will be welcomed into families and quickly be made to feel at home. Ghana is Peace Corps’ oldest post, hosting nearly 5,000 volunteers since the Agency’s first cohort departed in 1961.

Special needs students in Ghana are marginalized in the education system. The Ghana Deaf Education program focuses on the Deaf community and incorporates students with a variety of special needs. Despite a relatively large deaf population in Ghana, there is still very little awareness about the Deaf Community and high levels of stigmatization.

The broad goals of the Education project in Ghana are two-fold:

1. Increasing Student Capacity
Ghanaian students in Junior High School, Senior High School and Schools for the Deaf will demonstrate improved capacity in Math, Science, or Art, respectively, through demonstrating increased content mastery and/or critical thinking.

2. Building School Capacity
Ghanaian students will demonstrate improved leadership qualities due to their schools increased capacity to provide a quality educational environment, through expanded use of capital and material educational resources, improved student confidence, motivation and/or leadership through extracurricular activities, engagement in communities of practice for professional development and broadened community support for schools and learning.

Peace Corps Ghana focuses on a holistic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education for Ghanaian students. Peace Corps Ghana provides STEAM instruction for mainstream junior high schools to create a base through which students can progress in their academic careers and contribute meaningfully to the future of their country. Schools for the Deaf in Ghana often have a shortage of skilled math, deaf art and science teachers which Peace Corps education Volunteers can help fill. In addition, deaf literacy is low among the Ghanaian Deaf Community, resulting in difficulties in teaching content. For this reason, Volunteers will also focus on literacy interventions using the STEAM curriculum to help bridge the literacy gap among the Ghanaian Deaf Community. Volunteers work with students at the primary and junior high school levels to introduce critical thinking activities by instructing students in various disciplines. Volunteers also work with students in after school programs co-curricular activities, organizing and running clubs, games and sports, as well supporting scholarship opportunities for girls to support students who are struggling. You will be responsible for teaching the subject assigned to you, developing lesson plans, teaching classes, giving assignments, grading homework and tests, and assisting students outside of class.

Peace Corps Ghana promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in your country and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ self-confidence, while remaining respectful of Ghanaian culture and norms. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education (general or with emphasis in working with people with visual or hearing disabilities.)
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with state certification in special education (general or with an emphasis in working with people with visual or hearing disabilities.)
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Education with experience working with people with disabilities, including physical, cognitive, emotional, and psychological disabilities.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with 1 year full-time experience working in classrooms or residential homes with people with disabilities, including physical, cognitive, emotional, and psychological disabilities.

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have the following relevant qualifications:
• Knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL)
• Experience in project planning
• Background or experience in practicing or teaching vocational skills

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Peace Corps Ghana welcomes candidates who are already conversant in American Sign Language, but ASL is not required prior to arrival in Ghana. All Deaf Education Volunteers work at Schools for the Deaf in Ghana. Therefore, Volunteers learn Ghanaian Sign Language (GSL) during their Pre-Service Training, instead of a spoken local language.

There are over 70 languages spoken in Ghana, but English is the official language. Since you will be taught GSL during Pre-Service Training, it is important to take initiative to learn and commit to self-studying the local spoken language the community as well to interact and integrate with the community at large.

Living Conditions

Living Conditions: Volunteers are placed in communities throughout the entire country. Volunteers are expected to live under the same socio-economic conditions as the people with whom they serve. Peace Corps Ghana requires the community to contribute housing that meets the minimum Peace Corps standard of at least one room with a porch/sitting area. Housing is to be adequately ventilated with a roof, a solid floor, walls, access to year-round water supply, latrine (often a long drop or pit), bathing facilities (often a bucket bath), and secure doors and windows. Some Volunteers will live in self-contained concrete houses, often attached to a health facility or school, while others will have one or two rooms inside a family compound or teachers’ quarters. Some Volunteers find that their housing greatly exceeds these minimum standards, while others live in mud huts at the minimal level. Flexibility and a positive attitude will help greatly in overcoming such challenges.

Climate: The climate of Ghana is tropical, with two main seasons—the dry season from November through March and the rainy season from May through August. It is hot and comparatively dry along the southeast coast. It is hot and humid in the southwest and dry in the north. During the dry season, the Harmattan winds affect the northern regions with days of continual cool air, haze, and fine dust.

Communication: Communication systems have been steadily improving throughout Ghana, and cell phone reception is available at most sites. The level of reception, clarity and speed of internet (where available) varies greatly throughout the country.

Transportation: Volunteers live and serve in rural, underserved communities anywhere from 2-5 hours from a larger district town. Transportation to and from site is primarily via public vehicles, which, depending on the remoteness of the site, can have irregular schedules and may or may not be well maintained. Often, placement requires long hours of travel on rough roads. Volunteers generally walk or bike in and around their communities.

Dress: Ghanaians are very meticulous about their dress in the workplace and wear well maintained clothes. They are particular about their personal hygiene and cleanliness is a sign of respect. Volunteers are expected to dress and behave accordingly. During Pre-Service Training, the dress code is business casual. Following Pre-Service Training, you will need to dress appropriately for work situations in your community. Dressing appropriately will help you gain respect in your host community, facilitate integration, and increase your credibility and effectiveness. It is advised to take cues from your Ghanaian colleagues, and dress to their standards of professionalism.

Volunteers with visible body piercings or tattoos may need strategies to conceal them. Having visible body piercings and tattoos may make it more difficult to integrate into your host community. Keep in mind that Peace Corps Ghana staff may ask you to be flexible with regard to personal appearance to facilitate integration in training and during your service. Remaining flexible is key to Peace Corps service in any country.

LGBTQ: Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ) Volunteers have served successfully in Ghana; however, it should be noted Ghana has some restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during Pre-Service Training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees.

Serving in Ghana

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Ghana: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Ghana is always eager to accept couples whenever possible. Your partner must qualify and apply for one of the following positions:

Junior High School Math Teacher
Junior High School Science Teacher

Couples live with the same homestay family during Pre-Service Training and live in the same accommodation during their 2-year service at site. They will teach in the same community, but not necessarily at the same school, depending on its size.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.


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