Deaf Education Teacher

Project Description

Ghana is located in West Africa, and is known for having a stable democracy and forward-looking approach to development. 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 the Peace Corps’ oldest post, hosting nearly 5,000 volunteers since the Agency’s first cohort departed in 1961.

The broad goals of the Education project in Ghana are two-fold:
• Increasing Student Capacity: Ghanaian students in Junior 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.
• 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.

The purpose of the Peace Corps Ghana Education project is to support the national effort to improve education in mathematics and science. Peace Corps Ghana focuses on a holistic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education for Ghanaian. The approach provides a base for junior high school pupils to progress in their academic careers and contribute meaningfully to the future of their country. Schools in rural areas in Ghana often have a shortage of skilled math teachers, which Peace Corps education Volunteers can help to fill. In addition, because English (the language of instruction) proficiency is low students often have difficulty learning grade-level appropriate content. For this reason, Volunteers will focus on junior high schools where they can provide essential literacy support in STEAM classes at a point in students’ academic careers where there is a higher potential for bridging the literacy gap.

The Ghana Deaf Education program focuses on the schools for the Deaf in Ghana. Despite a relatively large Deaf population in Ghana, there is still very little awareness about Deaf culture and extremely high levels of stigmatization. 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, organizing and running clubs, games and sports, and tutor, known as extra tuition.

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.

Teachers teach on average 24 periods per week. Each period lasts 45 minutes and each grade is expected to receive an average of 45 periods of instruction a week covering all subjects (nine periods a day for all subjects). Class sizes range from about 20 students to 45 or more. Students' ages can range from 10 to 25 years old.

Peace Corps/Ghana promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in Ghana 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’ sense of agency. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact. Volunteers receive training on how to tell success stories and report numeric/statistical data to Peace Corps.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

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

Competitive 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 visually- or hearing-impaired)
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with state certification in special education (general or with emphasis in visually- or hearing-impaired)
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Education with experience working with persons who are learning disabled, developmentally disabled, emotionally handicapped, physically handicapped, multiply handicapped, hearing-impaired, or visually-impaired
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with experience working in classrooms or residential homes with persons who are learning disabled, developmentally disabled, emotionally handicapped, physically handicapped, multiply handicapped, hearing-impaired, or visually-impaired

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following:
• Knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) preferred, but not required.
• Experience teaching/practicing trade skills such as art, cooking, and sewing
• Experience in lesson planning
• Experience in project planning

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. 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 another language. Candidates who have knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) are especially desired, but ASL is not required prior to arrival in Ghana.

There are over 70 languages spoken in Ghana, but English is the official language. Since you will be taught GSL during PST, it is important that applicants are aware they will need to take initiative to learn the local spoken language(s) in their community as well to interact and integrate with the community at large.

Living Conditions

Volunteers are placed in generally rural communities and are expected to live in the same socio-economic conditions as the people with whom they serve. Volunteers’ sites vary widely due to a number of factors including geography, amenities available at each site (electricity, water), distances to travel, proximity of other Volunteers and general remoteness of sites. Some Volunteers will live in self-contained concrete houses while others will have one or two rooms inside a family compound or nurse’s quarters. Flexibility and a positive attitude will help greatly in adapting to your new living situation.

Ghanaian host communities generously contribute Volunteer housing that meets the minimum standard of at least one room with a porch or sitting area,
adequate ventilation, a non-dirt floor, secure doors/windows, and access to year-round water supply in the community (borehole or well). Some Volunteers will have private latrines and bathing facilities (often a bucket bath); others will share latrines and bathing facilities with no more than 6 persons in the household. Volunteers will be issued a cook stove to be used in a designated cooking area and all housing will maintain the standards of household safety. The Peace Corps and host community will ensure that you have safe cooking environment and equipment.

Pre-Service Training (PST): PST is an 11-week training that is intended to ensure that Volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for a successful service. PST may be community- or center-based depending on COVID-19 restrictions and mitigation factors. Volunteers will receive training in their technical area, language, personal health and safety, security, as well as a practicum. Volunteers will be held accountable for competencies in each of these areas. Outside of formal training there will be opportunities for Volunteers to interact and live with community members to provide an immersive approach to understanding Ghanaian culture.

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

Communication: Communication systems have been 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.

Transportation: Volunteers live and serve in rural communities. Transportation to and from your community 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, travel requires long hours on rough roads in buses and minivans. Volunteers generally walk or bike around their communities. Volunteers are not permitted to drive or ride on motor bikes.

Dress: The standard of dressing for the workplace in Ghana includes wearing business casual attire in good to excellent condition and freshly cleaning attire on a regular basis. Dressing appropriately is a sign of respect in your host community, and demonstrates that you take your job seriously. During Pre-Service Training, the dress code is business casual. You will need to dress appropriately for work and social 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 & 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.

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. You and your partner must qualify and apply for:

Junior High School Math/Science Teacher
Deaf Education 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 and will teach in the same community, but not necessarily at the same school, depending on the community’s size.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

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