Junior High School Math 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 its 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 the Peace Corps’ oldest post, hosting nearly 5,000 volunteers since the Agency’s first cohort departed in 1961.

Junior High School Math Teachers teach basic concepts, including remedial math, geometry, algebra, statistics, probability, and calculus. They also work in after-school programs, youth clubs, and library development. Junior High School Math Teachers will teach at the junior high school level (equivalent to grades 7-9 in the USA).

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 school's 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 assist 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 students. 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 fill. In addition, because English (the language of instruction) proficiency is low students often lag behind their expected level of literacy and 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.

Teachers teach on average 24 periods per week. Each period lasts 40 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 12 to 23 years old.

Please note that at the junior high school-level in Ghana, mathematics teachers may also teach a course entitled ‘integrated science’ which is a basic science course that introduces the subjects of chemistry, physics, and biology to students.

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’ sense of agency 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 Secondary Education with a concentration in math
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with secondary certification in math
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Math, Engineering, or Computer Science
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with a minor or equivalent (15 semester/22 quarter hours) in math

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have familiarity with any of the following mathematical areas:
• Fractions, decimals, integers, indices, trigonometry, linear algebra, equations, calculus, probability, and statistics.
• Experience in lesson planning.
• Experience in project planning is an added advantage.

Required Language Skills

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

Ghana is a country with a plethora of local languages although English is considered one of the national languages. As such, Peace Corps Ghana will teach everyone a local language that will be most useful at their permanent site. Nonetheless, more than a third of Volunteers end up acquiring a second local language when living at their site. Acquiring a local language will endear the Volunteer to community members as well as other host country nationals.

At the Junior High School level, courses are taught in the English language, however, prior to Grade 4 (in primary or elementary school), instruction is in local languages. The language of instruction for junior high school math classes is English but student proficiency in English will vary.

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 Science Teacher
Special 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. 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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