Secondary Education Science Teacher

Before You Apply

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Project Description

The purpose of the Peace Corps Education project is to assist the national effort to improve education in mathematics and science. Science Teaching Volunteers will teach at the senior high school level (grades 10-12).

Volunteers in science teach general science, biology, chemistry and physics. Science Volunteers also integrate health education and environmental education in their classrooms. In addition to classroom teaching, they engage in other school and community activities like after-school programs, youth clubs and library development.

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 16 to 25 years old.

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. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with concentration in any science
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with secondary certification in science
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any physical science or any biological science or equivalent
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with a minor or equivalent (15 semester/22 quarter hours) in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics

Desired Skills

Ideally, candidates have backgrounds enabling them to teach more than one subject including Chemistry, Physics, and Biology.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

Please note that at the senior high school (SHS) level, courses are taught in the English language, however, prior to Grade 4 (in primary or elementary school), instruction is in local languages.

There are over 70 languages spoken in Ghana, but English is the official language. It is possible that you will not be taught the exact language spoken at your site, but rather a related language or a language spoken at the district level instead. Applicants should know that some Volunteers must learn a second local language when living at their site.

Living Conditions

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. With different tribes and over 70 languages throughout the ten regions, Ghana is a very diverse country which exists harmoniously.

Volunteers are placed in communities throughout the entire country, except for Greater Accra Region (only third-year Volunteers live there). Volunteers are expected to live at the same socio-economic conditions as the people with whom they serve. That said, Volunteers’ sites vary widely due to a number of factors including geography, and this extends to amenities available at each site (electricity, water), distances to travel, proximity of other PCVs, and general remoteness of sites. 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. Flexibility and a positive attitude will help greatly in overcoming such challenges.

In most cases, Volunteers do not have access to running water, but electricity has become more common in rural areas recently but cannot be guaranteed. Some Volunteers will have electricity, while others will not. Communication systems have been steadily improving throughout Ghana, and cell phone reception is available near all sites. The level of reception, clarity and speed of internet (where available) varies greatly throughout the country. Volunteers live and serve in rural, underserved communities anywhere from 2-5 hours from a larger district town. Volunteers use public transportation (buses and minivans called tro-tros) or bicycles as their main mode of transportation.

Pre-Service Training (PST) is an 11-week training that is intended to ensure that Trainees are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for a successful service. PST in Ghana is community-based, meaning that Trainees will be living with host families, interacting with community members, and they will be immersed in Ghanaian culture to give them a better understanding of their new environment.

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.

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

Medical Considerations in Ghana

  • Ghana may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; HIV; airway support; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.   
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified. 
  • After arrival in Ghana, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.


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