Special Education Teacher

Before You Apply

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Project Description

Special needs students in Ghana are marginalized in the education set up. However, the Ghana Special Education program focuses on the Deaf community. Despite a relatively large population of Deaf 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 as well as extra tuition when necessary to make slow students catch up with the rest of the class.

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.

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 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

Knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) preferred, but not required.

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

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 in their community as well to interact and integrate with the community at large.

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. 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, 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 any challenges.

Specifically for the Deaf Education program, Volunteers typically live on the campus of their schools or have nearby accommodations. They are all based in urban areas, as Ghana has one Deaf Education Basic School in each of the 10 regions of Ghana, plus three additional Deaf schools for a total of 13 in country.

With the recent expansion of the Deaf Education program, we have a few sites where two Volunteers serve at the same school network, typically with one working at the primary level and the other at the junior or senior high level.

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 typically 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. For urban-serving Education Volunteers, public transportation is still their main mode of transportation, especially to get from one region to another while traveling for trainings.

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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