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 Deaf population in Ghana, there is still very little awareness about Deaf culture and extremely high levels of stigmatization.

Peace Corps Ghana takes a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) approach to teaching math, science and art in schools for the deaf. PC/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 STEAM Volunteers can help fill. In addition, deaf literacy is low among the Ghanaian deaf community, translating into difficulties in successfully 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, 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.

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. 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 on deaf or hard of hearing)
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with state certification in special education (general or with emphasis on deaf or hard of hearing)
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Education with experience working with persons with disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with experience working in classrooms or residential homes with persons with disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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.

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

Culture: Ghana is one of the friendliest and most peaceful countries in West Africa. With different tribes and over 70 languages throughout the ten regions, Ghana is a very diverse country which exists harmoniously. Ghana is known for its stable democracy, forward-looking development, beautiful beaches, rich culture, and hospitable people. 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. You will be expected to take on this practice. Indeed, your ability to greet and to form relationships will be a significant factor in your success. Especially in the local communities, visitors will be welcomed into families and quickly be made to feel at home.

Living Conditions: 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. Peace Corps/Ghana requires the community to contribute housing that meets the minimum 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 affects the northern regions with days of continual cool air, haze, and fine dust.

Communication & Transportation: 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. 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 their good clothes. They are particular about their personal hygiene (a real accomplishment in communities of mud-brick houses and no running water), and cleanliness is a sign of respect. Volunteers are expected to dress and behave accordingly.

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

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.

Couples Information

Ghana is always eager to accept couples whenever possible. Your partner must qualify and apply for:

Junior High School Math Teacher
Junior High School Science Teacher

Couples live with the same homestay family during PST and live in the same accommodation during their 2-year service at site.

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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