Volunteers and Interns can teach at various public and private schools in Ghana. The medium of instruction in Ghana is English. The usual subjects that foreign volunteers and interns teach are English, mathematics and sciences, sports (basketball, soccer, volleyball) and computer. You either teach independently, or together with a local teacher.
The school system in Ghana consists of two years of Nursery School (Nursery), six years of primary school (Elementary School) and three years of junior high school (Middle School), followed by three years of senior high school (Upper Secondary School), a four-year Bachelor’s degree program and two years for the Master's Degree.
In Ghana, there are both public schools, run by public authorities, as well as private schools, which are mostly run by NGOs and churches.
State public schools are largely financed by taxes. They are free of charge and therefore accessible to all children, but the quality of teaching and the facilities of the schools are often inadequate due to underfunding. The classes are often crowded. Children going to public schools can easily be identified by their brown-orange school uniform.
Private schools, which are mostly run by NGOs or churches do not receive tax money, but are financed by donations and/or school fees. They are often situated in areas where there are no or too few state schools. Often such private schools have part of their institutions for orphans if the nearest school is too far away, but are mostly attended by children from the neighborhood. Often, such schools also have programs that children from needy families, from whom no fee or only a symbolic fee is collected.
A school year is divided into trimesters in Ghana. The first starts in early September and continues until Christmas. The second trimester is usually from early January to mid-April and the third from early May to late July. This schedule shifts a little every year. In some schools, summer classes or workshops are held during the summer holidays.
Aboom Methodist Primary and Junior High School
Located in Aboom, just a few miles from Cape Coast Town, the Methodist Primary School is integrated with Nursery School. Interns and volunteers assist teachers or independently give lessons in subjects such as English, mathematics, science, religion/ethics, computers, arts and sports.
From Nursery School to Junior High School, students are divided into 13 classes of 30 children. Classes usually take place Monday to Friday from 7.30 a.m. – 1.30 p.m.
Volunteers and interns begin by assisting teachers and observing the teaching method; post which they are free to teach independently. For computer lessons, a curriculum is available, which deals with both software and hardware, as well as the ten-finger typing system. The children are taught on the computer from the age of six years.
Holidays are from late June to early September, during Christmas and Easter. During this school-free time volunteers and interns can organize workshops, which are usually attended by children with great enthusiasm. Since a teacher needs to be present during this time, with an expected remuneration, volunteers/interns are required to make a contribution of 200 Cedi (about 40 euros) for two weeks.
Interns at this school pay a one-time contribution for supervision of 200 USD.
The simple school "SANKOFA MbofraFie", offers children an education from Nursery School to Junior High School (until the 9th grade). Interns and volunteers assist the teacher in the teaching of subjects like English, mathematics, science, computer science, Ghanaian culture classes, RME (Religious and Moral Education), as well as sports. Art lessons can be conducted independently by the participants.
For the 500 students, classes start at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 3.00 p.m., from Monday to Friday. The 19 teachers teach in class sizes of 20 to 30 children. In addition to English, mathematics, science, sports and arts, instruction in Fanti, Ghanaian culture and a mixture of religion and ethics are taught (RME = Religious and Moral Education). Computer science is taught only in theory, since no computer is available for practical exercises.
In addition, every Friday morning there is a worship service.
The school's philosophy is that every child deserves a good education. David Kwesi Acquah, the founder, grew up in a poor family on the streets of Cape Coast. Once he completed his degree, he worked at a youth center for a year in Belgium, after which he began to take into in his home disadvantaged children, to offer them a safe space, good spiritual and physical development and the prospect of a solid future. Since the school does not take tuition fees, it is financed solely on donations. The Farm Project was started to ensure that in future each student has a nutritious meal everyday.
There is also the opportunity to become a sponsor for one of the children and to support him/her in their development.
Holidays are from late June to early September, during Christmas and Easter. During this period it is possible for participants to stay at the orphanage all day.
A volunteering/internship in the school can be combined with an insert in the orphanage.
The participants are free to live with full boarding along with the children in the orphanage, in a room with other volunteers/interns (four sharing a room) or check into a hotel near the facility. In this case, lunch will be served at the orphanage.
Volunteers and interns can teach French, English, mathematics, science and art at the Pathfinder School. You can also work with workshop leaders who offer Drumming & Dancing, singing, theater and environmental education. Classes are held from Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. There are usually two volunteers/interns required in a class to help the teacher so that more time can be taken for each student according to their needs.
Since it is difficult to find French language teachers in Ghana, classes can be offered in this language, provided the volunteer has relevant expertise.
Free teaching time is during Christmas and Easter for three weeks each, during which volunteers and interns can teach by themselves at the Home of Hope. During major holidays (late July to early September), summer lessons are available for students; volunteers can also teach at this time and assist the teachers. During these months even children who would otherwise go to other schools (and which are closed in summer) attend the Pathfinder School, which makes the number of students attending more than during regular school months.
Path Finder is in close proximity to the Children's Home of Hope orphanage and is visited both by the children of Home of Hope and 100 children from the nearby community, who can afford to pay school fees. Since about 60 % of the children are exempted from paying fees, the school is also called “Free-School” in the area.
Participants should stay at least three months and are expected to spend not less than four hours on school days. For a three-month internship, the cycles offered are from September to December, January to April and May to July.
Interns and volunteers can stay at an accommodation in Cape Coast or sleep in a volunteer-residential space in the orphanage, sharing with seven participants.
Volunteers pay a one-time contribution of 150 USD. In case of supervised internships, a fee of 150 USD applies per quarter.
New Life International School
The New Life International School has a nursery (Nursery School) for ages 4 to 6, and a primary school with grades 1-6 for 6-12 year old children.
Interns and Volunteers can assist teachers in subjects like English, mathematics, science and sports. Art lessons can be taught independently by the participants. In addition, computer classes are offered at the beginner level.
Eight teachers teach the eight classes (Nursery = 2 classes; Primary = 6 classes) from Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. until 2.00/3.00 p.m. The class size is 15 to 25 children; the lower grades usually with more students than the older grades. The age of the students in a class can vary widely as the children are classified according to knowledge rather than by age. A total of about 155 children attend the school, 125 of whom live in the village. The pupils are taught English at Nursery School from the age of 4 years; so they are able to communicate with the participants easily.
The interns and volunteers assist teachers and observe the teaching style in the beginning. Depending on the capability and interest, they can then take a class independently.
The standard of the school is comparable to that of a public school, but is better equipped with books and computers; so computer lessons can be practically taught and the students have better prospects in the labor market in the future. The monthly school fees for the children of the village is a symbolic 15 Cedi (3 euros). The salaries of teachers and materials are financed by various NGOs and local churches.
During the holidays, various workshops and recreational activities are offered for the children, where there is active participation. Here participants can let their imagination run wild by bringing together a variety of projects on topics such as sports, theater, games, computer and arts and crafts for the children.
In late July, shortly before the holidays, students write their exams.
Derrick's vision of the future is to further lift the standards of the school, to create more classrooms in order to increase the capacity of the school and to start a junior high school, so that older students do not have to commute and pay higher school fees.
The stay should last at least 2 weeks and can be a maximum of 6 months. A monthly contribution of 200 cedis (about 45 Euros) is payable to New Life International.
An insert in the school can also be combined with voluntary service in the orphanage.
Eguasi Primary School
Eguasi Primary School provides interns and volunteers the opportunity to teach subjects like English, French, mathematics, science, computer, religion/ethics and social studies with a focus on map drawing; they can also opt to assist existing teachers. Students also receive Fanti lessons.
The 517 students are taught from the first grade in the Nursery School to the third stage of Junior High School. The class size is 35 children per class. The Nursery School has two classes with four teachers, the Primary School has six classes with six teachers and the Junior High School has three classes with three teachers.
Usually, classes are held Monday through Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
Interns and volunteers initially assist the teachers to gain insight into the teaching method. Once you are perceived as ready, you are free to take lessons independently.
During the holidays (late July to early September, Christmas and Easter), the school is closed and there are no activities that take place.
A good time to start a mission would be September, but you can also start at the beginning of another trimester.
Montessori School in Elmina
About half an hour's drive from Cape Coast, located in the fishing town of Elmina, is the first school in Ghana that teaches by the Montessori system in the unadulterated form. It was started in September 2014. Interns and volunteers who can teach regular subjects such as English, French, mathematics, religion, and science as well as art, crafts, music, theater, dance, music therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, art therapy and swimming are needed here. We look particularly for educators who have expertise in the field of early childhood development.
Located on the site of an orphanage, this simple private school is also open to children of the community. This is a pilot project. In September 2014, the school was started with 20 children in four Nursery classes. In each class there are five three-year-olds, five four-year-olds, five five-year-olds and five six-year-olds. Each year, new students join the Nursery class, while the existing students progress to the Primary School (class 6). Primary School is taught following the British-Ghanaian curriculum. The classes are integrated, so that children with special needs also participate in the lessons. School timings are Mondays to Fridays 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.; subsequently, from 2.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m., an extra hour is spent for creative projects. Participants’ ideas are invited for the constructive use of this hour.
Since this school is church-run, the subject of religion and faith plays a big role. Participants are therefore advised to be sympathetic to the Christian faith.
The trimesters start each year in September, January and April, and last for twelve weeks. Participants are expected to arrive one month before classes begin and undergo training in Montessori education.
The school provides the participants a meal per day and provides round-trip transportation to the work site. From 2015, accommodations for interns and volunteers are to be erected on the site. Until then, accommodation is available in Elmina. A financial contribution is not expected by the school.
About half of the teaching body is of Ghanaian origin; the other half is made up of international teachers. The school is headed by the young Briton Robin Djokoto Rebecca, who has lived in Ghana for many years. She stood up for the opening of this school because there was no school in Ghana who really exclusively adopted the Montessori concept. Underprivileged children do not pay school fees; and to contribute for those families who cannot afford the fee, volunteers pay 100 Ghana Cedi (about 20 euros) per trimester.
Wesleys Senior High Girls School
The Wesley Girls Senior High School in Abura, about 10 minutes drive away from Cape Town, is one of the top schools in Ghana. It is an all-girls school. However, internships and volunteer work are also possible for male participants. Student teachers and trained volunteer teachers are sought here for teaching French, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science. Only native speakers are considered to teach in English.
About 100 teachers teach the almost 1,400 girls at this school. Each of the three levels has twelve classes, with a class size of about 40 students. Usually, classes are held Monday through Friday from 6.40 a.m. to 2.20 p.m.
Interns and volunteers are assigned according to their field of study and work closely with the department director. After a short familiarization phase, they may teach by themselves, if the manager deems them ready. Participants are recommended to start the insert at the beginning of a trimester (September/January/April). If the participant is proven to be a good teacher, the insert can be renewed for another term.
Native speakers are sought to teach English language lessons. Specialised French teachers should also offer conversation training in the afternoons. In computer science education, the use of Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc. is focused on.
During the summer holidays (late July to mid-September), the school offers summer teaching courses. In these courses, the classes are mixed gender.
The school is supported partly by the church and partly by the state; so it is semi-private. The issue of religion and faith plays a big role here. Participants are therefore advised to be sympathetic to the Christian faith.
Girls from around the country prepare to study here. All the girls live on campus.
Location: Cape Coast, Ghana
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Week
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
House, Host Family
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Teacher
Minimum Qualification Of Intern: None
Further Contribution To Project: Partially, please refer to the text for details.
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Teacher
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?