August 28, 2011
Six professionals made up of four Japanese teachers, a Joyo newspaper reporter and a member of staff of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Tsukuba have visited Ghana on an Education Study Tour.
Once every year, JICA invites Japanese teachers who are interested in education on international development and cooperation to visit developing countries. The invitation is to create an opportunity for Japanese teachers to understand challenges facing developing countries, the dynamics of international development, JICA activities and to deepen the cordial relationship between Japan and developing countries. They are expected to learn more about developing countries and have first-hand knowledge of current situations, so that they can impart such knowledge and understanding on their students in Japan.
The Japanese Study Group visited in Ghana for nine days to acquaint itself with the prevalent educational policies and practices in Ghana, understand issues surrounding child education, appreciate the Ghanaian culture and hospitality and generally familiarise itself with JICA activities in different parts of Ghana.
They visited many Ghanaian schools especially those in the hinterlands and also toured a section of Ghana's attractive and historical tourist centres. At Zuta Primary School in Akatsi, Volta Region, though, students were on summer vacation, one hundred students came to school to meet the Japanese teachers. Students took the opportunity to learn few science experiments conducted using locally-made materials; example are the ‘Light', ‘Sound' and ‘Jumping rope' experiments. The group also visited the Accra Technical Trainning Centre, (ATTC) among other schools. In other to understand issues related to child labour, the group visited CRADA, a non-governmental organization creating awareness and advocating for child education and child labour, especially in rural areas.
Learning about Ghana's rich historical heritage and Japanese cooperation in Ghana, the group visited the Noguchi Memorial Institute at the University of Ghana, the Museum for Hideyo Noguchi at Korle-Bu, Tema Port and Fishing Harbour, the Cocoa Processing Company, the Kakum National Park, the Cape Coast Castle and a few JICA project sites.
According to the group, the Study Tour was an eye-opening and unique experience because it availed them the chance of learning about Ghana first-hand and not by what is erroneously written, believed or said by many Asians who have not visited the country. According to one of the Japanese teachers, ‘I have had a great opportunity to teach Ghanaian students and I have learnt how Ghanaian teachers teach. I had a stereotype that Ghana is very poor, but what I have seen here is amazing. I have taken some pictures and I can teach my students in Japan about Ghana. The pictures will also help them understand Ghana Better.'
Ghanaian students and teachers appreciated the Japanese group and thanked them for the new knowledge they imparted on them. They encouraged them to propagate the good news about Ghana when they get back to Japan.