Archive for December, 2011

MIT to offer online courses

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

It looks like MIT is expanding its remote learning initiatives to be released in Spring 2012. Now Ghana just needs high speed Internet to Techiman!

2012 Travel Grant Program

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

in association with Techiman Learning Resource Centre and the Ayi Owen International School, Ghana

http://TravelGrant.ForOneWorld.org

2012 For One World Travel Grant Application

2012 Travel Grant Details and Dates:

  • Up to Two travel grants are being offered for a 11-24 week duration departing for Ghana in May 2012. Each candidate’s arrival date in Ghana needs to be aligned/coordinated such that transportation is shared from the airport to the school.
  • The grant application deadline is February 29, 2012. Grant winners and one “runner up” will be notified by March 14, 2012. Grant winner(s) is required to accept or decline by March 21. If a grant winner declines, the “runner up” will be notified.
  • Grant winners are required to document their trip and create a journal/essay of their experience and/or project findings. All successful candidates’ application essays and follow up research may be posted on For One World’s website. $100 of the reimbursement (flight only, and we only will reimburse up to $1,000 (after we get a copy of the flight itinerary) ) will be withheld until the winner submits a minimum 3 page report (ie results and product findings) for posting on the website at the conclusion of the trip.

About Ayi Owen and For One World:

About For One World: http://www.foroneworld.org/

1595 Boston Post Road Old Saybrook, CT 06475

  • Federal Nonprofit organization that promotes understanding and solutions of educational problems in less developed countries.
  • Founded in 1997. Granted Federal non-profit status in 2002.
  • For One World gratefully accepts tax deductible donations.

About Ayi Owen International School:

Box 252, House 200, Takofiano, Techiman, Brong Ahafo, Ghana, West Africa

  • More than 500 enrolled students (50% boys/girls) and 35 teachers;
  • Grades K – 9 with 10 classrooms, ages 2 – 15
  • School is operated under the local nonprofit called Techiman Learning Resource Center by Bill and Ayisatu Owen
  • School prides itself on its counseling of pupils and student government
Ayi Owen International School compared to local educational landscape
Ayi Owen International School:· 20 to 1 student/teacher ratio;· Basic computer lab with 10 computers;· School library;· Basic science program;· Cultural arts/drama/music program;· Physical education (PE) program; and· New multi-acre school site recently opened in September 2007. Educational situation in surrounding area:· Vast majority of schools fail to provide quality   education, after graduating, most local students score no better than random guessing on standardized tests; Rare to find effective, modern teaching techniques;· 50 to 1 student/teacher ratio;· Very few use computers as learning tools;· Virtually no school libraries;· Extracurricular programs are limited or often nonexistent;· Cultural arts, drama, and music programs are rarely available; and· Very few physical education programs.

About the program hosts

Wilfred “Bill” Owen; Founder:

  • Bill Owen holds a Ph. D. in Educational Administration from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. He speaks Twi, and is a Consultant to USAID.
  • Bill and his wife Ayisatu “Ayi” live onsite and adjacent to volunteer quarters.
  • Phone 233 243-370-547, Bill@ForOneWorld.org

Ayisatu “Ayi” Owen; Founder:

  • Ayi currently is both the parent-teacher liaison and manages much of the schools activities.
  • Ayi is Ghanaian, and speaks 10 local languages.

Your trip to Techiman Ghana

About the volunteer quarters:

  • 2 bedrooms for up to 4 people
  • 1 Kitchen
  • 1 Full Bathroom
  • School tennis court
  • 24 hour access to reliable internet and PC lab
  • Cost of accommodations at volunteer quarters is covered by For One World (value of $500).

 

Getting to Techiman:

  • Fly into Accra airport (For One World will cover up to $1,000 toward round trip flight)
  • Escorted car service from airport to Techiman by your host or alternate transportation covered For One World. (It is a day’s drive from Techiman to Accra.)
  • One night’s accommodation in Accra covered by For One World on return trip (due to the distance between the school and airport.)

About your role as a grant winner:

  • Total value of the travel grant is worth over $1,500 but is NOT intended to cover the full cost of the trip to the grant winner. For One World reimburses the grant winners for the flight only (after the grant winner purchases and provides a receipt to their assigned For One World advisor) up to $1,000 for a direct round trip flight to Accra, Ghana. Your assigned advisor can help you find a flight. As of Jan 2011 prices are $1,090 for round trip fare on special with British Airways and nonstop via Delta is also available for about $200 more. Note: Airfare can change drastically based on demand and fuel costs. The remaining amount of the grant is wired directly to the local nonprofit in Ghana (Techiman Resource Learning Center) to cover housing, utilities, escort/local transportation and food while in route two and from airport/school, hotel stays in capital city, etc costs. The grant winner can reach out to their For One World advisor to discuss how they can get involved to help fund raise the additional costs associated with their trip. Additional costs incurred by the grand winner include but are not limited to: Vaccinations, laundry service (optional, but just a few dollars a week), daily meal expense (just a few dollars a day), Airfare costs above $1,000, etc.
  • A chef is not included with the volunteer housing! After a welcome meal the grant winners are expected to cook their own meals while at the volunteering housing and do their own shopping either at convenient stores or the local organic food market. On your first week, you will be escorted to the markets to help you get acquainted with the basics of buying food in Ghana.  It is very important that volunteers have basic skills to be able to shop and cook meals. Reputable restaurants are not as readily available as in the USA.
  • Remember that you are a guest at the school and will be looked up to in the community as one of the best educated members of the community. It is important that you dress professionally by avoiding ripped jeans, camouflage, and similar items. Shorts are in general worn by children and not by adults, in Ghana.
  • As a guest of the school, you should be looking to help your hosts with daily chores and tasks at the school. Grant winners are expected to be able to operate independently after basic orientation at the school.
  • Grant winners upon arrival at the school will be briefed on the ground rules at the school, which are expected to be followed at all times. These rules are established to make best efforts to ensure your safety. For example, guests are encouraged to bring a local teacher when exploring cultural events at night, e.g., dances, cultural displays, and festive funerals/weddings.
  • Grant winners should discuss the trip with their family prior to departure and be clear about health and safety issues and the ability to communicate vie email/phone while in Ghana.  More specific information will be provided by the winner’s For One World advisor.
  • You will be required to sign a waiver form assuming all risk associated with your travel grant

For references and additional information, please contact any of the following people:

 

 

 

For One World Travel Grant Application

Candidates should email this application page and the related personal statement to travelgrant@foroneworld.org by February 29, 2012 in order to be considered.

Name: ___________________________ Date: _________________

Address: _______________________________________________

City: ______________________ State:___________

Zip Code___________________

Best Telephone Number to Reach you: _______________________

Alternative Telephone Number, if any: _______________________

Name/Phone number of parent/guardian: ____________________

E-mailAddress: __________________________________________

Please list two references. Please include one personal and one professional/academic

contact. The academic contact will act as your sponsor and receive a copy of your final project report.

1.____________________________________________________________________

Name                                                         Phone                                           Email

2.____________________________________________________________________

Name                                                         Phone                                           Email

Travel Grant Qualifications

Candidate must be attending an accredited college/university as a full-time student or be a graduate.  All degree levels will be considered.

International experience is not required but an open mind and a willingness to experience new culture is a must!

Retired teachers and professionals are welcome to apply. Please indicate on your application that you are not currently attending college.

Personal Statement

(1) Please describe your educational background, any academic or work experience you would like us to consider, and your international travel experience, if any.

(2) Write one or two pages about why you would like to volunteer at Ayi International School and which of the six (6) potential projects described below you would be most interested in, should you be awarded the scholarship (you may write about more than one). You are also welcome to propose a project not listed. More often than not, volunteers are involved in many aspects of improving education at the school. You will have many opportunities to meet Chiefs and members of local government – your involvement with the school is the first priority, but you are welcome to propose additional projects with a broader impact.

(3) Please describe how your project and/or involvement in the school and For One World will outlive your stay in Ghana.

Potential Projects:

  • English writing/composition program needs a revised curriculum that includes persuasive essays, research based essays and laboratory writing, in addition its current story and creative writing format.  Related attention to reading skills would be beneficial, including coaching and tutoring students who lack confidence regarding their reading comprehension.  Library management, reading clubs and other methods for linking reading with other media such as cinema, photography, music, dance, and prayer.
  • Early childhood development education specialist is needed to provide in-service training for teachers in the elementary school and preschool. (Possible training topics include phonics lessons word processing skills with graphics, and working with tactile materials like painting, colors and music.)
  • Math program could be improved by more attention to games, methods, and exercises. In addition, a math lab program needs to be designed and implemented to supplement the current lecture format. This effort should be focused on 3-7 graders.
  • Expressive art is one of the things that we encourage at our school. More drawing, painting even dancing, singing and drama would be good to implement in the school. Organize a drama program to introduce students to the performing arts as well as media and film. Students at the school are very interested in acting and skit reenactment but there is no formal direction in this respect.
  • Hands-on science projects to provide the children with first hand experience on the beauty of finding facts and the art of experimentation.
  • Computer curriculum needs integration with classroom learning. Educational CDs for math, English, and other subjects are currently being used but not integrated effectively.  Fresh ideas on how to integrate computers into primary school learning (keep in mind that average computer literacy is not as developed as in western cultures). General training for Microsoft Office applications is needed for students and teachers (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc.).
  • There is a need to reinforce the counseling approach to pupils, in particular, improving the teacher-student relationship. Some ways this could be achieved are through extra-curricular clubs, such as football, aviation, and drama clubs, that act as a platform for counseling and training in mental toughness, nutrition, sexual reproduction knowledge, and career guidance.

Interesting Lectures

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Here are some interesting video lectures by the Royal Institute in England:
http://www.richannel.org/


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