Professional Volunteering Opportunities in Special Education, Ghana
On this voluntary teaching project you will work at a school in the Central Region of Ghana, or in the Akuapem Hills in the Eastern Region. These schools care for children with Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Cerebral Palsy and other learning difficulties, as well as those with speech impediments.
Volunteers working in the Central Region will work at the Aboom School for Special Needs in Cape Coast. Established in 2006, it provides education for children who would otherwise be ignored by the school system. Children with special educational needs require expert help and this is something that you can get involved in.
The school has around 76 students, with ages ranging from 6 to 25 years old. The students are split into three age groups, each group having their own classroom.
We work with two schools in the Akuapem Hills. Adukrom Methodist School is a mainstream school but has approximately 20 students with special needs. The school is a real advocate of enhancing student’s vocational skills and the principal is eager to have the children interact with mainstream students as much as possible.
In order to provide the best possible education, two teachers are always present in every class. With students displaying a range of disabilities, it is a real challenge for the teachers to cater to every child’s needs and this is where you can help.
In the town of Mampong in the Akuapem Hills, we also have a school for deaf children. The Demonstration School for the Deaf is a boarding school for over 200 students, ranging from kindergarten to junior high school. The children all learn Ghanaian and American Sign Language. In order to volunteer on this project, you would need to know American Sign Language. Volunteers who only know basic sign language can teach the younger classes who are only just beginning to learn themselves.
You will be expected to work around 5 hours a day, Monday to Friday, with class sizes of approximately 15 to 20 pupils. If you wish, you can also help out in the afternoons, assisting students with their chores and homework and just generally spending some quality time with them.
Here you will find answers to the following questions:
How can volunteer Special Needs teachers help in Ghana?
As a volunteer, you can use your knowledge and training to help local staff. Your tasks may include:
- Planning, preparing, and delivering lessons to a variety of pupils.
- Marking work, giving appropriate feedback and maintaining records of pupils' progress and development.
- Supervising and supporting the work of teaching assistants, trainee teachers, and newly qualified teachers.
- Communicating with students using sign language.
- Working with existing staff to improve teaching methods and subject content.
- Observing classes, assessing existing teaching staff, offering advice, and setting goals for development.
- Helping pupils and carers outside of the classroom with tasks including teaching daily hygiene routines, cooking, cleaning, and building upon social interaction skills.
- Training other, less experienced volunteers (optional).
What will I gain from this project?
You will gain experience teaching students of various ages and disabilities. You will also gain an insight into the methods used to teach these pupils in the developing world. You will be able to learn from local staff, as well as helping them develop their skills. You may also be able to get involved in some vocational training to help pupils prepare for life away from the school.
Through working with the pupils at the school, you will learn about Ghanaian culture and way of life. Staff and pupils will want to hear about your life back home and your family and friends. We call this "cultural exchange" and we think it helps our volunteers gain a new perspective on life.
What will Projects Abroad PRO provide?
We have over 20 years’ experience running volunteer projects. We will provide you with the following support to make sure your time in Ghana is successful and enjoyable:
- Safe accommodation with a Ghanaian family close to your project.
- Three meals a day.
- Friendly and dedicated local staff available to help 24 hours a day.
- A member of staff to meet you at the airport upon arrival.
- Comprehensive medical and travel insurance.
What skills or qualifications do I need?
If you are a qualified teacher (or the equivalent qualification in your home country) then you are perfectly suited to this project. Given that you will be working with students who have hearing impediments and learning disabilities, any experience in these areas would be an advantage. There is also a great need for volunteers who are fluent in sign language.