Mr. Ernest Honu teaches at the Kpeve Model Basic School in the Volta Region. He has been teaching for the past ten years and currently teaches one hundred and ninety-seven students in all. Mr. Honu recalls, with great admiration, a teacher from his childhood, Mrs. Togbo Stella, and the way she cared for her students like a mother. Mrs Togbo Stella paid attention to all her students and trained them well, so much so that Mr. Honu was convinced from childhood that he should also become a teacher.
This dream has now been actualized, but Mr. Honu went through a lot of challenges to achieve it. Growing up, Mr. Honu’s father had difficulties taking care of him, so he had to go and stay with his grandmother when he was in lower primary, and later stayed with his aunt when he was in JHS. He had to work on the farm to get money for his BECE registration. With some support from his father, he was able to pay for his admission and buy some provisions for SHS. Mr. Honu was offered science for SHS, but due to the lack of money to buy the science textbooks, he changed the course to Home Economics, which did contain some aspects of pure science.
Mr Honu had further misfortune when his father passed away. As this happened before he completed SHS, it became impossible for him to continue his education. He had to stay out of school for a year. During this period, he travelled to Accra to work as a labourer and saved some money for school. He returned to his hometown was able to borrow some money from some neighbours. Together with his own savings, he was able to gain admission into Peki Training College. He finally graduated from the training college as a professional teacher.
Mr. Honu is very passionate about teaching. In fact, he was awarded the first position when he came up with a project for the GAST Conference. As a STEM educator, Mr Honu is happy to be training the younger generation to become problem-solvers in the society. As a result of the creativity and innovation that comes with STEM, Mr Honu believes that real life problems in society can be solved by applying the methods in STEM.
He is encouraged to do more when his students respond positively to his teaching. For this reason, he does everything in his power to provide the best teaching and learning experience for his students. For him, being a STEM educator exposes him to more knowledge by learning from other STEM educators, and from the students as well.
Mr. Honu’s most inspiring experience as a teacher happened when he was teaching at Temani RC School. He had a student who wasn’t doing well and did not seem ready to learn at all. However, with Mr Honu’s counsel and guidance, the student become attendant to his studies and, having passed his WASSSCE examinations, is now at the University.
Mr. Honu hopes to teach in a higher institution in the future, in order to have a much greater impact in STEM education in the country.
Mr. Honu is a member of GAST and also an assistant judge for Volta Region Science Fest. He joined GAST three years ago because he wanted to gain more knowledge on teaching science practically. He sees the JUNEOS Challenge as an avenue to celebrate and encourage students in STEM. He believes the challenge has affected his teaching by making him include more practical lessons in his teaching of STEM. This has given him the chance to help his students solve actual problems, instead of learning theory devoid of problem solving skills.
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Article by Kofi Dzogbewu.
Kofi Dzogbewu is a Ghanaian storyteller. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English Language and Literature from the University of Ghana. He is an alumnus of the Mo Issa Writing Workshops. You can find more of his work on his blog and find him on all social media platforms with the name ‘Kofi Dzogbewu’ (@fdzogbewu).