Meet Mohammed Sherif, who has been teaching for the past six years. Mohammed recalls the path that has brought him all the way to where he is now, and he points to a period in his life when, had it not been for his father putting his foot down, things might have turned out for the worse. When he was a child, Mohammed’s family nurtured the hope that Mohammed would be a doctor when he grew up. However, along the line, he fell into bad company and nearly dropped out of school due to the bad influence. However, his father was tough on him, and also made it clear that Mohammed had to set a good example for his younger siblings. This advice went deep down, and since then, Mohammed has remained focused on his education.
In senior high school he studied Agricultural Science, and later went to read Education at the University of Education, Winneba. Before finally settling to become a teacher, Mohammed worked as a cotton production assistant, and a quality control officer.
Mohammed currently teaches one hundred and fifty-eight students at the Douri MA JHS.
Mohammed also remembers his grandfather fondly, “My grandfather, Alhaji Tobigah popularly known as Zamzam was my hero because I lived with him for a while and his lifestyle, hard work, political ambition and business mindset inspired me a lot.” Mohammed admits that he has adopted these characteristics too.
Mohammed is dedicated to his students and his profession. Indeed, he has a lot of passion and respect for teaching, and says this about becoming a teacher: “I saw the classroom to be far better than sitting in an office.” This happened when he had an opportunity to work with MoFA, but thought to decline the offer.
Mohammed reads a lot of textbooks to enhance his knowledge in STEM. He often uses both curricula and co-curricula activities in teaching STEM, and so sometimes he and his students engage in sports activities to make learning more exciting. He recounts his most positive experience as an educator: “I met one of my students I had taught before in Jirapa Senior High and we had a good conversation. When he was leaving, he shook my hand and placed something in my palm as we parted ways… it was two hundred Ghana cedis.”
He heard about the JUNEOS challenge from a colleague, and took the initiative and contacted the JUNEOS team himself. Even though he suffered an accident, he persisted and continued to prepare his students by going through demonstrations of different experiments. They then settled on the best one.
Mohammed is very satisfied with his participation in the JUNEOS Challenge. He believes that it is a programme that will build the confidence of the students while also preparing them for the future. The challenge has taught him to place emphasis on the practical rather than the theoretical. He adds that “I’ve learnt so much in the sense that, with all the experiments my students [and I] practiced on are now a part of me… Also, those practical lessons became very useful to the BECE candidates when some [of the experiments] appeared in their examination.”
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Article by Kofi Konadu Berko.
Kofi Konadu Berko is passionate about education and youth development. He holds a B.A in Adult Education and Human Resource Studies from the University Of Ghana. His works have been published in the historic Afroyoung Adult anthology titled Waterbirds On the Lakeshore, Adabraka: Stories From the Center Of the World, Tampered Press and the Kalahari Review. He blogs at obolokofi.wordpress.com