Barnabas Dery’s dream was to become a successful person in life in order to make his mother proud. While in senior high school, he discovered his passion for teaching but it has not been an easy road. His education would have ended when his father and brother died, had it not been for the assistance of his family members and sister-in-law. Their assistance helped him complete senior high school. In 2013 another of his relatives helped him enroll at the St. John Bosco’s Training College where he pursued a diploma in Basic Education in Mathematics and Science. He has been teaching for the past two years and currently has about thirty five students at the Dango Junior High School.
As a child, Baranas had an uncle who he considered his hero. This man was a committed Christian, hardworking, a problem solver and a family man. One of the values that Barnabas learnt from him was to try everything within his means to help people who came to him with problems. This is the same mindset that Barnabas has when dealing with his students.
Even though Barnabas loves football (Jordan Ayew is his favorite celebrity), he really has a passion for teaching. He says, “[In the next five to ten years] I will still be a teacher because I love to teach.”
According to Barnabas, teaching STEM helps him improve the lives of people by sharing knowledge. As such, whenever he is teaching he finds real life examples which he thinks will be of benefit to his students and the community.
After being informed about the JUNEOS Challenge, he began preparing his students. Often, they had to work on their experiment into the night because they wanted to put up a good showing. Their experiment was on surface tension and its application in umbrellas, raincoats and canopies.
Barnabas thinks that participating in the JUNEOS Challenge has been the most inspiring experience of his teaching career. The challenge has influenced his teaching positively and now he uses practical demonstrations in his lessons.
He explains that with assistance from the school headmaster, he acquires materials (or improvises) in order to include practical demonstrations in his teaching. Barnabas sees the JUNEOS Challenge as a platform to create awareness on practical lessons and also facilitate understanding. He would be glad if the JUNEOS team would set up a resource center or otherwise assist teachers in acquiring Teaching and Learning Materials. He would also like to see the involvement of more schools from deprived communities in the JUNEOS Challenge.
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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