Linda Nana Korkor Kyeremanteng came to teaching in a rather unusual and round-a-bout way. She had considered Town Planning and Nursing as prospective careers, and even wrote the entrance exam to start training to be a nurse at the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. But something bizarre happened. When the results were released, she took the overall second place, and was asked to come along with her parents for her prospectus. However, when they arrived, her name was nowhere to be found on the list. Being determined to be a nurse, she stayed at home for five years while trying to achieve this goal. Eventually, her mother, who was a single mother, baker, and owner of two businesses, prepared other plans for her. Linda recalls the incident with some humour: “My mum one day asked for my passport picture, deceiving me that it was meant for a passport, not knowing that she was applying for me at the training college. And so, fortunately or unfortunately, I was called for an interview and my future dream of becoming a nurse changed to teaching.” Once on that track, Linda did not look back. She went on to acquire a Diploma in Education, and topped it up with a degree from the University of Education, Winneba.
Linda has now been teaching for the past 17 years. Presently, she teaches one hundred and fifty-five students in Junior High School. When she was informed about the JUNEOS challenge, she was very excited and quickly began preparing her students, who were equally excited. They met to discuss the work and to practice their experiment once a week, on Fridays. The experiment that they chose for the JUNEOS Challenge was based on an experiment that her students had seen. After many improvements, their final experiment involved the use of baking soda, a balloon, and a plastic bottle to make a homemade fire extinguisher.
Ms. Kyeremanteng has always loved science even though she studied Arts in senior high school. She has always enjoyed watching the National Math and Science Quiz. What she enjoys most about teaching STEM is that it keeps her abreast with new developments in science. She explains that she enhances her knowledge by reading textbooks and conducting experiments.
Linda feels that the opportunity and responsibility of training children especially young girls is a key motivating factor in her profession. As a result of this, she is very happy with the JUNEOS Challenge. “It has made my teaching more practical” she says, adding, “And the fact that it’s practical gives the students the opportunity to learn new things.” She has also learnt to share ideas with others and also to never underrate or underestimate her students. She encourages all teachers to never give and wants them to teach wholeheartedly. She says, “’For our reward is in Heaven not on this earth, so no matter how difficult it is, we should fight on; one day we will become winners.”
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