By A.B. Kafui Kanyi, GNA
Ho, March 8, GNA - Pencils of Promise, also known as PoP, a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases educational opportunities in developing countries, has introduced Social and Emotional Learning-(SEL) programmes in selected schools in the Volta Region.
SEL is said to be a process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, establish and maintain positive relationships.
Schools under the programme ensure that teachers engage pupils through morning meetings and “energizers” to break barriers between pupils and teachers before lessons starts.
Mr Freeman Gobah, Country Director, PoP, at a stakeholder meeting in Ho to review activities of 2017, said results indicates that pupils were now courageous in asking and answering questions in and outside classrooms.
He said the programme was also improving punctuality in schools with many pupils wanting to be part of the ‘morning friendly, happy hour’ meeting.
Mr Gobah said the initiative was making teaching and learning pleasurable for both teachers and pupils adding that more schools in the Volta and Eastern regions would be added to the programme.
He said so far, PoP had completed 129 schools in Ghana, eleven ongoing and six about to start this month, with many more in 2018.
Mr Gobah said in 2017, his outfit built 25 schools in Eastern and Volta regions, placed 48 schools under teacher support programmes, provided e-learning materials to schools and undertook water and sanitation projects.
He said all those interventions, including SEL would be expanded in 2018 with 2,000 more e-learning materials for pupils in Volta and Eastern regions but said issues of high teacher turnover, corporal punishment and delay in receiving community support, mainly from the Assemblies and Members of Parliament must be addressed.
Mr John Teku, Volta Regional Director of Education, in a speech read on his behalf, said efforts of PoP were being felt in classrooms, especially with pupils in lower primary and kindergarten developing interest in reading and commended PoP for the interventions.
Mr Eric Kodzo, Circuit Supervisor for Zukpe in the Ketu North District, said teachers are now doing thorough research before coming to class, courtesy coaching programmes by PoP.
Mr Charles Agbeve, Member of Parliament for Agotime-Ziope, praised PoP for making the school environment attractive.