This week we want to get up close and personal with Mr. Isaac Adokwei, the lead teacher for our girls’ science club at Osaebo Junior High School (JHS) in Nsawam. His passion for teaching has stayed with him for the past ten years and is quite evident in the way he runs his club sessions and his interaction with his students. Mr Adokwei is married and a father to an adorable baby girl called Lisa. His meticulousness and great sense of humor has been useful in making his club sessions very interesting and exciting. He holds the belief that he can do anything he sets his mind to and that nothing is too difficult because when there is a will there is a way. ~ Christian Sackey-Acquah
Can you tell me a little about your teaching career? I entered the Presbyterian College of Education in 2002 and came out in 2006, I started teaching that same year. I taught Maths, Science and Basic Design and Technology and have been teaching these subjects for 10 years. I chose these subjects because I love learning new facts and new ways of doing things.
How did you get to know about The Exploratory? My headmaster asked interested teachers to attend The Exploratory’s teacher training program at St. Johns [Grammar School in August 2015] which I gladly accepted. Unfortunately I was the only one from my school.
In your view do you think promoting science and gender equity is a course worth pursuing? I believe the gap between our country and other countries, with respect to development, is science and technology. Moreover, women form the majority of our country’s population and as such, if they are equally empowered as the men, then we can be sure of great development in the near future as a nation.
As a man, what motivated you to become such an ardent advocate of the ‘science for girls’ initiative? I grew up seeing more of my mum than my dad who wasn’t really available. I think this might have influenced my bias towards the female gender. If I could help some girls to become heroines like my mum who almost single handedly raised me, then we could have more of me or even better.
I believe the gap between our country and other countries, with respect to development, is science and technology
Do you think the girls are happy to join The Exploratory club in your school? They are not just happy but excited, this excitement I believe may be due to their curiosity and desire to do new things. Moreover, I started with some 46 girls [last year] which I later had to reduce to 15. I still have girls come just to sit and observe.
In your own estimation do you think the girls understand the importance of science and the focus of The Exploratory? The idea of science has not really affected our local communities that much so their appreciation of science as a tool for development is still low. However, since joining The Exploratory they have begun to understand the science behind most of the things around them. The Exploratory is helping these children become more aware of their environment through scientific understanding.
Can you share with us some ideas you believe The Exploratory can consider in achieving its goals of promoting science and gender equity? Scientific knowledge and experiences alone is good but inadequate unless it is linked to ICT training. The introduction of more sophisticated computers and other electronic gadgets in our current world is helping scientists make more use of their knowledge. A look at this side also may be appropriate.
How did you find this year’s edition of The Exploratory’s teacher training program? The training was worthwhile and has made my club sessions this term well organized.
Mr. Adokwei, in the blue shirt, at the teacher training, showing other teachers how to build an electroscope