Montessori in Ghana

One of the experiences I’ll look back upon in my dotage, which some days feels like it’s speeding towards me like an oncoming truck, is being able to see Montessori changing lives in a wide variety of settings.  It’s been such a honor to work with teachers from a makeshift classroom in a factory in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to a private school in New Hampshire.  From a public school in Savannah, Georgia to a public program in Seoul, South Korea.  A conservative Jewish school in Baltimore with Hebrew sandpaper letters.  A Christian elementary school outside of Jakarta, Indonesia.   This past summer, I spent two weeks working with five teachers, soon to open the first “real” (not just in name only) Montessori school in the country.  Many thanks to Project Okurase, a non-profit organization doing so much good in Ghana, West Africa for the invitation.  Among its many efforts, such as an annual health outreach, adult vocational program, and a sustainable farm, they are starting a Montessori school in the village of Okurase, about an hour and a half northwest of the capitol city of Accra.   Two lead teachers and five assistant teachers were hired in June, but the two leads never showed up!  It became clear as I worked with the remaining five, that they were bonded, dedicated, and highly competent teachers.  By the time we had completed our weeks of teacher education, they were truly the lead teachers, committed to their craft, to the school, and to the community.  The school is named, “Nkabom Montessori School”, which means “unity”.  A better name you’ll seldom find.