Saturday 24th September, 2016, the Principal, the Vice-Principal, the CAS Coordinators, nine teachers, the IB1 class, exchange students from Lillestrom Videregaende School, and their teachers visited Aklamador, a remote town in the Volta Region. The two academic institutions had collaboratively set up a primary and middle school in the region earlier, and essentially, the visit was to grant scholarships to three boys from the alma mater, so they could continue on to vocational school. The visit also served as a chance for the students to acquaint themselves with the community and school, and see the town.
Upon arrival, some local students and a few teachers began setting out canopies and chairs. To take the group’s mind off the wait, two students began beating African drums under a natural canopy of leaves. HGIC pupils raised ‘dzama’ songs; everyone gathered around and joined in the dancing. This celebration continued for a good thirty minutes tirelessly, regardless of the scorching sun. Needless to say, there was genuine merriment shown in everyone’s eyes.
After this, everyone settled down for the Scholarship Launch. Mr IT Ofei gave the history of the SOS-HGIC-Lillestrøm Videregaende collaboration on the Aklamador Project and the incentive for the Scholarship Scheme. He touched on plans for the local school and the community’s farmers, plans which will be orchestrated by the HGIC and the Lillestrøm School. He also commended the community on the upkeep of the school. This address was done in English at first, with translations into the local language of the area, but after a while, his presentation was predominantly in Twi. There were intermittent applauses from the community leaders, who were pleased by the schools’ initiative.
Mr Oivind Sorlie, Head of the Lillestrom school, reiterated points Mr. Ofei had raised, and summarized it into Norwegian for the Norwegian students. The gathering culminated when the scholarship recipients were announced and presented to the assembly. The students were chosen based on the merit and promise they had shown throughout their studies, and they were encouraged to continue to do the community proud, and apply all skills acquired at vocational school to make for a better future for the community.
The event was concluded with remarks by Mr Akita, re-stressing the need for education and skill development in alleviating poverty, and the residents thanked the schools in turn. Snacks were organized and distributed by the IB1 students and after a short session of dancing, which has been termed as a ‘cultural shock’ by the Norwegian students, and football, the group returned to Tema.
Isabella Adu, IB1 C