#GH4STEM TOP 100 Teacher: Gifty Tabuaa – Bess M.A. Basic School

BRINGING OUT THE HIDDEN POTENTIAL IN STUDENTS THROUGH EFFECTIVE TEACHING ''It's worth [allowing] students to participate in practical lessons… it brings out their hidden potential.” -- Gifty Tabuaa

The first born of six children, leadership and responsibility both came naturally to Gifty Tabuaa. While growing up, Gifty didn’t have a specific career in mind. She just wanted to become a responsible woman when she reached adulthood. She says, “Even though I found myself doing most household chores, as part of my responsibilities as the first child of the family,  and also assisting my mum in trading, my studies were never interrupted.’”

Gifty Tabuaa has been an active teacher since 2006, and is married with two daughters. Currently, her students number over one hundred and thirty.

Gifty attended Berekum Senior High School, where she studied science. At a point, after completing school, she applied to work with the Ministry of Health, in particular, the Kintampo Disease Control Unit. Unfortunately, she didn’t make the shortlist so she opted to go to St. Louis College of Education in Kumasi. After a year in school, she realized that she had made a very good choice: teaching was perfect for her. Later she was posted to an Islamic school where she taught Science and Ghanaian language.

Gifty has always loved science, and in order to improve herself, she attends workshops to enhance her knowledge. After attending a workshop on STEM, she managed to secure laboratory  equipment which has made teaching and learning of science in her school much easier. She describes this as a very motivational.

Gifty Tabuaa is currently a member of BSTEM. She joined the organisation in order to “market Science and Math to others and to train students  in Science and Maths.” She expects that this will help them realize that Science and Mathematics are not really difficult courses.

She finds teaching STEM interesting because of the real life application of scientific principles. The availability of Teaching Learning Materials also make STEM lessons practical and facilitates student learning, making the students participate actively during lessons.

When she was told of the JUNEOS challenge, she decided to focus on an experiment that would be beneficial to most residents of the town who were mainly farmers. “We chose to conduct the experiment on the water holding capacity of the three soil types in order to understand which types of crops to grow in which type of soil,” she says. She and her students selected the appropriate materials and practiced the experiment. According to Gifty, the most important lesson she has learnt from her participation in the JUNEOS Challenge is that it is very important to allow students to do practical experiments by themselves, while supervising. This unearths their hidden talents and potentials.

Gifty is also grateful to have received the right tools from JUNEOS which she is using to teach effectively. She thinks that every school should participate in the challenge because it motivates students and teachers.

In the future, Gifty Tabuaa hopes to teach at a higher level of education.

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

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