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The Teacher Exchange Programme (TEP) is a programme that affords School for Life (SfL) District Supervisors and Coordinators from Ghana and some Danish Teachers to go on a cultural and Educational visit to Denmark and Ghana respectively for three weeks to learn about the cultural and educational differences between the two countries.
The TEP started in 2000. In the past, the SfL facilitators also participated in the programme, however, because of the vast differences between the facilitators and the Danish Teachers in terms of educational attainment and experience they could not continue. The District Coordinators have just returned from Denmark with their Danish colleagues who will stay with them for two weeks.
Each year four participants are chosen to go to Denmark in September. Whilst in Denmark, each of them is hosted by a Danish teacher.Together, the SfL personnel and the Danish Teachers travel to Ghana in October and are then hosted by their Ghanaian counterparts. As part of the visit of the Danes, they spend two weeks with their Ghanaian counterparts visiting educational facilities such as the School for Life classes, Colleges of Education and District Education Offices. During their stay in Ghana, the Danish teachers familiarize themselves with the cultural values of Ghanaians. They learn to eat Ghanaian food, about marriage systems in Ghana, farming, etc. They spend the rest of the days by themselves visiting tourist attraction centers such as the Mole Game Reserve, Kintampo waterfalls, Kakum National Park, the Castles, Forts and local markets. So far, 85 teachers (44 Ghanaians and 41 Danish Teachers) have participated in the Teacher Exchange Programme.
The programme has been a great exposure for both the Danes and Ghanaians involved. It has also given the opportunity to both parties to share experiences in teaching and learning approaches of the two countries .They also learn and appreciate the different cultures of Ghana and Denmark.
Relationships have also been established between the Ghanaians and their Danish counterparts. Through the programme, some needy children were identified and given sponsorship from Denmark. One of the beneficiary facilitators, Mr. Musah Zakaria from Tagnamo in the Yendi District was sponsored by his host to attain Secondary Education. The Ghanaian participants receive certificates of participation.
Participants in this programme have faced various challenges because of differences in climate, culture, and the like. For the Ghanaians visiting Denmark for the first time, the weather is too cold to bear and they often miss the hot Ghanaian dishes. For their Danish counterparts, Tamale is not only too hot but also rural. The inaccessibility of some communities in the SfL operational Districts where the Danish Teachers have to commute on motorbikes is yet another challenge.
The vast cultural and developmental differences between the two countries made a Danish child whom the father had come with to see Tamale the Regional capital of the Northern Region to be rural and as such it was not easy to get her to stay in the rural community.
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