Vineyard Foundation in partnership with the Fafali Organization held the second edition of the Education Summit for teachers in the Anunmle Electoral Area on Saturday 3rd September, 2022.

The summit was held at Downtown Hotel, West Legon at 10am under the auspices of the Founder of Vineyard Foundation, Barry E. Knighton, Founder and CEO of the Fafali Organization, SSG Raymond Senyo Amezado and Senyo Sosu respectively.

Barry E. Knighton hosted the summit for a second year running. Barry has a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of South Carolina. Barry serves as a Child Welfare Curriculum Coordinator with Staff Development and Training with the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

CEO of the Fafali Organization, Senyo Sosu, served as the guest speaker on the day. Senyo obtained a Bachelor of Education from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He also holds Diploma in Basic Education from Wesley College of Education, Kumasi where he trained as a Mathematics and Science teacher and has served the Ghana Education Service as subject teacher for over five years. About fifty (50) teachers from the Anunmle Electoral Area were in attendance for this year’s summit.

The Education Summit sought to imbibe in our teachers the act of taking control over their classes and adopting classroom-friendly methods to ensure their students become some of their best products.

A teacher engaging Barry on what is being discussed

Motivation behind this Summit

Mr. Barry E. Knighton explains the motivation behind the second edition of this summit and the overall impacts he believes this has on our educational system.

“Last year (2021) I did a leadership summit with non-profit organizations but my brother (SSG Raymond Amezado, Founder of Fafali Organization) came to me and said the teachers want this (summit) as they seek to be better at their profession and better outreach people and so we decided to expand it to include leadership development for teachers, because teachers need to be empowered to know that they can do and be anything they want to be for their students and they have that support they need to make maximum impact”

Why this partnership (Vineyard Foundation and Fafali Organization)?

When asked about why this partnership between Vineyard Foundation and Fafali Organization, Mr. Barry said, “Fafali is an organization on the grounds, has integrity, they really understand their mission, and know how to get the work done, and just connecting with Fafali’s amazing staff from the organization to the passion and community impact, we (Vineyard Foundation) knew that this was an organization we wanted to partner with”. He added that, he serves as the secretary of Fafali Organization’s Board members.

Mr. Sosu admits that, they (Fafali Organization) share the same values as Vineyard Foundation which culminates into community impact across the globe and Ghana as a country.

Game Plan

The summit took a different shape this time around when all participants were divided into color groups of 6 (Black, Red, Purple, Green, and Yellow). Participants were tasked to identify amongst themselves, a characteristic that was common to all members before all events began.

The theme used during the classroom session was “Recycling Your Experiences, Gifts, and Talents as a Teacher for Building your Classroom and your Community.”

Five (5) methods were introduced at the summit and these methods were used in the environmental sense.

These methods are; Recycle, Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, and Repurpose. The basic and underlining meaning for all these methods was to make use of old ideas/materials which would have been in the bin (disregarded) some time ago. As a leader, because you have taken time to process yourself, now you can take time to process and help others as well as see what you have to offer from different perspectives.

An important issue troubling our Ghanaian schools is the fact that teachers tend to move at the pace of the fast learners in the class at the expense of the slow learners, which should not be the case.

At the summit, the participants were given diverse measures to use in order to get the best out of these slow learners. Some of these measures include; Make learning fun and comfortable as your positive attitude as a teacher will be key to a student’s interest in a subject, Provide meaningful and concrete activities rather than abstract, Give short specific directions and have your child repeat them back to you, and most importantly, Encourage the child to explore areas of interest to him or her.

Teachers actively engaged in the summit

General Impression from Participants

Headmaster of Victoria Solid Foundation School, Teye Stanley and a teacher at Start Right School, Mathias Kwame Tobizo, were among the participants on the day who shared with us their excitement and how beneficial this summit has been to them and their respective schools.

“I am very glad to have joined this event. This summit has helped me to know my strengths first of all to observe, and monitor classroom activities” Stanley said.

 The hope is to keep this leadership summit running for a long time and Barry puts it nicely when he said “a vine touches different areas so leadership doesn’t just touch non-profit organizations or the community. It touches the teachers, hospitals, doctors, lawyers, nurses, and everybody and it helps us grow as a society.

Thank you for reading!