But everyone was up early the next morning. We had eighty-nine staff and students attending. Madam Patricia Ananga emceed, Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, for whom the grand conference center is names, welcomed us, and we were soon into our various sessions. Students learned about how to do math in every-day life, how to write poetry, and exchanged ideas with each other on what they learned from the Yo Ghana! letter writing. Students from Don Bosco Basic School presented their fine independent research project on a day in the life of a Winneba fisherman.
The teachers and administrators from the sixteen schools spent much of their time listening to presentations from each other and discussing issues ranging from how to discipline without caning to how to improve the educational possibilities for girls whose families require them to work late into the evening to whether or not the national examinations are a worthwhile measure of educational achievement.
Everyone toured the Kantanka Factory, enjoyed dancing and drama from the University of Education Winneba Arts Department, and shared their dreams for their schools and how Yo Ghana! might fit into them. There were also brief speeches from board members Dr. Eric Ananga—who conceived of and pulled the whole conference together, a massive undertaking--and Dr. David del Mar on Yo Ghana! Board member Elizabeth Fosler-Jones ironed out a million details, and board member Dr. Eric Donkoh, in Ghana for two months, spent all day Saturday meeting people.
Among the many people who made the event happen, we must mention a few. Madam Berthy, in the photo to the right, on the left, was the master of many details. Madam Lucy, a recent Winneba graduate, did the very big job of running the dormitories. Madams Wendy and Lucy of Yo Ghana! worked very hard pulling things together.
Dr. Ananga envisioned this conference as a bench mark in Ghana education, as it is time for teachers and administrators in outstanding schools to be heard on how to improve Ghanaian education. For me, this amounted to seeing amazing people I had met in isolated schools over many years coming together to educate and inspire each other.
As Dr. Ananga told our teachers and students when we closed: “You are Yo Ghana!”