A Visit to the Tamale Metro Library
We started the day later than usual at 9AM, which allowed us to get much needed sleep from the day before. Breakfast was at our usual spot that was served with special coffee. This special coffee was made with our new coffee maker that we had bought in a local store. We were all very excited to see the coffee maker up and running because the one we brought all the way from the United States had broken.
After breakfast we headed to the Northern Region Library where we met Aaron Kuwornu, the regional director of the library. We walked into the children’s section of the library where we saw some children completing their English writing books. We learned that this public library holds around 30,000 books and the collection of books started in 1955. The building also has an adult section of the library where the public can go to read and study. To check out books, students must get a form signed by their parents as well as the school and then pay a small token to the library. Books can be rented out for three weeks at a time for adults and for one week for children. Aaron also informed us on how the library is stocked. He mentioned that books were normally donated as well as rotated through the different libraries in other regions.
During our time at the library we spent most of it in the adult section. We saw many locals studying for exams and conducting research in the library. As we walked around we noticed many books that we were familiar with. Some of us Oles stopped to read chemistry textbooks and reminisce about other novels that we saw on the shelves that we had read in High School.
The library also had stacks and stacks of newspapers that went back to 2007. We read the local news as well as the international news. At this point it was very hard to leave, we all wanted to stay and read about the events that happened in Ghana as well as read about what Ghana had to say about the United States in the international news section. We realized that Ghana has a very strong relationship with the United States and that they keep up very well with the news in the United States. We thought that this connection with Ghana in the United States was very special and that being in Ghana and seeing good news about the United States was very upliftings. It was very neat to see that they focused on positive news instead of the usual bad news we see back home on T.V.
We finally pulled ourselves away from the newspapers and followed Aaron into the IT center. We saw many Dell desktop computers and learned that the library has no internet connection or WiFi but has Microsoft programs available to students to type and use other programs for their research and studies. The students that come and use these computers are in primary and secondary (High) school because Universities are able to acquire their own computers.
At the Tamale Snr High School
A chat with the Headmaster
After taking a group photo in front of the library our next stop was the boarding school that Professor Iddrisu attended and taught after his university education. During our visit we were fortunate to meet with the Headmasters of the bigger Snr High schools in Tamale. Below is our picture with them at the office of Mr. Shaibu Wilberforce, the headmaster of Tamale Snr High School.
Tamale Senior High School is the biggest school in Northern Ghana and boards students from ages fourteen to eighteen years of age. Because of this, the school has the resources to teach all basic courses including all sciences, economics, social sciences. This then requires the school to hire 95 teachers, which then allows the classes to be sizes of 45 students. We were able to visit Professor Iddrisu’s old dorm rooms where we met current students. We were also able to see his old cubicle or office that he had while he was a teacher at the Tamale Snr. High school.
While touring around, we stopped to visit the Chemistry and Physics labs, as well as general lecture halls. In the Physics labs, one of the students showed us one of the labs that they had been working on in class. She gave us a demonstration with the support of Oscar, an Ole.
We learned that current enrollment consists of 1,400 boys and 700 girls. Even though we were surprised with the fact that there were double the amount of boys, we were told that this is not uncommon. Our last stop was in the cafeteria, which held enough space to allow all students eat at the same time. It reminded us of our Caf back home because it gave us that sense of community where we can all visit and converse in one large area. At the dining hall, there is a raised portion where the prefects sit and dine.
The group also had a picture with the Prep Prefect and the Dining Hall Prefect, both female.
After a busy day, we took a break by going to the local market. We spent two hours strolling around, allowing some of us more than enough time to purchase some lovely souvenirs.
The group decided that we wanted a slightly different cuisine than the typical restaurant at which we usually dinned. So, after much argument, we convinced Prof. Iddrisu to go to the local Chinese restaurant, which happened to be next door.
After 2 whole hours after ordering, our food finally came, forcing us to acknowledge that Prof. Iddrisu knows best when it comes to places to eat. The food was terrible, the service inconceivable and the bill outrageous.
We ended our evening with great news in the hearing that McKenna got accepted into the University of Minnesota Graduate School!! Congrats McKenna!
Written by Abigail, Jonathan and Kaya.