Accra, just like America, Australia and Europe, which are dream places for Africans, is a dream destination for most youths in rural communities across Ghana. The thought of bringing my pupils to Accra for learning and sightseeing sparkled their imagination: the thought of flashy cars, big mansions, busy markets, presence of foreigners, huge companies, etc. flooded their minds and brightened their innocent faces. “Accra here we come!” they shouted with ecstasy.
My pupils are new to excursion, and none of them has ever heard the word ‘excursion’ before. This is one of the many learning challenges faced by children in rural communities. Excursion, when planned well, offers a priceless learning experience to children and teachers alike.
It was on Friday, August 17th, 2018 when the excursion jinx got broken. The children made their first ever trip to Fort Prinzenstein at Keta and St. Paul’s Lighthouse Towers at Woe, all in the Volta Region of Ghana. The history of the slave trade was deep and eye-opening. It offers the children a true and picturesque account of what happened to their forefathers.
Unfortunately, most of the eye-witnessing accounts weren’t in any textbook. Most of the children who couldn’t hold back their tears released them freely. Their feelings reminded me of my personal experience at the Cape Coast Castle in 1997 as a Junior High Student. Gloomy as it was, it was an exciting adventurous trip worth taken.
After this maiden trip, the children await their next trip. It took us seven long months to organize the second trip. This time to their Dreamland: Accra and the following five places were chosen:
- Accra International Airport
- Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park
- Independence Square
- Ghana Cultural and Art Centre
- La Trade Fair Centre
The day was 6th March, 2019 which marks the 62nd Anniversary of Ghana’s Independence from British colonial rule. The 2 hours 25 minutes drive from Afife to Accra offers amazing scenes of nature and artistic work of civil engineers: green vegetation, trees of different shapes and sizes, the Sogakope Bridge over the Volta Lake, farmers cultivating watermelon at Ada, the Tema Motorway and the Accra Shopping Mall among others. These are extra sightseeing and learning opportunities for the children-It was never a boring trip for the thirty children who made it to Accra.
A short turn from the new Supreme Court Edifice ushered us into the parking lot of the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park. Accra was buzzing with commercial activities. A tour guide, a slender lady of about twenty-three years, was assigned to us. She gave us a profound history about the iconic man regarded as the father of the nation. His autobiography was touching. We took some pictures after the lectures, and went straight to have our lunch: there was enough mouth-watery food for all attendees.
After the lunch, we tour the Cultural Art Centre, Independence Square, Trade Fair Centre and finally to the Accra International Airport. The children were tired by the time we got to the Airport. It was around 4:55 pm, and we know it was time to return home. It was hard to say goodbye to Accra, but we don’t have an option other than to say it reluctantly.
Goodbye Accra! We shall surely come back again.