ABORSCO to begin academic exchange programme with school in Germany

Abor Senior High Technical School (ABORSCO) in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region is to begin an exchange progamme with a Technical and Vocational School in Germany.

The programme aims at not only strengthening students’ practical experiences in carpentry but would also enable them explore other opportunities available to support each other particularly the carpentry department of ABORSCO which is severely under-resourced.

The exchange programme has been made possible by an education-oriented organization, Rising Lions of Ghana based at Tegbi in the Anloga District in collaboration with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ghana as well as the German Chamber of Commerce.

This follows the emergence of Abor Senior High Technical School as winners amongst five (5) selected sister second cycle schools in Southern Volta.

The competition is the first ever Inter-Schools Carpentry Competition organized in October, last year at Keta. ABORSCO, though acutely under-resourced in its carpentry department with tools and equipment, managed to beat Keta Senior High Technical School (KETASCO), Atiavi Senior High Technical School (ATIASEC), Anlo Technical Institute (ANTECH) at Anloga as well as the Kedzi Vocational Technical School (KEVOTECH).

The Director of the Rising Lions, Ghana, Mr. Peter Attipoe, revealed that part of the package to the winning school as an organization is what has led to the establishment of the exchange programme between ABORSCO and Staatliche Berufsschule, Miltenberg-Obernburg, Germany (a Vocational School in Miltenberg-Obernburg, Germany).

As part of the exchange programme, five (5) students from the Staatliche Berufsschule under the joint leadership of their female carpentry teacher, Ms. Katrin Kempf and a Representative of the Rising Lion, Germany, Ms. Angelica Bick, have been at ABORSCO for ten (10) days not only to interact with their Ghanaian carpentry students, but also to appreciate the Ghanaian way of using tools, equipment and materials in executing carpentry works including simple projects.

The German students included four (4) males, Eliano Lavanco, Felix Tutzer, Felix Ketter and Laurin Hofmann as well as Malin Hauck, the only female carpentry student.

Five (5) students from ABORSCO in addition to one (1) teacher from the carpentry department are equally leaving for Germany on Wednesday, 3rd July, 2024 for a period of ten (10) days to interact with their counterparts in Miltenberg-Obernburg, Germany.

According to Mr. Attipoe, the Ghanaian team would be exposed to modern ways of carpentry skills and practical sessions especially in the use of power tools, machines and equipment in the carpentry space.

This huge knowledge and experience, he noted would be brought back to the Ghanaian community for enhancement, particularly in the field of carpentry and joinery studies in the school and beyond.

The all-male beneficiary students from Abor SHTS in Ghana are Emmanuel Kporsu, Charles Klu, Paul Etsey Avevor, Peter Atsu Avevor as well as Felix Dzidzor Akabutu.

Speaking at a short interaction with Technical Skills students to end the ten (10) day educational tour of the Abor school by the German delegation, Director of the Rising Lions, Ghana, Mr. Peter Attipoe regretted that as a nation and people, carpentry studies is not given much attention by authorities in the education sector.

He stressed that the continuous misconception associated with the study of technical courses over the years amongst parents and students is a major factor hindering students and many people to choose carpentry as a profession. Mr. Attipoe indicated that his organization would continue to push for a paradigm shift in the narrative by focusing on empowering carpenters.

The Director emphasized that this academic exchange programme should become a wake-up call for all and sundry, that no profession is useless.

He said for these ABORSCO students to be given the opportunity to explore modern technology, particularly in the field of carpentry as they would be prone to the use of machines and power tools unlike in Ghana where the hammer and nail are very common, should be enough to begin to change the old narrative.

The Headmaster of ABORSCO, Mr. Felix Joseph Darkey described the Director of the Rising Lions, Ghana, Mr. Peter Attipoe as a man of integrity who believes purely in merit. ‘Anybody could have manipulated the results to benefit the school of his choice especially when it involves foreign travels but he did not do that’, the Headmaster noted.

He commended the German students as well as their teachers for not only accepting the Ghanaian culture including the local foods but also freely and comfortably interacting with their Ghanaian students and counterparts in spite of the school’s infrastructural challenges.

He expressed optimism that the collaboration between ABORSCO in Ghana and Staatliche Berufsschule in Germany would bring tremendous development to Abor SHTS in the area of tools acquisition, provision of textbooks as well as infrastructural enhancement among others.

The Headmaster admonished the five (5) beneficiary students to be disciplined and focused while in Germany for their part of the exchange programme be realized, and not to think of running away to anywhere.

He reminded them that their conduct, action and inaction would have serious implications on the established relationship between the two (2) schools and countries.

The German Carpentry Female Teacher who accompanied the students to Ghana, Ms. Katrin Kempf described their visit as revealing, explaining that both schools and countries have a lot to share with and learn from each other. She lauded the Ghanaian students and carpenters in Ghana for using their hands for the labour part associated with carpentry works and projects.

The Representative of Rising Lions, Germany, Ms. Angelica Bick stressed the need for girls in schools to venture into the male dominated professions like carpentry and electricals, urging the boys to do same by engaging in female dominated areas like sewing, cooking and nursing professions that are also largely female-biased.

In the opinion of Ms. Bick, there is nothing like typical male or female professions, considering the fact that the female population of many countries around the world is fifty (50) percent or more.

A spokesperson for the visiting German students, Eliano Lavanco and that for the Ghanaian delegation, Emmanuel Kporsu told our news team in separate interviews that there is a lot to share and learn from one another.

Both the German and Ghanaian students, later out doored a multi-purpose cabinet project which was executed with simple carpentry tools like hammer and handsaw amongst others, can be foldable into a table for writing. It also has drawers at the base for storing petty items at the carpentry shop.

All the visiting German students and their two (2) teachers were later decorated with Kente stoles designed in the colours and logos of ABORSCO in appreciation of their visit to the school and Ghana

The German team has since left Ghana for Germany.

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