#beingateacher The trajectory of Kukua Frempong from Enko Nyamunda School in Maputo
Interview with Kukua Frempong teacher and International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Enko Nyamunda Maputo
Ghanaian born, Kukua Frempong had been teaching the Cambridge Curriculum in Maputo for six years when she joined Enko last year at the very opening of the school at Maputo. She tells us about her professional trajectory, her commitment with education and working at Enko.
Can you tell us about your story, what brought you to education ?
I did not feel an early calling to education although some members of my family were deeply involved in education as teachers or lecturers. My mum was a professional teacher and taught Home Economics for about 30 years, my dad was a medical doctor but also spent part of his time lecturing in some medical schools and universities My sister who lived in the UK at the time I was getting into University advised that I add education to my course choice because professional teachers earned good money there so I followed her advice. Education then became more of a passion and was reinforced after my undergrad. Positive comments on my skills as a teacher from my students and supervisors motivated me to stay in the field. The more I heard the comments the more I believed that It was a gift from God that I needed to nurture. One day, I told my mum and aunt (who had visited shortly) how my Teaching Practice Supervisors (both Lecturers in the Sciences) sat in my Economics lesson and afterwards commented on how enjoyable and understandable my class had been. They both replied : “You are a teacher”.
That’s for the vocation. As for practice, I have met awesome teachers who made me excel even when I thought I couldn’t and I have equally met other teachers who deflate you and discourage you. So, as I went up the ladder I told myself that I would be the type that helps students excel and believe that they can do it. I think this has made a great difference in many of my students’ability to do well.
Can you share a story of a teacher/professor you admire?
I met quite a few, including my parents. I have two stories that I would want to share. The first is my aunt’s, Mrs. Georgina Baiden. She is an amazing teacher. She has worked as a teacher for over 50 years and rose through the ranks to become the first lady president of the Ghana National Association of teachers in the early 90’s! She currently owns one of the best private schools in Takoradi, in the Western Region of Ghana. The second story is my Mathematics teacher in high school, Mr. Emmanuel Sam. He always made excruciating topics understandable and I am striving to teach like him. He used different approaches to make sure difficult topics were broken down for students to grasp. I find myself doing same for my students every time!
Why did you choose to work with Enko in Mozambique?
There are several reasons I felt really compelled to the project. I was already working in Mozambique, in a privately owned Cambridge curriculum based school in Maputo. As you know the Education sector in Mozambique is basically now developing after the long period of recovery following the civil war (1976-1992). Government has provided public education but of low quality, the private sector is working along side but with their aim being more of business than education. This makes an Enko school with it’s spelt out aims of quality international education at affordable prices very relevant.
They provided the curriculum I looked forward to teaching. The IB Diploma Program is more than just being “bookish”. It is not solely based on academic excellency that requests learning concepts and reproducing them. It also develops the learner in different ways. I was looking for for a school that stood for wholesome education of its learners and offers the IBDP to teach in and I was introduced to Enko.
What were the highlights of your first year with Enko?
Start up year was great, we achieved a lot. Our head of school Keith Allen, is a good and charismatic team leader and the fact that he is an optimistic drives all of us on. That to me is inspiring! He successfully led us to get IB authorization in the first year of the school’s establishment, which is exceptional. That was very hard, and the team had to undergo loads of work. It was pretty tough. But under his leadership we worked tirelessly to meet all the demands of the IB in such a short time frame.
On another level, I was also very pleased by satisfactory remarks by parents who saw a change in their children’s study attitudes and general behaviour.