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TRUE OR FALSE:
Joseph Tetteh is the first teacher to arrive at school every morning.
TRUE. He is now that he has a bicycle. Joseph is a teacher from Gomoa Abonko, Ghana and he received his bicycle this year from our partner Village Bicycle Project.
Joseph used to walk about five miles a day to and from work. He was often late and struggled to complete his daily assignments. He had very little time to interact with students one on one.
With his new bicycle he saves a lot of time and energy on his commute, leaving him more time to devote to his students and class work. In fact, last term, Joseph was one of the district's highest performing teachers.
Both Isata and Ramatullai are:
A Truant Officers
B. Bus Drivers
D. All of the Above
The answer is D, All of the Above. Ramatullai (foreground) and Isata (back) both teach at Bakhita Kindergarten School in Lunsar, Sierra Leone. And they both play an active role in making sure the community youngsters are where they need to be....school!
Rumatullai uses her bike twice a week to visit the homes of children who should be in school but aren't. By making these home visits, teachers are able to get to know the parents while checking in on the students and making sure they get their butts to school!
Describe the connection between a bicycle, attendance, and education- using a teacher in your example:
Isata also lives and teaches in Lunsar, 120 miles from the capital of Freetown. Until Village Bicycle Project visited Lunsar and Isata enrolled in a Learn 2 Ride program she had never been on a bicycle before.
Isata uses her bike to visit kids who aren't showing up for class. But she takes it one step further. For those truant tots living within a two mile radius of the school, don't be surprised if Isata picks you up, throws you over the top tube, and pedals you to class herself!
Isata understands the struggle these kids have living in this area, but she also knows the value of a good education. Because many of the families in the community are very poor, even the youngest members have to pull their share. Many school aged children are forced to stay home to help with chores. This allows their older siblings to help in the fields to earn more money for the family, but it also keeps the youngest kids from learning.
When Miss Isata shows up on the bike to pick up kids, she shortens the walking commute time so significantly that she is able to get some of those closer students to school a few times a week. That's one dedicated educator! Bikes + Books = SMART.