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Sankofa International College, Ghana

Students, teachers, administrators, and alumni were interviewed to explore their understandings of global citizenship education. There were 5 students that participated in 1 to 3 in depth interviews each. There were 4 teachers that participated in 1 in-depth interview each. There were 2 alumnae that participated in 1 in-depth interview each.


GNWC1As the son of an influential banker and a pharmacist, Kwabena has always found himself the center of his parents’ expectations which translate into the immense academic pressure that he often feels. Like many of his peers at Sankofa, he possesses exceptional intellectual curiosity and a particular penchant for solving problems. His fondness for the natural sciences and his desire to, in his words, “quantify and make sense of the world’ allow him to forge a strong relationship with his physics teacher who has been his source of inspiration for pursuing a future career in the sciences. Kwabena also maintains an extremely demanding schedule that balances his intense International Baccalaureate courses, tennis practice and community service. He recognises the tremendous privileges he possesses as a member of the upper class, especially in a country still plagued with grinding poverty. This recognition, coupled with his strong sense of moral obligation, become the driving force behind his continuous efforts to contribute to the community, some of which include organizing an annual donation drive for a local orphanage and refurbishing a school for underprivileged children. Having lived for extended periods of time in five different countries, Kwabena is also keenly aware of the diversity of beliefs and traditions that exist across the cultural spectrum, placing him in a unique position to emerge as a global citizen.

stands out from most of her peers as an exceptionally well-rounded individual. As the head girl at Sankofa, she is involved in a wide array of activities, including student government, Pan-African club and piano ensemble. She considers her commitments crucial to her individual development as well as her application to top-tier colleges in America. A passionate community worker, Abena has been involved in the organization of several community programs for children diagnosed with the Autistic Spectrum Disorder and those with various disabilities, which she realizes have allowed her to connect with people from all walks of life. Her strong sense of social justice and keen awareness of her privileges also motivate her to serve as a first-aid educator at the local hospital which she believes is an important stepping stone to her future career with the World Health Organization. Studying at a culturally diverse school such as Sankofa has also offered Abena the opportunity to develop a strong understanding of and a sense of acceptance towards those who may hold values and beliefs different from hers. She particularly treasures the time she spends with her Kenyan roommate which, in her opinion, has been an eye-opening and life-changing experience.

GNWC3As the eldest among four siblings, Yaa believes she has the responsibility to be a role model to her sisters which translates into the high academic and moral standards she has set for herself. A brilliant writer, Yaa works as a columnist for an online newspaper and has seen her column grow in popularity among Ghanaian teens. An aspiring politician, Yaa has managed to allocate some time to explore her passion for activism and is always ready to defend her viewpoints on political and social issues, particularly human rights and feminism, which perhaps stems from her strong sense of social equality. She also believes that her family’s strong emphasis on selflessness has been the driving force behind her participation in a wide range of fundraising efforts, in the process of which she has learnt more about herself and others around her. Having spent 4 years at one of the top schools in the world, Yaa also maintains very high academic standards. She admits that her fear of failure has been her constant source of stress but she finds solace in her friends’ company.


Administrators and teachers

One cannot help but appreciate Mr. Kankam’s dedication to Sankofa. He has served the school in various capacities over nearly three decades and assumed his position as the headmaster in 2008. He maintains that serving the community remains an integral part of the school’s philosophy, which he says rests upon empathy and respect for all human beings. Mr. Kankam emphasizes that it is important for students who are privileged enough to attend this institution to give back to society.  He believes that education can and should be used as a means to transform people and asserts that the positive impact Sankofa makes on its students can be seen through his own daughter who is a graduate of the school. On the issue of global citizenship, he agrees that students should be exposed to a global outlook but maintains that Sankofa students should play a part in serving the African community. He also speaks about social entrepreneurship and the need to promote social equality, a vision he hopes to carry out through graduates of the school.


Having spent her last 12 years at Sankofa, Ms. Darko now heads the IT department and the Social Education Program, which provides students with education and support on issues ranging from sexual and drug abuse to stress and financial management. She also spearheads the Thinking Skills Program that aims to prepare students for the kind of critical thinking required at the IB level. Ms. Darko also regards global citizenship as an important component of Sankofa’s holistic approach to education and strives to always connect her lessons to existent global issues. She believes that having a family that comes from three different countries, coupled with time spent studying in California, plays an essential part in her recognition of the importance of having a global perspective. She also emphasizes the significance of community service trips in bonding the school community together, asserting that empathy for other people is the most important lesson students learn at Sankofa. She speaks to great lengths about her own experience with overseas service trips, which she gives credit for helping her develop an awareness of poverty in developed nation.