The annual 5 days linguistic and cultural exchange between EAC and SOS-HGIC co-organised by the Modern Languages Department MLD, SOS-HGIC and the CAS Department of EAC came on successfully this year with great rewards for both schools. Although the duration of the exchange was relatively short, the impact and exposure to language and culture was definitely enormous.
The exchange happened in two parts; 16 students offering English B from EAC accompanied by two staff - the CAS coordinator (Madame Prisca AGBOSSOUMONDE and M. Yaovi KOUGLENOU) arrived in Ghana on Wednesday 4th November and stayed until Sunday 8th November. This five day stay was packed with interesting academic, linguistic and cultural activities, the climax being the 25th anniversary celebration durbar which showcased diverse African cultures represented in HGIC. This display of multiculturalism was highly appreciated by our francophone visitors. The return trip to Lomé, Togo began on the 2nd of December, 2015 by 20 French B students of SOS-HGIC who thus had the opportunity to live in a francophone environment for five days.
The SOS-HGIC Trip
The group from SOS-HGIC arrived at the campus of EAC to find their Togolese counterparts waiting for them impatiently. There was a lot of screaming and shouting amidst hugging and kisess -the francophone way - and the long and tiring journey was suddenly forgotten. Within minutes, the campus was quiet signifying that all students had gone home with their host families.
There were a number of activities planned for the stay including lessons in various IB subjects, for example Biology, Chemistry and French with French as the medium of instruction in all of the lessons. Feedback from the Biology teacher about SOS-HGIC students’ participation in class activities was very encouraging.
Apart from formal lessons, students also got the opportunity to participate in a conference on Global Warming (Réchauﬀement Climatique) led by Monsieur Quellin (charge de Mission Cooperation Environnement à l’Ambassade de France au Togo). Students were asked to make posters to summarise the causes, effects and solutions to global warming. This activity saw both groups working together in a common language to achieve a common goal in order to solve a common world issue. It was an exciting moment for the students.
However, the highlight of all the activities which included shopping, outings and partying was the CAS activities in Dodjikope meaning Dodji’s (not Assou-Dodji the French teacher) village near Kpalime.
Students were divided into various groups to teach a variety of skills to children in a deprived school. There was an art workshop, a bead making workshop, drumming and dancing lessons and literacy lessons. The health condition of the children was a major concern for most of our students. Some of them led by Michelle Cobblah have started planning towards a possible action with the collaboration of their francophone partners to bring medical aid to the pupils at the Ecole Catholique de Dodjikope.
All in all, the exchange was an unforgettable experience for both staff and students. All the activities, including language, cultural and CAS, and certainly also the food, which nearly made Euphrasie, Annabel and especially Esmeralda want to stay in Togo, certainly gave students an awareness on how different life is across a tiny invisible line called a “border” and also how similar educational and health needs are across borders.
We, the French B teachers would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Principal of EAC, Monsieur Taid Rahimi, his staff and students, the principal of SOS-HGIC, Mr Titi Ofei and his staff, the Head of the MLD, Mme Christine Trumper and the entire students of SOS-HGIC for their dedication and guidance. This exchange would not be so fruitful without their continuous support. Merci!