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28.10.2019 Feature Article

An Intern Kind Of Story: 13 Hours A Week On My Feet; This Is No Vacation

An Intern Kind Of Story: 13 Hours A Week On My Feet; This Is No Vacation
OCT 28, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

After spending three years on campus battling with the ‘UEW’ pressure, I though a semester as an intern will be the right vacation I deserve. I thought I was going to enjoy my life as an intern teaching giving the assignment and quizzes. Things actually turned out to be the exact opposite and spending the semester on campus would have been better.

As a student on campus, I don’t really have weekends to myself since they are mostly filled with doing assignments, group discussions or studying. But you have the weekends for yourself as an intern and this is one point for the internship. Even though the weekends are like ‘Chinese phones’ and do not stand the test of time, there was a brief current of freedom.

Weekdays on campus are something else; sometimes it feels like hanging your uniform and go off to plant melons. The stakes were and are still so high and you sometimes wonder if you were in a pressure cooker or a university. The week really cuts and cuts at me hard, going up and done throughout the day and use the night to wonder, ‘what at all did I achieved?’ weekdays for me as intern feels less tensed than when on campus. You are in charge of managing your period's whiles on campus you have no control over them.

Responsibilities on campus were headaches and avoiding them at all cost was something every student values; both the goods and not the so goods. The number one thing was lectures followed by assignments and to go a day with no lectures or assignments were golden moments we hardly come by. Some may say the today’s student is lazy but this has nothing to do with laziness, this is the issue of how things were structured and how there was no motivation.

On the field as an intern, things are not milk and honey, far from that. It’s been a stressful and difficult session so far and my thoughts of having this as a moment to break away from the UEW pressure have been proven wrong.

My internship would have been easy if not for the free senior high school policy. The increase in number and the lack of teachers on the field to effectively cater for them is a challenge. And if you are an intern, well, let just say it is not a good time to be an intern. The internship program is meant for the student to come and be mentored, that at the end of the four years, they will come out with teaching skills and knowledge about the field.

But the current state of the school system has placed interns in a position that will force them to do more than they are expected to do as interns. And with this, I doubt the effectiveness of what we are doing; that at the end of the day we were just forced into work without receiving the training we deserved.

You have 13 classes to teach each week and in each class, you have approximately 40 students to teach, give class works and assignments, mark and mark corrections. This is an unending circle of work and there is absolutely no space for learning. Now, would I willingly decide to become a teacher after all this?

So if you are on campus thinking internship is fun and you can’t wait to have a bite of the fun, please ‘forgerit’. The stakes are really high here because of the free senior high school and double-track system.

Joseph Yaw Mawunyo
Joseph Yaw Mawunyo, © 2019

This author has authored 22 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: JosephYawMawunyo

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