Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation, Ghana, a non-profit non-governmental organisation, has organised its educational programme dubbed: ‘SUN Project’ at Adoagyiri to promote safe and healthy relationships through restorative practices in schools.
The programme is being run through the establishment of Readers’ Clubs in Methodist and Presbyterian schools at Adoagyiri in the Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality of the Eastern Region in partnership with the International Humanitarian Rescue and Relief Initiative (IHRRI).
Dr Ayo Ayoola-Amale, the Director of Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation, Ghana in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said building healthy relationships between educators and students through restorative practices were key to improving teaching and learning.
“Restorative practices are about focusing on capacities rather than deficits. It is about holding circles and talking to generate solutions and build valuable abilities in students,” she stated, adding that; “Social-emotional skills are very important skills, they need to be developed and showed.”
Dr Ayoola-Amale further stated that restorative practices are means to develop empathy, caring, kindness and good communication skills, and that; “The truth is that restorative practice is a proven approach to discipline in schools that favours relationships over retribution, and has been shown to improve behaviour and enhance teaching and learning outcomes.”
She noted that building a restorative community was a changing process, which everyone must be involved in applying the principles of restorative practices consistently in their lives, schools and communities.
The Director said the establishment of the two reading clubs in the Methodist and the Presbyterian schools at Adoagyiri were in line with the ‘Read Africa Project’ of the Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation, Ghana.
She said reading clubs in schools were important because it encourages critical thinking and increase the ability of understanding and advised students to have deeper engagement with stories in their communities and beyond.
Mr Emmanuel Arthur, the Director of IHRRI and the moderator of the programme, encouraged the students and participants at the event to adopt restorative approach to resolving conflicts wherever they found themselves instead of fighting.
“When you amicably resolve conflicts through restorative practices, even the school will benefit because it will create peaceful learning environments for everyone,” he admonished.
Mr Saviour Adzovor, a representative from the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipal Education Directorate, lauded Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation for the establishment of reading clubs in schools and its positive initiative of school correctional practice.
Okoo Anadwo Afutu Dompreh II, the Chief of Adoagyiri expressed gratitude to Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation, which has been working in communities in Ghana for over a decade and the IHRRI for the positive impact they have made among the youth in their educational strides.