From Tumu College of Education to the Ghana Teacher Prize, Diana Dasu’s journey

Diana Dasu is a teacher from the Upper West Region of Ghana who got admission to Tumu College of Education to study for a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Initially her dream was to become a nutritionist and to use the College of Education as a steppingstone. This was due to the general perception that she had that teaching, especially Early Childhood Education, was not a valued profession. During her time at Tumu College of Education, Diana developed a love of teaching as she was exposed to a range of teaching methodologies by her tutors. This helped her to develop her teaching philosophy that, “As an Early Grade Teacher, you are versatile, you build the foundation of learners and that is something you should be proud of.”

After graduating from College with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Second Class, Lower), Diana began teaching as a Primary Two teacher before moving to teach at KG 1.

Diana has always been keen to upgrade her professional knowledge and skills, so she attended   the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to pursue a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood from 2016 to 2018. At UCC, Diana completed with Second Class Upper honours.

Diana is presently a kindergarten teacher at the Faaman R/C Primary at the Drobo-jaman South District. In the classroom, Diana uses activity and play-based methods to promote learning and ensure that children are engaged and enthusiastic.

“I was the first teacher to introduce writing at the appropriate time, which offers learners the opportunity to write their names, numerals and letters… this proved very successful, so it was also taken up by neighbouring schools”.

In 2020, Diana was named among the top 15 best teachers in Ghana. Her headmaster, district education office and colleague teachers all nominated her. She received a Best Teacher Prize Citation from the National Teaching Council (NTC) for her commitment to early grade education in Ghana.

Diana’s dedication, persistence, hard work, and love for early grade teaching had now been recognized at the national level. “Knowing I was the youngest among the awardees in age and in teaching years made me even more proud of who I have become”.

At her school, Diana’s headmaster ensures she participates in capacity building workshops on Early Childhood Education so that her experience benefits and inspires others. Her innovative and engaging teaching methods have improved her learners’ performance and increased the school’s enrollment rate. “… parents who sent their wards to the farm now want them to be in school.”

On June 19, 2021, Diana was invited to deliver a motivational speech at Tumu College of Education’s annual graduation ceremony.

In her speech Diana talked about the journey she has been on, a journey which proves that you don’t need to graduate from College with a First Class degree to become one of Ghana’s best teachers. Diana encouraged all graduands to give off their best and pursue their chosen career with dedication and commitment:

“Most people tend to give their maximum best only when it comes with a price, but my journey as a teacher has shown me not to work to gain something from the school or parents of the pupils but rather the aim is to impact lives, to shape the lives of students and also to transform lives. When you do these things automatically, your reward is inevitable and even more valuable, just like how I have been honoured now”.

On her return to Tumu College of Education after seven years away, Diana was delighted to see the academic and infrastructural transformation which had taken place at the College since she left. She was particularly pleased that the College was now offering a four-year Bachelor of Education degree as part of the Government of Ghana’s reforms which were supported by  T-TEL.

Diana wanted to do something to recognize the formative impact which Tumu College of Education had on her life so, at the graduation ceremony, she dedicated her Ghana Teacher Prize Citation to the College.

Diana’s Citation will now remain on permanent display in Tumu College of Education to encourage student teachers to persevere and excel in the teaching profession.

Tumu College of Education made Diana the teacher she is today, and Diana gave her Citation to the College to recognize this. Tumu College is sure that they will produce many more Ghana Teacher Prize winners in future as their student teachers follow in Diana’s footsteps.