We previously got a chance to interact with the valedictorian of the inaugural MMST program from AIMS Ghana. Here is how Abigail’s passion as a Mathematics Teacher was born;
It is wonderful to have you with us, Abigail. Briefly tell our audience about yourself
Thank you, Winnie! My name is Abigail Amankwah from Ghana. I have just graduated from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Ghana, under the inaugural Masters in Mathematical Sciences for Teachers (MMST) program.
Previously, I was a Mathematics Teacher at Morning Star School before choosing to fully concentrate on my degree at AIMS. Currently, I am open to work opportunities in Mathematics, especially in the education sector. Since I love to teach, I’ll prefer to lecture than be locked up in an office, haha.
Congratulations on this outstanding achievement. I know the future holds the best for you. I say this from a personal space because I know how much you have invested into your degree
Thank you, Winnie. Amen to the wishes.
Teaching is a profession not many intentionally plan to pursue from childhood. How did you end up in this line of work?
I am the first of five siblings and the only female. According to what I know, I was not planned but God had a purpose for my life. Growing up in the Central region of Ghana, I started school in Mankessim, before relocating to Accra. I attended Holy Child RC Basic School before joining St. Mary’s Senior High School at Korle Gonno, Accra to read General Arts. I quite remember that I had to come home right after one of our WASSCE papers for fees. It was very frustrating but I had no option.
I returned the following day very early to write my next paper. You can only imagine the psychological and emotional trauma. Due to financial difficulties, I had to work for an extra year before applying to the university. Fortunately, I had admission to the University of Cape Coast to read B.Ed Mathematics in 2010. Campus life was very unbearable due to financial hardships. Many appetizing opportunities that could turn my fortunes around came my way but I knew where I was coming from and where I was going. So, I only looked up to my God to sustain me. At a point, I had to eat once a day but that did not stop me from being committed to my studies.
To the glory of God, I was the only female among five guys who graduated with first-class honors. 6 years down the lane after school, I had a fully funded scholarship at AIMS Ghana to pursue MSc. in Mathematical Sciences. I was a breastfeeding mother at 4months when I reported to the AIMS Ghana campus for the first residential session. The journey has been tough combining motherhood, work, studies, and as a wife. At a point, I told my academic manager to give me a diploma so I could end it there because I just couldn’t handle it anymore. It’s funny but the pressure was biting at me. But gradually and steadily, I managed to work to the end. To God be the Glory.
You have mentioned some of the challenges you faced generally, and during the teacher’s program at AIMS. How were you able to overcome them?
This life is full of uncertainties and disappointments but with determination and persistence, you’ll overcome and get to your destination. It’s very challenging when you have a goal and the people around you do not believe in your vision and share on your ideas. Someway somehow when you put yourself together and press on towards your goal, you’ll surely achieve your target in this life. As much as possible, I do not let the bile in the people around me destroy the delicacies life offers me. Even if the delicacies turn out to be sour, it’s for a good purpose – to build you up for the next level. So, I painfully but gladly accept it with a positive mind.
My ultimate motivation comes from the Lord. God has been my anchor all this while, through the thick and turns in this life journey. In as much as God is my source of inspiration, I motivate myself to get to my destination irrespective of the ups and downs life poses at me.
Let’s talk about the prestigious recognitions you have received as a Mathematics Teacher
I was recognized as the valedictorian for the first Masters in Mathematical Sciences for Teachers (MMST) at AIMS Ghana. This means I graduated as the best student, with an MSc in Mathematical Sciences. I also received the F. K. Allotey Meritorious Award from AIMS Ghana on the same occasion.
Tell us about some of the things you enjoy doing in your free time
I love to sing and listen to psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
What is your favorite quote?
These are just words I believe in. I am not sure if someone else has said them before but I always say that; “motivation comes from within. Without it, no amount of motivational messages and quotes will work for you”.
What’s your encouragement for young girls who are passionate about becoming Mathematics Teachers?
No matter how hard it is, keep pushing for it will surely move and make sense one day.
Thank you, Abigail, for speaking with me, and congratulations once again. We look forward to learning more about the change you are going to make in Ghana, especially in the world of Mathematics for teachers.