WHAT DOES THIS PROJECT DO?
While reforms have been made in education, the actual structure of the Ethiopian school system has remained pretty much unchanged since the 1950's. Higher education is very limited and very few students make it that far.
Formal education is composed of six years of elementary school, two years of junior secondary, and four years of senior secondary. Most children start school at age five. An average class size is 65 students per teacher, and few school supplies are available to students; for example, schools lack pens, books and paper and most schools don't even have water or useable toilets.
Social awareness that education is important is something that Ethiopia lacks. Most people in Ethiopia feel that work is more important than education, so they start at a very early age with little to no education. Children in rural areas are less likely to go to school than children in urban areas. Most rural families feel that they cannot afford to send their children to school because parents believe that while their children are in school they cannot contribute to the household chores and income.
Very few schools offer children the opportunity to take part in extracurricular activities, such as sports and arts and crafts. Sport is a great way for children to take exercise while learning coordination, teamwork and leadership skills. After school training and tournaments also provide them with a productive and exciting evening activity that keeps them motivated and makes them feel supported.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Your work schedule will cover a comprehensive, varied and enjoyable teaching and sports coaching programme which will engage you fully with your students and will awaken your creativity and initiative.
As well as assisting in English classes, and other subjects you may be interested in, you will also run sports and football classes either during school or after school has finished. It will be up to you to arrange these classes by working with the local teachers and coordinators to ensure the children know about them! You should be prepared to use your own initiative while you are working on your project, although if you need assistance in initiating these activities, the local staff will be more than happy to advise and assist you.
You will find that the children are incredibly excited and keen to take part – as are some of the teachers! You will be welcomed at every turn by smiling and enthusiastic people - we cannot emphasise this enough! Whatever you decide, you are sure to gain huge satisfaction from helping and inspiring these underprivileged children whilst significantly enhancing your own skills and experience.