Category: "Education"

Chinese company signs agreement for construction of 2 schools in Ethiopia

July 23rd, 2013
File Photo

Chinese company signs agreement for construction of 2 schools in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, July 23 (Xinhua)
-- China Jiangsu International and the Addis Ababa Education Bureau on Tuesday signed an agreement to construct two schools in the Ethiopian capital.

The China-Africa Friendship Schools Project will cost 60 million Chinese yuan (around 9.6 million U. S. dollars).

Signing the contract, Xie Wei, deputy general manager of China Jiangsu International, said his company would complete the project as per the agreement to contribute to deepening the existing relations and friendship between China and Ethiopia.

The deputy general manager told reporters that the schools, which will be constructed by international standards, will each have 26 classrooms and be completed within 20 months.

Xie said his company has been in Ethiopia for more than a decade carrying out various projects in the African country.

China Jiangsu has successfully completed the projects of Hawassa University in southern Ethiopia and Hope University in Addis Ababa, he said with confidence. The China-Africa Friendship School Project "is another landmark for the relations between China and Ethiopia. We will carry out the project strictly as per the agreement to make our contribution to deepen the friendship," he noted.

Dilamo Otore, head of the Addis Ababa Education Bureau, said the project would contribute to the development of the education sector in Ethiopia, as part of efforts by the Chinese government to help the country over the past decade.

"The Chinese government has made major contribution to attain the millennium development goal (MDG), which means achieving universal primary education for girls and boys," he said.

Professor Wondwossen Gebreyes to teach molecular epidemiology in his homeland Ethiopia

July 9th, 2013
Wondwossen Gebreyes, shown in OSU’s Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, will teach molecular epidemiology in his homeland of Ethiopia. EAMON QUEENEY | DISPATCH

Professor Wondwossen Gebreyes to teach molecular epidemiology in his homeland Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, oncologists often turn patients away, telling them to come back in six or seven months. There are too many patients and not enough drugs, equipment and trained people to treat them.

For many of those people, the delay might as well be a death sentence.

That’s one reason that 20 faculty members and students from Ohio State University are going to Ethiopia this summer to kick-start a pilot project that will address three major public-health problems — cervical cancer, food safety and rabies — among other things.

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Keeping pastoralist children in school in Ethiopia

March 15th, 2013
Children in pastoral regions often seasonally migrate with their families (file photo)Photo Kristy Siegfried/IRIN

Keeping pastoralist children in school in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, 15 March 2013 (IRIN)
- Thousands of children in the pastoral regions of Ethiopia are dropping out of school despite government and donor efforts to bring schools closer to them. Recurrent natural disasters such as drought and flooding, as well as inter-ethnic clashes, are major factors in school dropouts.

In February, at least 17,000 primary school children in Ethiopia were reported to have dropped out since the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, mainly due to drought-related migration.

In the northeastern Afar Region, some 15 schools have closed down due to a lack of water during the current dry season, affecting some 1,899 children, 29 percent of whom are girls, according to an 11 March update by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Ongoing conflict between the Oromo and Somali communities is also affecting education. “In conflict-affected areas of Oromia’s East Hararghe zone, some 10,600 children (40 percent girls) from 35 primary schools in Kumbi, Gursum, Meyumuluke and Chenasken [districts have remained] without schooling for over three months,” the update said.

In the southeastern Somali Region, seasonal flooding, ethnic conflict between residents in border areas, and even internal conflicts within the Somali ethnic group often adversely affect schooling, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

In 2012, for example, a flood emergency in the region severely affected schools in several districts. “During the flooding emergency that occurred in June 2012, around 3,196 girls dropped out of school. Most of the schools located in the seven woredas [districts] were flooded, with eventual destruction of all educational materials and school infrastructure,” said UNICEF.

During the emergency, UNICEF supported the creation of temporary learning spaces for the affected children.

Alternative schools

Children in pastoral regions often seasonally migrate with their families due to adverse weather or insecurity.

The Ethiopian government, through its Alternative Basic Education Center (ABEC) programme, has been taking schools closer to such children.

“It is to include the under-developed pastoralist regions that we needed to devise an inclusive and comprehensive strategy specifically for the areas. The regions and way of life there needed a different approach. We had to take the schools to the children, not the other way around,” Mohammed Abubeker, head of the special support and inclusive education department at Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education, told IRIN.

“And now, after years of efforts, we have in the regions… formal and non-formal schools. A student would find at least one informal school in every kebele [an administrative unit under the district].”

The ABEC programme has helped at least a quarter of a million rural Ethiopians living beyond the reach of the formal education system to access basic schooling, according to a statement by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

But the alternative education ends at the fourth grade, and in some areas, children must walk two hours to the formal school to continue learning, notes USAID. “Not surprisingly, some still drop out, mainly for poverty-related reasons, including the families’ need for their children’s labour or their inability to pay for room and board near the schools.”

Pastoralists’ seasonal migration also means that, “learning spaces are closed, which results in [the] closure of more Alternative Basic Education Centres,” notes UNICEF.

‘Migrating’ education

In response to the pastoralists’ movements, education officials are seeking ways to ensure learning continues.

“In the pastoralist regions, people there often move either by choice or [are] forced due to conflicts or drought,” said Mohammed of the education ministry. “In such situations, we use mobile schools, which are really doing well. The teachers and education materials are made to move with the pastoralist[s], so the kids will continue to learn.”

“Also, we have recently started networking the schools so when kids leave one area, we alert schools in the areas they [are migrating to] so that they can take them in,” he added.

Jointly with the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the education ministry is also running a school feeding system programme that is helping to attract pupils to schools.

UNICEF is also trucking water to drought-affected areas. “If kebeles are benefitting from water trucking, schools will not be closed since the communities are getting water,” notes UNICEF.

Despite the challenges, some success has been seen in educating children in pastoral regions, Mohammed told IRIN, adding that the Afar and Somali regions had gross enrolment rates of 75 and 83 percent, respectively.

“We have been doing well…but there are still many problems we need to solve. Our wish is that not a single child drops out permanently. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.”

Video: Chinese language education in Ethiopia's Addis Ababa University

January 3rd, 2013

Video: Chinese language education in Ethiopia's Addis Ababa University

Source: CCTV

Ethiopia's biggest and most respected University---the Addis Ababa University--- is now working with the country's Confucius institute. The cooperation aims to bring the people of China and Ethiopia closer through education, to be exact, through educating Ethiopian students in the Chinese language up to the degree level.

Desta Kebede, just like the rest of his classmates, is attentively following the lesson that he believes one day will change his life. Here at the Addis Abeba University the Chinese language is being thought for students who will be earning a bachelor degree in three years time. The interactive lesson together with the heartfelt willingness of the pupil to study the language made the classroom warmer.

Desta Kebede in Chinese major of Addis Ababa University said, "Because Chinese people are, they have good aim for our country, so not only at Ethiopia but at Africa. Even Africa they are distributed for the sake of, to improve or to stand the African people or African countries."

With the continuous help of the Confucius institute in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa University is now enrolling 15 students to study Chinese language in a regular program hoping the trainees will fill the gap of lack of professional users of the language for better economic ties between the two sisterly countries. But what could be the fundamental reasons behind such a commitment in teaching the language for the local students.

Taye Regassa with Addis Ababa University said, "For one thing there is being this long-standing political relationship between the two countries, diplomatic relationship between the two countries. So we need people who speak Chinese."

All of the students here trust the lesson will help them fit in themselves in the ever dynamic job market successfully. And the Chinese companies in the country are all other motivating factors for these young pupils to commit themselves for the three years lesson that starts from simple self introduction to essay writing to Speaking presentations through time.

Teacher Zhao Xueye said, "Language means the culture. Culture means the language. Because the language is just like a bridge that can make our two countries together …because we are friends. So if we want to know better each other we should know what your language, what your culture. So the same to Ethiopia people."

Teacher Wang Tingting said, "There are many Chinese companies in Ethiopia. If students can learn Chinese very well, I think it is easy for them to find a job in Chinese companies. "

The delivery of the Chinese language for Ethiopian students with this enormity can help the economic ties of the two countries very well in providing professionals with no language barriers or culture misunderstandings. The long search of Chinese language interpreters, translators or even PR agents will soon get answer with the graduation of these students.

Reporter:"The relation between China and Ethiopia has been remarkable in almost every sector. Now education is playing its pivotal role in cementing this relationship even more. In the future it is hoped that classes like this will be filled by more citizens in the country."

Tablet as teacher: Poor Ethiopian kids learn ABCs

December 24th, 2012

Tablet as teacher: Poor Ethiopian kids learn ABCs


WENCHI, Ethiopia (AP)
— The kids in this volcano-rim village wear filthy, ragged clothes. They sleep beside cows and sheep in huts made of sticks and mud. They don't go to school. Yet they all can chant the English alphabet, and some can spell words.

The key to their success: 20 tablet computers dropped off in their Ethiopian village in February by a group called One Laptop Per Child.

The goal is to find out whether children using today's new technology can teach themselves to read in places where no schools or teachers exist. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers analyzing the project data say they're already startled.

"What I think has already happened is that the kids have already learned more than they would have in one year of kindergarten," said Matt Keller, who runs the Ethiopia program.
The fastest learner is 8-year-old Kelbesa Negusse, the first to turn on one of the Motorola Xoom tablets last February. Its camera was disabled to save memory, yet within weeks Kelbesa had figured out the tablet's workings and made the camera work.

He proclaimed himself a lion, a marker of accomplishment in Ethiopia.

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