The clown ( AnneMiekle from Holland ) certainly did a marvellous job last week and cheered everyone up after the worry of finding out that the grade school needs to change compounds. Still working on a campaign of how to raise the funds, but at least we all now have a smile on our faces !
This week also saw the departure after a month’s volunteering of Jared and Katie –from the USA. We don’t have any volunteers lined up at the moment until September ! ( our summer school has had to be cancelled due to moving compounds ) which is a real shame as the teachers and pupils get so much ( as well as the volunteers ! ) – however, there is still time – so if anyone is interested, please get in touch !
The government this week also suddenly realised the importance of a kindergarten education. Previously, they had dismissed the idea of any training being necessary , instead making it mandatory for the grade teachers only to receive training for one afternoon a week.
|Kindergarten teachers busy during their first training sessions|
However, this week’s proposal was for all teachers to receive one hours training per week. This is amazing news – for people to realise that the scribbles of the kindergarten pupils are not simply random scribbles but part of a progressive stage of learning to write and that all the learning does not simply come by accident.
In Ethiopia, people do not choose their professions. Instead it is dictated by the exam results – if you do very well then you will become a high school teacher , medium well then you become a primary school teacher and if you almost fail then you become a kindergarten teacher, with there being no opportunities to shift according to whether you like teaching a specific age range. Hopefully, with this new realisation of the importance of kindergarten, this policy may start to shift.
As a result, the schools timetables have all been altered, with there now being a school closed / training rota of alternate one week on and one week off for both schools. This has meant a sudden surge in the workload, since previously kindergarten training was only once a month. However this is one of the times when I am more than happy to have this extra work, giving the kindergarten teachers the help and support that they have wanted and deserved for so very long.