Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Luck shining down on English Alive Academy!

This week has been very very busy – but for all good reasons ! Fiker – our latest volunteer from the UK arrived with fantastic news – that she has already managed to raise £ 300 for the recording and publishing of the CD ! This means that we can zoom forward with the project and Fiker spent a busy time assessing pupils singing ability, eventually coming up with a master list of 12 children confident and tuneful enough to make a great CD !
       The pupils are incredibly excited about the whole idea – with the thrill of going to Addis Ababa to make the recording placing the event on an even higher excitement level !  

Our good luck this week continued, with a visit from a team of four US volunteers. It was great to have the school full of additional teachers and the pupils really learnt a lot through the different learning techniques from the visitors. In addition, since we had so many teachers in the school, we reorganised things so that all English Alive teachers could be free to attend a computer workshop. With the arrival of our three new computers from the airlines grant, this meant that teachers could for the first time have access to an individual computer and thus really got going with the practical aspects, learning how to make and use files, with this great start being developed through our weekly teacher training sessions.

             However, although school went really went this week, we had problems with bureaucracy ! Previously the MOT  in Nazret was the epitome of basic – there was a requirement that the van would start and stop only !  ( a man would stand in front and raise his hand and this would be the brake test ) – nothing else was required – so when it was time for the MOT we simply made sure that the brakes worked and thought no more about it. It was thus a huge shock when we went and found that they had a new machine ! This all in one miracle machine tests exhaust fumes, wheel alignment, headlight angles as well as brakes without the need to risk life and limb !

       With the new super machine, the van passed almost all these technical requirements ( we were 5 degrees out on the headlights ! ) – however, we failed the MOT on 16 points including:
➢  Having no curtains
➢  An absence of no smoking signs ( we tried to explain that the maximum age of pupils is 12 and thus they are highly unlikely to even know what smoking is ! )
➢  No red and white sticker on the back ( no idea what these are needed for – they were unable to explain the reasons why ) 

This abyss between the previous and current MOT is amazing ! – without warning they have made these new requirements and it will be pretty impossible for at least 99 % of the vehicles on the road to ever pass!
        Not content with changing regulations on vehicles, Nazret town have now decided that bicycles also need to have an MOT and a license plate ! – can’t wait to take my old bike along and get my first ever license plate ! – hope that I don’t need curtains 

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