Nuru Ethiopia Education prepares for teacher training, assessment and community action
Feature photo: Attendees of the Save the Children Literacy Boost workshop in Adama City (Nazareth), Ethiopia
Since concluding the Program Planning Process (PPP) for the Nuru Ethiopia Education Program two months ago, the team has been hard at work achieving many milestones:
- Launching the Education Program alongside the Healthcare Program to woreda officials
- Hosting key relationship building meetings with Zonal and woreda-level Education officials
- Contextualizing training manuals (translating children’s stories into Gamugna and Amharic) to suit the needs of our target schools
- Preparing for our first major event beginning on October 1st: Training of Trainers
- Attending a weeklong Save the Children Literacy Boost model workshop
Attending the Save the Children Literacy Boost workshop was instrumental in ensuring a successful launch, as portions of the Nuru Ethiopia Education model are adapted from the Literacy Boost program. Throughout the week, Save the Children USA and Ethiopia Trainers provided our staff with valuable insights into the Literacy Boost’s three-pronged approach. Both Save the Children Ethiopia staff members implementing the program across the country as well as Ethiopian schoolteachers who have adopted Literacy Boost gave honest and constructive testimony of the program’s impact.
The Literacy Boost workshop began by unpacking part one: teacher training. For the first day and a half, we immersed ourselves in the value and necessity of teacher training and more importantly, the focus of these trainings – the five core reading skills. These pillars of early grade reading – letter knowledge, vocabulary, phonemic awareness, reading fluency and reading comprehension – are important indicators towards a student’s ability to transition from “learning to read to reading to learn.” Nuru Ethiopia Education will concentrate its efforts upon these fundamental building blocks during monthly teacher training sessions by providing contextualized examples for each core reading skill for teachers; adapting children’s stories into local languages (Gamugna and Amharic); and providing consistent and frequent training sessions. Teacher training will provide the groundwork to bring about the impact that Nuru hopes to see in Boreda woreda and beyond.
Teacher training alone would be fruitless. Both Nuru Ethiopia and Save the Children recognize effective follow-up and support of teachers as well as assessment and monitoring of students is a winning combination. Next, we focused in on part two: assessment. Frequently and properly gauging the effectiveness of each lesson provides teachers with key insights into their classroom. Individual assessments of students allow teachers the ability to cater their lessons to address the different learning styles of students and help those whom are falling behind, regardless of a student’s participation level in a group setting. A major activity the Nuru Ethiopia Education team will rollout in its partner schools is advocating for a cluster supervisors and school directors to provide teachers with frequent and effective follow-up in order to promote healthy working relationships, professional development and accountability.
The workshop concluded with part three: community action. Learning beyond school walls is a must if children are to truly achieve higher literacy levels. Creating an environment outside of school whereby children are afforded the opportunity to experience literature beyond textbooks is a key endeavor for Nuru Ethiopia Education. To reach Nuru farmer households in its target kebeles, our team intends to launch book banks (community libraries) and reading camps (venues within each community for children to learn literacy through weekly activities).
Throughout the week, Nuru Ethiopia Education gained troves of invaluable information on how to adapt the Literacy Boost model for our local context.
Nuru Ethiopia is grateful for the support Save the Children USA and Save the Children Ethiopia have provided. Special thanks to Mr. Daniel Ooma McVitalis of Save the Children USA, Senior Specialist – Basic Education and Literacy, for his instrumental role in laying the foundation for a working relationship between our organizations; and to Ato Tizazu Asare, Head of Education, and Ato Oumer Mohammed, Education Program Manager, both from Save the Children Ethiopia, for warmly welcoming Nuru Ethiopia. We are excited for our fruitful partnership to grow.
Kevin comes to Nuru after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana for three years (’11-’14). Of those three years, the first two were spent teaching Biology and Chemistry at the second cycle level in Awiebo-Aiyinase during which he was awarded the National Best Teacher Award – Foreign Service Category by the Office of the President and Ministry of Education. His final year was spent serving a local educational non-profit in Accra, Ghana where he trained teachers and taught students across the nation to participate in national and international events. His efforts helped Ghana remain the only African country to participate in the Scripps Spelling Bee in the U.S. Kevin earned his BA in Cell and Molecular Biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.Read More Stories of Hope