In 2007, C-GSCA’s Education Work Group formed a partnership with Gondar’s Tsadiku Yoahannes Elementary School (TY), serving approximately 2000 children daily from primarily lower income families. Through fund-raising efforts in 2008, the Education Work Group raised funds to have new blackboards built and installed in every classroom of the school.
During a trip to Corvallis in late 2009, former Gondar Mayor, Habtamu Tedla, met members of C-GSCA’s Board of Directors and Education Work Group and shared his vision of making Tsadiku Yoahannes Elementary School (TY) a “model school” for Gondar. In the following year (2010), a “model school committee” was created under the leadership of the school’s new director, Schemeles Brile, with the goal of identifying the direction for action and the role that C-GSCA’s Education Work Group might play in bringing Tsadiku Yohannes School to a “model school” status. Of the main priorities (computer literacy, science lab classrooms, library) professional development of teachers received immediate priority.
In 2011, our Education Work Group entered into a formal three-year teacher training program with the Gondar College of Teacher Training providing trainers with professional development in improved curriculum design, classroom learning strategies, and improved student learning.
Most recently from September 25 to October 12, 2012, a delegation of four Corvallis volunteers engaged in the creation of a ‘model classroom’ for teacher training (on the school’s premises), assisting in a teacher professional development training week, and partnering with TY teachers and children in preparing classroom games and teaching aids.
With 24 teachers trained the previous year, an additional 28 teachers received presentations on teaching concepts, use of classroom materials and engaging to sound practices led by teaching staff from the Teacher’s College. In addition, Karen Sundseth, a Corvallis teacher, demonstrated the use of mathematic teaching games to two groups of mathematics teachers. Maxine Prickel, a former English teacher and training specialist, demonstrated teaching strategies for developing listening and comprehension skills with children in the English classrooms. Biology teacher at TY School, Lem Lem, and Els Lofgren, C-GSCA delegate member and nurse practitioner, conducted informal learning sessions with a group of young girls on topics related to health, cleanliness, issues of girl’s development and menstruation.