Written by Tsegaye Alemneh & Rohan Moon
Link Ethiopia’s Annual School Links Conference and training is held in Bishoftu town and Adama town. The conference and the training took three consecutive days, 24 head teachers and 58 Link coordinators (teachers) from different schools participated in the training.
The aim of this conference was to report the main activities of the School Links Scheme and provide a training that helps Link Schools improve the quality of teaching and learning through fostering core (21st century) skills in to the classrooms.
‘Introduction to the core skills’ and ‘critical thinking and problem solving’ are the topics of the courses delivered to the participants in collaboration with the British Council.
After the introduction to the core skills course, the participants have got hints about six core skills and how they can integrate in the classroom. The lists of the core skills are critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and imagination, communication and collaboration, citizenship, digital Literacy, student leadership and personal development. Among the six core skills, in depth training was delivered on critical thinking and problem solving.
In addition trainees, who delivered the training, are professionals that have had a lot of experiences in delivering different courses inside and outside the country. They are also validated by the external body to give this training.
The need for this training is emanated from the fact that on one hand many children are still out of school, but also the fact many children are in school, however these children are not learning the basics. This is badly affecting Ethiopia, which is a country located in Sub- Saharan Africa.
The participants got their own module which they could use for their future reference. The module introduces the idea of a plan-teach and reflect cycle. There was an opportunity during the workshop session to develop activity plans.
As the result of engaging with the workshop material, teachers and school leaders had an awareness of the need for school systems to develop young children with core skills. The teachers planned to use a number of highly effective teaching methods to enable them to implement the teaching of core skills.
The course suits all teachers who teach different subjects in the classroom of all grade levels. Link Ethiopia is working to provide opportunities so that many principals and teachers can be benefited from this training.
Two and half months after the implementation of this training, there was a monitoring process in which the participants shared their experiences of how they integrated the training into the classroom. Most of the participants mentioned that the way they taught became effective and their student’s achievement had increased.
The concerned government officials also evaluated the impacts of the training and reported to us saying that the training was “intensive but effective”