International development charity VSO is seeking experienced teachers to volunteer in Ethiopia and help improve the quality of education for children across the country, where 2.7 million children are out of school. (1)
VSO is currently recruiting primary teachers, English language teachers, head teachers and education managers to work at all levels in Ethiopia’s education system. Volunteers will be improving the language skills of teachers, delivering training programmes and lecturing in universities.
Since 2003 VSO has been working with the government to set up and deliver Ethiopia’s Higher Diploma Programme, a one-year mandatory qualification, which has exceeded its targets and trained more than 6,000 lecturers.
Jon Rosser, Interim director of VSO UK, said:
“While enrolment in schools in Ethiopia is increasing, there are still too many children out of school and we are asking volunteers to help improve the quality of education they receive.
“Volunteers are working at every level, from the Ministry of Education to teacher training colleges, to ensure Ethiopia’s poorest children get a better education and the opportunity to succeed.
“VSO has already achieved success with the delivery of a training programme in which teachers volunteer to work with colleagues in Ethiopia, reinforcing key concepts that are taken for granted in the UK like lesson planning, assessment and active learning methods. We now need more teachers to share their skills with their Ethiopian counterparts so we can build on this work and leave a lasting benefit to the education system.”
Volunteer teacher Patricia Gilhooley, 57, took a year-long career break to develop this programme in the small town of Finote Selam in Western Ethiopia. She has been supporting tutors deliver training which moves away from the passive ‘chalk and talk’ methods. Patricia has worked with a cluster of rural primary schools to ensure these child-centred learning techniques are also being implemented in schools.
Patricia has encouraged teachers she worked with to make the most of simple low-cost materials to create innovative learning aids and wall displays to engage students.
“Volunteering has given me tremendous confidence and the opportunity to try things like directly working in the class with other teachers and running workshops. I have learned so much about myself, about another country, and about other people.
“I have supported teachers with getting children active and helped build relationships between the training college and the schools. The teachers I have worked with have seen the benefit of these approaches and put simple practices in place to help children have fun and learn.
“The biggest challenge is a lack of resources in schools, sometimes four or five children have to share one book and there is a lack of electricity in classrooms. I really admire teachers I have seen, who create things like paper maché globes to teach children about the world.”
There are a range of placements across the 33 developing countries where VSO works for education professionals.
For further information about how to apply, please visit www.vso.org.uk/volunteer/.
High quality pictures and video are available of UK teachers volunteering in Ethiopian schools.
VSO is different from most organisations that fight poverty. Instead of sending money or food, we bring people together to share skills and knowledge. In doing so, we create lasting change. VSO volunteers work in whatever fields are necessary to address the forces that keep people in poverty – from education and health through helping people learn the skills they need to make a living. In doing so they invest in local people, so the impact they have endures long after their placement ends.
For more information please contact:
Susannah Taw, VSO Media Officer, +44 (0)20 8780 7621 or +44 (0)7500 918 478