Project Sensitization Workshop
for Growing Thinking Schools Ethiopia from the Inside Out

Project Sensitization Workshop for Growing Thinking Schools Ethiopia from the Inside Out 

A Love in Action –  Initiative Africa (IA) – Eminence Social Entrepreneurs (ESE) Collaboration for Growing Thinking Schools Ethiopia in SNNPRS.
by Dagim Melese — C0-Lead Thinking Schools Ethiopia trainer 

Love in Action Ethiopia (LIAE) conducted a day long project sensitization workshop on Saturday, April 3, 2015, in SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region).  The project is entitled Empowering Women Building Communities through Growing Thinking Schools from the Inside Out in 2 (two) Secondary and College Preparatory schools: Wachamo and Heto Secondary and College Preparatory Schools.  The purpose of the workshop is to consult with key stakeholders on issues of effective implementation of the project program so as to see the adaptability, relevance, use value and instrumentality of the program for the school improvement needs of the education system in the region. The stakeholders included City Education Bureau leadership and experts, Development Activities Coordination Bureau, Finance and Economic development Directorate, School Directors, Model Teachers , Experts from Women Affairs Bureau,  PTA(Parent- Teachers Association), Project Managers and Project Director of Love in Action Ethiopia.

Brief explanation on the project’s  rationale and goal, and discussion on the underlying concepts of the TSE model and among the participants about the problems of high school girls,  issues associated with the project( project’s life -span, project’s budget,  project’s target groups, areas and levels of intervention in the education system ( How is the problem going to be addresses ? Via what strategy?  At what level of education is the intervention going to take place? ) took place. Key questions from the participants were asked as regards the issues and they were responded to by the project director.

The following were some of the comments, questions and experiences shared.

  1. Bearing in mind that it is not easy to bring about desirable change in attitudes, we should be ready to work collaboratively, interdependently, orchestrating expertise and facilitating united efforts.
  2. In the light of our realization and contention about the relevance and usefulness of the project we should have started the intervention from foundational grades (PrK , First Cycle Primary Schools )
  3. We should strategize  ways to make the project all – inclusive : involve parents, people in leadership, students , teachers , PTA , etc ( all stakeholders).
  4. The project is key in terms adding supplementary value.
  5. Female students should be assessed for differentiated interventions.There has to be developed a mechanism of documenting female students profiles.
  6. Schools organizational capacity needs to be supported (there has to be a school psychologist for Guidance and Counseling service in the schools for example ).
  7. Working on facilitating teachers’ expertise is key and foresighted for benefiting the community in a sustainable manner
  8. Why is the project short lasting? Why limited budget while the program you have is of high priority
  9. The capacity building aspect of the program should address all teachers  and instructional leaders
  10. How is the project going to address the socio-economic problems of girls ? Livelihood needs of the female students ?

In accord with the project implementation plan both Wachamo and Heto Schools are planned to receive educational professional training using the Thinking Schools Approach in three(3) different phases –  Instructional leadership team training ,  whole staff training at school site , and ongoing scaffolding support at school sites

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