Written by Zemene Mersha
There was excitement in Bahir Dar recently when Tana Haik Secondary School welcomed visitors from their Oxford based link school, Magdalen College School, for three days. Ashley, Ruth and Tom were warmly welcomed and enjoyed a busy stay experiencing many aspects of Ethiopian school life as highlighted from this daily journal:
The visitors arrived on Wednesday morning to a warm welcome from everyone at Tana Haik School. Greeting speeches were given by staff and pupils of the school, including the school vice director. Ashley from Magdalen College School also took to the stage to make a speech to the school community.
The students later introduced the guests to local traditions including music, dance and a coffee ceremony (we all know how delicious Ethiopian coffee is). The visitors were given a tour of the school, they provided over 50 books to the school library and connected with the Ethiopian staff.
On Thursday the guests were fully integrated into the school day through class visits and observations. They were able to observe an array of classes from Maths and English to ICT and Biology. The UK teachers were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the lessons highlighting strengths and weaknesses to help in enhancing the quality of the classes.
On Friday morning discussions were held between the visitors and the link club students to improve communication and productivity of the link relationship. The students were keen to discover more about education in the UK and how it differs from Ethiopian education.
The guests were provided with a traditional Ethiopian lunch and a farewell meeting was held in the afternoon to express their thanks for their visit. The UK teachers expressed happiness regarding the strong sustainable relationship they had built and both sides reaffirmed their commitment to developing their partnership further and making the most of the educational benefits that come from it.
The guests were sent home with some Ethiopian traditional gifts, such as a ‘shema’ scarf to make sure they had something to remember their trip to Tana Haik School.