We are building special learning classes in southeast Ethiopia
Half of the people living in Ethiopia are illiterate. A single classroom holds almost 80 children. There are no bathrooms, desks or blackboards. In a situation like this, you hardly have any time or space to teach and devote yourself to kids with special needs. Thanks to the Build a School in Africa programme, 3,000 Ethiopian children will attend 10 special learning classes, which we are building in Gedeo and Hadiya in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region, one of the nine regional states of Ethiopia.
In 2017, with the support of the Czech Development Agency, we launched a project that will give all children an equal chance of receiving an education. These can be children suffering from physical handicaps, learning disabilities, visual and hearing disabilities, but also girls and children from the poorest families. Especially in the last two cases, children are often forced by their parents to work on coffee plantations or to earn money in small businesses, mostly selling something. In order to build special learning classes, we have chosen 10 localities with the biggest regional schools, which cooperate approximately with five to seven local schools.
While special education teachers do work at Ethiopian schools, they often teach English or math instead. We work together with the chosen schools to make sure that the teachers have more opportunities to educate children who require greater care. In addition, we are building bathrooms in schools for girls, so they can attend school even when they have their period.
Special learning classes will provide children who normally would not be able to keep up the opportunity to benefit from specialised utilities and the knowledge and approach of the special education teacher. Thanks to these classes, children will not have to leave school for good, as is often the case now. By 2019 we will build 10 special learning classes in total, each of which will serve up to 300 children with special needs.
As part of this project, we are also rebuilding the library in the Maja Elementary School.