An estimated 50,000 school children in Ethiopia now have the opportunity to learn English thanks to the British Council and Lifeline Energy. A special emphasis is being placed on girls’ instruction.
The British Council, which aims to support more widespread and better quality learning of the English language, has distributed our solar and wind-up Lifeplayer MP3s in the country’s rural secondary schools. Loaded with the British Council’s English language training (ELT), they’re being distributed along with teaching training support materials.
The Lifeplayers are included in the British Council’s ‘ELT Learning Boxes’. Each Learning Box includes two Lifeplayer MP3s, Premier Skills, ELT materials for secondary school learners and British Council World Words radio and print content to support teacher development. The initiative will also provide teacher-training to roughly 2,000 teachers to help instruct in the English courses.
Through this initiative 200 British Council English Language clubs in secondary schools and teacher training colleges nationwide will be also established.
English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Ethiopia. At primary level (grades 1-8), the medium of instruction is the mother tongue (Amharic, Oromifa, Tigrinya, etc.), with English being taught as a subject. At secondary level, the medium of instruction shifts to English, which continues as the primary medium of instruction at tertiary level. English proficiency will create many more opportunities for not only accessing Internet content, but for also securing a better job and interest in learning the language is high.
The first phase of the project was launched in Amhara and Hawasa regions through English Language Improvement Centres in Teacher Training Colleges. The initiative will eventually be launched nation-wide.
A training programme is included to instruct teachers on how to use the Lifeplayer MP3s. These teachers will, in turn, train over 1,500 teachers across the country
The British Council Learning Boxes are made from recycled paper collected from various sources and assembled by a group of unemployed youth working for a recycling NGO.