Wotet Abay Elementary School
In 2017, when Wotet Abay Elementary School was built, it had 2,033 students, including 17 with special needs. At that time, 20% of grade 1 children were over-age (8-12 years old). Academic achievement has been poor: no Wotet Abay student had passed to grade 9 in the past two years scoring 50% or over in all subjects. During 2017, FGCF demolished the existing mud classrooms and replaced them with 4 new, well-lighted and ventilated cement blocks (16 classrooms), along with an admin block, a science lab and new separate boys and girls latrine blocks. The school has become the poster child of FGCF’s excellent model, incorporating progressive student-centred teaching methods and resources, with achievement increasing. The special needs class has almost doubled in size and the teachers have benefitted enormously from the training workshops. The greening program is also flourishing. Many government officials have visited Wotet Abay, resulting in our Executive Director being invited to speak at numerous education conferences to share our model.
A pump has recently been installed in the river below the school, sending water to a 20,000 litre tank in the schoolyard. This is used to irrigate the orchard, educational garden, and canopy trees, and to provide water for sanitation in the schoolyard.
Teachers have been increasingly embracing the methods introduced in the teacher training workshops and ICS shadow visits and classrooms are filled with unique, student-centred learning materials. The special needs class is particularly progressive, with teachers having attending special training sessions and resource materials having been specifically donated to the classroom by ISEE-urk. Several outdoor classrooms have been created and are enthusiastically used. The greening program has also been wholly embraced by the parents, teachers, students, and administration, and is producing strawberries and cabbages for sale already. These will provide income to support disadvantaged students with their fees and uniforms, and will be incorporated into various subject teaching materials. Playing fields, with basic sports equipment, will also be included as part of the project in 2019.