Friday, September 22, 2023

People want to see us personally

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Ethiopian artists Zebiba Girma and Lemlem on YeLeb Weg program part two. People want to see us personally. In this town is a small primary school built in the 1965 Ethiopian Calendar.

Students who finished their primary education had to travel, often on foot, to Lalibela or Kul-Mesk to continue their high school education. Repeated pleas by the community to help build a high school within Genete Mariam fell on deaf ears forcing the community to build a whole high school independently. In 2019, a building with four classrooms was constructed. In 2020 the regional education office provided the town with 1 million ETB to help construct a second building.

There are now two buildings and eight classrooms recognized by the education bureau. This high school is now teaching 500 students. As part of a work trip to Lasta Lalibela, a friend and I visited this school in May 2022. We left saddened at the state of its faculties. It was hopeful seeing that the school has 22 dedicated teachers who strive against several problems to help get their students to pass high school. Now 228 male and 272 female students attend grades nine to eleven.

But the school needs a lot of assistance. It lacks adequate libraries, and has a shortage of classrooms; there is no laboratory, no computers, there are no fences delineating the high school from nearby farmlands, there is a lack of accessible water, and its toilets are in deplorable condition. We have launched a fundraiser in an attempt to address at least one of these concerns. As you can see in the first image attached, the library only has one shelf full of books. These were bought by teachers from Bahir Dar and are mostly self-guided books that are thought to help students pass (12th grade) matric examinations.

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