School Building Project in Ethiopia with ActionAid

Following the success of the previous projects, we embarked on the most ambitious one to date in 2014-2015 – a 2-year school build in Ethiopia, which would provide 8 new classrooms, this time in partnership with ActionAid.

Families living in the Yem district are amongst the poorest and most marginalised in Ethiopia. Tigir primary school, which serves a large catchment area, was almost completely dilapidated: class sizes were well above the national average and staff and parents weren’t receiving the support they needed to run the school.

By improving the school environment and supporting the community, this project would enable thousands of children to have the education that they deserve.

The project would involve the construction of 8 new classrooms across 2 blocks and the improvement of the existing infrastructure. Our support would help parents and staff to run the school and would give children, particularly girls, the education they need to improve their own lives. 400 pupils a year would benefit from the new facility.

ActionAid surveys in the region have found that approximately 65% of the adult population is illiterate and due to the lack of school facilities, this trend is continuing with young generations. Nearly one third of children are not attending school and can’t read or write.

The local community helped to construct the school originally because there was no other provision for their children. The buildings, made of mud walls were falling down and dust constantly blew through the classrooms, causing high levels of trachoma and bronchitis in both pupils and teachers. Many pupils ended up missing classes due to ill health. Drop-out rates were 50% higher than the district average and low budget allocation from the Government had hindered efforts by the regional and district administrations to improve the enrolment and retention rates of children in line with the Millennium Development Goals which aim for education for all and gender equality in education.

With Teneo’s project, we’ve:

  • Ensured that 400 pupils are able to benefit from an improved learning environment as a result of the construction of the two new school blocks
  • Contributed to increased enrolment at Tigir Primary School from 653 in 2012/2013 to 1,009 in 2014/2015.
  • Improved the management of the Tigir Primary School to foster better quality teaching and management of resources
  • Strengthened the relationship between the local community, the school governance structure and the District Education Office to ensure sustainable change.

And, due to underspend on the original project, we’ve been able to provide an electricity supply to the school, which will provide lighting. This is particularly important for the adults who are keen to further their own education by attending evening sessions in the classrooms.