- No, there are no rivers and birds here Answer from the class and the teacher
The Ethiopian school system has many surprises in store for us, and we quickly become aware of them.
First surprise, an authorization from the regional education office is required to make workshops in Ethiopian public schools. Despite the administrative constraints and thanks to the involvement of our friend Yéchi facilitating the dialogue with the school principal, we are able to set up the « Libellule Days » in a public school in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Second surprise, students have one teacher per subject from primary school classes. It is therefore difficult to involve the geography teacher in our project since there are only 45 minutes left in the class before being replaced by the English teacher. The science teacher is designated as the project's referent by the principal, which allows us to consider a continuity of reflection after our intervention thanks to the sheets and materials left on site.
One Monday morning, we witnessed the flag raising in the courtyard of the « Yetebaberut Memeheran school » before welcoming class 6A (48 students dressed in red and blue uniforms) into the school library. Through classroom participation, the homework made with seriousness and knowledge of science and geography, we feel the importance of schooling for these young students.
The next day we attend the sports class before continuing the workshops. The age differences observed the day before are even more obvious on an athletics track! Indeed, in this fourth grade class, the oldest are 16 years old. We find these teenagers at the back of the class while the youngest students settle in the first row. Among them, a future astrophysicist and a future archaeologist, it is in any case their wishes for the future.
For these days, we are accompanied by Yéchi, an Ethiopian and perfectly French-speaking woman. With the teacher, they translate our interventions into Amharic and then the students' answers into French or English.
By adapting the « Libellule days » to the different constraints of size, language, material and time slots, students were able to take part in the different workshops, teachers discovered interactive pedagogical tools and we could see the place of nature in the perception of these young city dwellers.
After this first Ethiopian experience, we can see how much adaptability and flexibility will be valuable qualities during this itinerant project.