Paul Walters, Development Director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), met school leaders, teachers, students and EDT TARGET programme staff at Misrak Goh Secondary School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to see and hear about inclusivity. Mr Walters’ team oversees project funding in Ethiopia.
He was welcomed with an overview presentation of the TARGET intervention and the National School Leadership Training (NSLT) reforms. TARGET aims to improve learning outcomes for Ethiopian children by improving school leaders’ capacity, reducing dropout and repetition rates, increasing the number of inclusive schools and enhancing participation of disadvantaged learners. NSLT has trained 1,536 school leaders and reached over a million students as a result.
Leaders of the TARGET and NSLT programmes – Dr Abdu Zeleke and Ms Tigest Tefera – emphasised that the close collaboration with the FCDO team and the overall support of EDT have been integral to the programme’s success so far.
Mr Walters observed a lesson and visited a Menstrual Health Management classroom, which serves the girls of the school by providing sanitary towels as well as a place to rest. He also discussed the positive impacts of the TARGET programme with teachers and students. He commended the school for the ways in which it has prioritised inclusivity; and was impressed that the school leadership team, its teachers and students, all spoke to him about how they are empowered to support this inclusion agenda.
Teachers said that TARGET has been a welcome intervention that has improved their relationship with school leaders. They feel empowered because they now have instructional leaders to support them. Students told Mr Walters how they appreciate the efforts of the school management to ensure a more inclusive school environment.
It is good to see the NSLT programme building the capacity of school leaders, as they have a big responsibility in shaping so many young lives supporting and nurturing many young teachers.
Paul Walters, Development Director at the FCDO