We have opened the 15th school from collection on November 30th 2013 in Woininata village. The site was chosen carefully. Out of five candidates, the Woininata village was selected mainly because there were many school-age children unable to attend school, villagers were keen to help during the construction process and locality was accessible by car.
Villagers had already built and used a school there before. It was built using mud and timber but it was so basic that it was unable to meet the needs of village children. „The classrooms were dark, full of dust and mud and over-crowded. I had to squeeze into a single classroom sometimes even with another 100 classmates. I had often shared one desk with four others. Roof was leaking and windows broken, so we were not safe from rain and wind“ describes Emnet Elias, a 6th grade student in Woininata.
Situation was not easy also for teachers either. Director Bekela Alabo describes: “My colleagues were crammed with pupils in full classrooms. It was very difficult to move around. Chairs were missing so children often sat on stones. In such environment it was impossible to focus on every single student.”
News school attracts new students and teachers
New school building that PIN constructed changed all of this. Four new classrooms will accommodate 200 students, with two-shift-approach (morning and evening classes) up to 400. Many of the kids that had been unable to go to school before now have a chance to get education. “This year we have 196 new students and I expect this number to be even higher as the new school building attracts additional students and teachers,” says Bekela.
PIN also trained the teachers how to use modern education methods during the classes. “We try to avoid memorizing. Instead, we work closely with students and we want them to be actively involved. Children work together in small groups trying to solve the task given. Teacher then only checks the outcome,” explains Bekele.
New school building in Woininata is also equipped with rainwater catchment system and with new latrines. Original toilets were damaged and you had to walk one hour to get to the nearest water point.
More kids get complete education
One of the goals PIN achieved by construction of the new school building was to enable pupils to finish also 7th and 8th grade of elementary education directly in the village. Before then, when you finished the 6th grade you had to go to other school (with 7th and 8th grade classes) which was far away. Every day kids had to walk five kilometers there and another five back, which consumed a lot of their time. This caused that many quit school prematurely as they had to also had their duties at home.
Fifteen year old Emnet know very well what she wants to do after finishing school in Woininata: “I would like to continue to high school. My dream is to work as an engineer. I would also like to start an NGO that would help poor girls like me to get education.”