Jalale’s story: Yesterday a student, today a teacher
December 23, 2019 by GPE Secretariat |
3 minutes read
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A teacher who recently graduated compares how the teaching methods she learned at the Sebeta College of Teacher Education in Ethiopia have improved from what she herself experienced when she was in primary school.

20-year-old Jalale Genati has recently graduated from the Sebeta College of Teacher Education located in the region of Oromia, Ethiopia. After completing the three-year program, Jalale is excited about starting her career as a teacher with the hope to become a role model for her future students.

Jalale’s own role model was her grade 1 school teacher, who sparked her interest in reading by lending her books from the school’s small library. The strong influence from her teacher has had a lasting effect - Jalale now aspires to be a source of inspiration for her own students.

Past and present teaching methods

Now that Jalale is a teacher, she compares how modern teaching methods have improved from those her teachers applied when she was a student.

Jalale recalls that her primary school environment wasn’t conducive to learning. In her classroom, the walls and floor were made of mud and therefore, lessons were interrupted when it rained due to the lack of doors and windows. Essentially, students’ ability to learn was left at the mercy of the weather.

To aggravate the situation, her classrooms didn’t have any desks or chairs so Jalale, along with her classmates, had to sit on stones. The lack of appropriate furniture prevented students from being able to work in groups and made it hard for teachers to cater to students with different learning needs.

Jalale’s grade 1 teacher relied on the “chalk-and-talk” method, a lecture-driven pedagogy where students hardly participated during lessons. Jalale felt bored and unengaged during class; the teaching method didn’t inspire her to focus and learn.

With reforms in education, teaching and learning conditions are now gradually improving in the country, and the traditional teaching methods are being replaced with modern approaches.

During her teacher training, Jalale learned different ways to deliver interactive lessons to students, allowing them to take active roles and ask questions. These methods - based on active-learning and child-centered approaches - promote joyful and meaningful learning while helping improve students’ learning outcomes.

In an effort to respond to the needs of children with disabilities, Jalale learned introductory courses of sign language and braille. She has learned how to effectively manage students; moving away from traditional practices of corporal punishment.

Jalale also learned how to prepare effective lesson plans, which help her structure the lessons and ensure she meets the objectives outlined in the curriculum.

More trained teachers

Jalale is among the graduates from colleges of teacher education to become primary school teachers. The Sebeta College of Teacher Training is one of the institutions supported by the General Education Quality Improvement Program (GEQIP), a multi-donor fund supported by GPE and other donors, with the aim to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Ethiopia’s schools. Since teachers form the backbone of the education system, GEQIP has a strong focus on improving teacher quality through training and other interventions.

In an effort to improve the pre-service training of teachers, GEQIP promoted the following interventions:

  • Improving the selection of entrants to teacher training
  • Providing teaching and learning materials
  • Enhancing the practicum for teacher candidates
  • Providing in-service pedagogical training for teacher educators.

These efforts are part of a wider initiative by GEQIP to improve teacher development, which also focuses on improving the quality of in-service teacher training, licensing, and relicensing of teachers and school leaders.

Nearly 83,000 primary and 25,000 secondary teacher trainees graduated from diploma and post-graduate diploma teaching programs during GEQIP. Additionally, some 106,000 in-service primary teachers completed their upgrading programs from certificate to diploma, and 59,000 secondary teachers from bachelor degree (in non-teaching fields) to a post-graduate degree in teaching.

Along with other newly graduated teachers across Ethiopia, Jalale is now equipped with modern teaching methods and skills to transform the way children learn.

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Sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia

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