When we visited the Meskerem School earlier this summer, Seble Zewdu, the principal at this school since 2016, enthusiastically shared her school’s accomplishments and challenges in recent years.
The primary school, located in Bahar Dar, Ethiopia, welcomes students from kindergarten to grade 8; and serves a poor neighbourhood where many families struggle to make ends meet. The socio-economic conditions - among other factors - impact children’s enrollment, retention, learning outcomes and completion. Faced with these challenges, how did the Meskerem School manage to become a model for other schools in the region?
The Meskerem School is among 40,000 Ethiopian schools supported by the General Education Quality Improvement Program (GEQIP), a multi-donor fund to which GPE has contributed US$368 million since 2008, to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools.
Through GEQIP, GPE and other development partners supported the Meskerem School by funding capacity building activities for school administrators to develop strong school improvement plans (SIPs) and allocated school grants to fund agreed priorities. Complementary to these activities, GEQIP also supported the distribution of free textbooks to students, provided teachers with in-service training and helped women transition from teaching to leadership positions.