College

We are working at Abbiyi Addi College of Teacher Education (CTE) in the north of Ethiopia. CTEs are for the training of primary school teachers, the students attending over a three year period to gain a diploma that will allow them to teach grades 5 to 8 in elementary schools. The teachers for grades 1 to 4 only have to complete a one-year certificate, and they don’t attend this college. Teachers for high schools are university graduates and degree holders. Abbiyi Addi College is about 14 years old, and most of the students are from surrounding villages and small towns in the region. Here is a quick tour of the college…

The college itself is located about 3.5 km outside of the town and is surrounded by fields and countryside. You enter the college through this main gate…

Once inside the main gate you’ll notice the two service buses that ferry staff back and forth to the town twice a day…

On the left you’ll find the main focus of the college for most of the staff – the staff lounge! Over cups of tea and coffee almost all business is done here and many a meeting happens… whilst watching the latest action from the Premier League.

Walking a little further on you’ll enter the administration block. The Dean and Vice-Deans have their offices here, as well as the stock cupboard and the finance office…

On the other side of the office block is a courtyard. To the left of the courtyard is the college library, a recent building, stocked quite well with donated textbooks from America and elsewhere…

Directly across from the office block is the teaching block. There are about 10-15 classrooms, where the students have their classes, 3rd years in the morning and 1st and 2nd years in the afternoon. Most classes are given in a traditional lecture style with minimal student input.

Leaving the teaching block and heading away from the office block you can find the student areas. First, there is the student cafeteria, which also has a small shop for biscuits, soap etc. Next to that is the main hall, which is used for large meetings, student meals and a place for the students to hang out. Often we can see them watching MTV all day in there. Apparently, most of the students take their meals off the campus as well, feeling the food is not as good from the campus kitchens.After this, we then head out towards the student dormitories. The policy has recently changed where all the female students now live on the campus with the boys having to live off the campus in town (but paid for by a college allowance). At this college it seems to be 4 or 5 students to a room, whereas other more overcrowded campuses have 12 or more students sharing.

Continuing past the student dorms you’ll end up at the cow shed – the college has 3 or 4 cows providing milk to some of the staff and kitchens. Sometimes the cows are left to wander around the campus, munching on whatever grass they can find. Near to the cow shed is the sports field, where occasionally football matches are played, but you can always find students studying there, prefering to sit outside on the rocky ground rather than inside the often empty library.A right turn then takes us towards the staff accommodation, numbering about 20 homes, of which we have one. The staff totals about 60 so most staff live off campus but living on campus has been a great convenience to us. Overall, it’s quite a large site with ample room for expansion. The setting, although some way out of town, is wonderful and it’s always nice to walk around the surroundings and watch the sun set over the nearby cliffs and fields.