Project with US Embassy and the widernet.

This project was fully funded by the US Embassy public affair office. After having interned into an agreement, we have selected 100 girls student of grade 11 from 10 public schools. 10 student from each school in Addis Ababa, set for filtering examination and interviewed, out of which  4 were selected from Each school. Hence this project was started with 40 girls, as its first of its kind of project in the country, or maybe in our region.

The aim of the GCC project was intended to address girls to girls so that girls mentors from University will assist girl students from high school to promote STEM.  Hence we selected university girl student from related STEM subjects. They were selected and passed through different filtering mechanism to be the mentor of the Girls from high school. It was a great success, as it created a conducive atmosphere, that every student were free to express themselves, participate in extra activities such as dancing, singing, sharing their life experience, bring different success stories they read about, at their break time. It is a good experience and they can be our champions back at their school to expand such activities. This was not possible with male mentors, especially in our culture settings.

 

At the end of the project, we were able to see a strong GCC family between all participants, that keep the relationship and trust for each other to promote what they learned and benefited, to the school community where they come from by establishing a GCC club. In the process, they will keep the relation and support between their schools in such activities and share their experience to strengthen their success and develop an ability to solve their problems cope with challenges.

Directed by their mentors, students were able to develop four web-based group project, in the following areas,  and assisted one program to convert to a local language.

 

These are:-

1. Support tourism by creating a database that connects the visitors, tourist guides and selected places.

2. Based on the response to the questioners to the student, the program was made to determine their field of interest.

3. A program that assists high school student, by providing a question bank, to exercise with, and get feedback, to be assisted to pass the national exam.

4. Program to assist a student to change their placement, within universities and give information about every university in the country and their faculty.

5. Assisted in creating the local language clock called “Yeneta Seat memaria”

More information.

Dr. Jill Biden Speaks at Girls Can Code Graduation

New York (TADIAS) — Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, was in Ethiopia this past weekend where she spoke at a Girls Can Code graduation ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa.

Although this was Dr. Jill Biden’s first travel to Ethiopia, she was quick to point out that she is familiar with the country through her own interaction with Ethiopian students in the U.S.

“This is my first trip to Ethiopia but I’ve heard so much about your country from my own students — many of whom are from Ethiopia,” Dr. Biden, a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College in Virginia, told the graduates in Ethiopia. “They’ve shared with me their hopes and dreams through their journals and writing assignments.”

According to the project description posted by The Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, the Girls Can Code program, which is funded by the U.S. government, is “designed to teach high school girls essential computer technology skills that will help them succeed in higher education, specifically in STEM-related courses, and help position them to succeed in careers in STEM fields.”

In her commencement speech Dr. Biden, who has been a teacher for over 30 years, added: “Programs like Girls Can Code are helping high school girls around the world learn computer and IT skills. It’s designed to empower and inspire young girls — not only to join STEM fields at the university level but to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM fields and become future leaders in technology.”

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Challenges and future plan for GCC

  1. course preparation

WiderNet determined to develop a course content based on the aim of the project, and introduce new technology that assists both the instructors and trainees to achieve the desired goal. Because of Internet band width problem and related issues, it was advisable to introduce an off-line digital library system. .

  • EGranary off line library:- We deployed eGranary off line library system that runs on 12 volt, which student can access basic and advanced resources in different fields including life style, language, health portal, wikipedia and more. Nevertheless,  the type of network set in the lab by ministry of education was not as flexible as we expected to deliver the service.
  • Hand held library chips:- to solve problem of Network to access the resource we developed a library system on a memory stick, that student can carry  and refer to both in the time of training and at their home. The library chip-set contains course materials and references to keep the student well informed in the technology and related fields.
  • Hard copy  resource and training manual: as most of students do not have devices to use the library out of the lab, we were also prepared the training manual, assignments, exercises and quizzes, on paper or hard copy.
  • Uploaded most of our training materials to the page site so that student can access additional resource ( that can not be available on paper),  when they have  Internet access in and out of their classroom.

 

  1. Allocating accessible training center:-

As the students come from different coroner of the city public schools, it was mandatory to be fair and find accessible location for the student and mentors and the embassy people, as they have been involved in the life skill training and follow-up.

In collaboration and discussion with ministry of education, we have selected a school named “ Minilik the 2nd high Secondary and   preparatory school” and started training until the American Corner in the city was prepared and setup the required lab. The Training continued for more than 6 months, in the same place and switched to Current American space in April 2016.   It was  well equipped with necessary devices to carry out similar training and more. It was somehow better in the space for the last two months where we have worked most of our project that is applicable and solve community problem. Projects they developed was a good experience to the participants for their further activities and training.

Our success

As it is well stated in our previous report, the aim of the GCC project was intended to address girls to girls, so that girls mentors from University will assist girl students from high school to promote STEM.  Hence we selected university girl student from related STEM subjects. They were  selected and passed through different  filtering mechanism to be mentor of the Girls from high school. It was a great success, as it created a conducive atmosphere, that every students were free to express themselves, participate in extra activities such as dancing, singing, sharing their life experience, bring different success stories they read about, at their break time. It is a good experience and they can be our champions back at their school to expand such activities. This was not possible with male mentors, especially in our culture settings.

 

Though we had 4 extra trainers that replace in-case of absence of the assigned trainers, mostly because of activities related to their university study, at the end of the year or in months of May and June, almost all girls from university were unable to assist the student, as it was time for exam and study to both the students and  trainers. The time for the training was elongated and took more than the expected time to cover the course and finalize the training. I am very great-full about the dedication everybody have had to make the training and project-work successful, by working  the whole day and sometimes the whole week  for unpaid extra hours, because of limitation of the budget.

 

At the end of the project we were able to see a strong GCC family between all participants, that keep the relationship and trust for each other to promote what they learned and benefited, to the school community where they come from by establishing a GCC club. In the process they will keep the relation and support between their schools in such activities and share their experience to strengthen their success and develop ability to solve their  problems cope with challenges.

 

Directed by their mentors, students were able to develop four web-based group project, in the following areas,  and assisted one program to convert to local language.

.These are:-

  1. Support tourism by creating a database that connects the visitors, tourist guides and selected places.
  2. Based on the response to the questioners to the student, the program was made to determines their field of interest.
  3. A program that assist high school student, by providing a question bank, to exercise with, and get feedback , to be assisted to pass the national exam.
  4. Program to assist student to change their placement, within universities and give information about every universities in the country and their faculty.
  5. Assisted in creating the local language clock called “Yeneta Seat memaria”

 

Output of the GCC project.

 

Most of our trainers have got permanent and par-time Job, through the experience they developed in participating and mentoring GCC students.

 

We helped the embassy to expand similar activities to other region based on the experience they learned from this pilot project.

 

Though we were not selected for the expanded project, we were able to identify courses, that was most helpful to the students in their codding, from the experience we have learned from the pilot project.

 

Close relation and support from the embassy public affairs and IT Stuff was the key to our success. These support were able to create strong relationship between  the GCC community and the US embassy. Two of our GCC girl students were able to get full scholarship and free preparation training  to join  US University is one of our example.

 

We were able to see the improvement of the student in their school academic result in both first and second semester,  by scoring 1st to 5rd place in their respective school. This result created positive feeling by their parents towards our training, as they were hesitant in the beginning for fear of the time they spent in codding, might have negative impact on their school activities and national exam.

 

The student developed, confidence to determine their destiny, skill to communicate with all sex and student from different walk of life, and see each other with equality, that proves sex different has nothing to do with academic achievements.

 

Out of 40 student that started the training 37 were able to complete successfully. This shows that we have only 3 dropouts because of different reason, that might be maintain in the future or family matters. 92.5% successful completion of the training was highly promising to our mutual effort.

 

Future Plan

With the real problem in girl’s education in the country, this activity can only be considered as a pilot project and the output is very satisfactory, that motivate interested group   to work in the Area. AS an organization that pass through different challenges and come out with a result that can be implemented in and outside the country, we are happy to work with, share our experience and continue the same project in all regions in the country.