Without Peace, We Cannot Walk One Step: Ethiopia MoE Holds In-Country ToTs for Peace-Building

When he returns to Gambela region, Mr. Assefa, a teacher trainer, will first sensitize college administrators as part of his strategic plan to cascade the training on transformative pedagogy for peace-building. He has just received this training as part of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education’s (MoE’s) In-country Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop  on Peace-Building held from 27 November – 1 December 2017 in Awasa, Ethiopia. He states, ‘I will share what I have learned, such as the importance of ethical values in peace-building education, with civic education instructors and pre-service secondary-school teachers.’

Another participant, Mr. Arefeaynie of Aysita College of Teacher Education in Afar, explains that  this training was unlike any other he had experienced, stating that ‘transformative pedagogy is new for me; for the first time, I understand the need to motivate students through discovery learning and to encourage them to become peacemakers within their communities, moving the learning beyond the classroom.’ 

Figure 1. Searching for Peace on Day 1 of Ethiopia MoE’s In-Country Training for Peace-Building

Many of the 50 participants say that teacher training for peace-building fills an existing gap. For instance, Mr. Fetene Bulcha, a teacher trainer at Jima Teacher Education College, points out that many teacher trainers and teachers are not yet aware of educating for peace-building, insisting ‘they must also be trained as we have been trained.’ He feels very passionate about reducing conflict in the Horn of Africa, stating firmly, ‘without peace, we cannot walk forward one step in our lives; we need it as individuals and as a society; we need it for our survival and success; youth need it for their survival and success.’

It is evident that these teacher trainers who hail from nine regions across Ethiopia were very impressed by the training workshop and are committed to cascading the training in their own institutions.

Ethiopia’s in-country ToT activity is a critical part of UNESCO-IICBA’s Teacher Training and Development for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa and Surrounding Countries project, supported by the Government of Japan. Mr Legesse, Civic and Ethical Education Programs General Director, officially opened the workshop, thanking IICBA and Japan, while Mr. Daniel Abebe, General Education Civic and Ethical Education Program Director welcomed the participants and facilitators, who had received their own training in Entebbe Uganda in September 2017. Both spent several hours assisting participants with creating practical and effective cascading plans for their regions and institutions.  

Figure 2. Participants build a bridge to actively learn about elements of assessment

UNESCO IICBA was represented by Ms. Eyerusalem Azmeraw, Project Officer, Ms. Elsa Belay Gabermariam, Project Assistant and Dr. Martha K. Ferede, Project Coordinator, who led several of the training sessions. Dr. Yonas, Assistant Professor of Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University, the key facilitator motivated participants with a dynamic and engaging style.

Ethiopia’s MOE indicates that the cascading at institutional levels and national policy dialogue will take place over the next several months, with the country aiming to train over 2000 pre-service secondary-school teachers and teacher-trainers.