The education and training programme plays a crucial role for the development of children and youth. SOS Children's Villages Ethiopia is running seven SOS Kindergartens, six SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools (SOS HGS), two SOS vocational training colleges, and one international school based on Cambridge curriculum for secondary school (International General Certificate for Secondary Education). All facilities in general and SOS Kindergartens and SOS HGSs in particular offer education to our target group as well as students coming from the neighboring communities.
We are running a total of seven SOS Kindergartens in all programme locations. These kindergartens provide early childhood education to kids of aged four to seven. All SOS KGs are attended by children from both SOS Children's Villages and the surrounding community. In our KGs, all the efforts and resources are directed towards an overall personal development of the child. To this effect, SOS KGs pursue the four developmental objectives. These are: physical development; cognitive and language development, affective and social development and aesthetic development. All arrangements and activities pursued in the interest of meeting these objectives have the three key elements of learning namely: "knowledge", "skills" and "attitude" at their centres.
We have six SOS Hermann Gmeiner primary and secondary schools in Mekelle, Harrar, Hawassa, Bahir Dar, Gode, and Jimma. The schools render quality education to the direct beneficiaries of SOS Children's Villages programme units (Alternative Child Care, Family and Community Development Program and Scholarship students) as well as other sections of the surrounding community. The schools are very well known in delivering quality education and registering outstanding results in national examinations. Below is brief information about the schools in different perspectives.
SOS HGS implement a lot of quality improvement initiatives to ensure delivery of quality education. Among these initiatives is the target setting programme where each individual child is assisted to set realistic performance targets and is supported by both teachers and his/her parents to achieve it.
Yet another wonderful programme that has been implemented is the Academic and Life Skill Development Programme (ALSDP). In this programme, teachers, administration and professional staffs of the village and the schools, students, crossage tutors, peer tutors, volunteers, and adult tutors take part in providing needs-based support to the academic and life skills development of children from SOS children's Villages.
The other initiative is the use of technology in classroom instruction. Secondary school science teachers have use different standard power point presentations and animations for classroom instruction purpose. The other dimension to the quality improvement initiative is the development of the capacity of teachers and the school management members. Working in close consultation with parents and students in school leadership also took the lion's share of quality improvement initiatives in our schools.
The strong foundation and attention to quality education coupled with the different measures the schools took resulted in very robust achievements by students. Notably, students from all SOS Hermann Gmeiner schools regularly score very high in both the Regional and National Examinations and maintained 100% pass rate. Almost all the schools were selected by the respective regional education bureau as the best school in their respective region.
SOS IGCSE (International General Certificate for Secondary Education) is a special school which works towards preparing students from different SOS Children's Villages in Ethiopia for International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) Examination. Upon the successful completion of the study, students are provided with an internationally recognized and standardized certificate from Cambridge University. The students' assessment is made by an external examining body, Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), UK. The IGCSE school is a two-levels programme completed in two years’ time,IG1 (grade 9) and IG2 (grade 10).
SOS Nursing School Mekelle has been in operation since October 2001. The college is providing quality nursing training to youth drawn from SOS Children's Villages Programme units (Alternative Child Crae and Family and Community Development) and disadvantaged segments of the community.
Nurses are needed not only in hospitals and small clinics, but also in rural areas, where access to any type of modern health care is limited. Besides that, the college gives young people the opportunity to learn a profession with good prospect for employment. It also helps reinforce core values, such as compassion, respect, teamwork, and communication, fully preparing the youth for careers in the medical field.
The college works in close collaboration with government health offices at the federal and regional level.
In 1985, the SOS Vocational Training Centre Kality became operational in the suburb of Addis Ababa. Interested SOS youths from all over Ethiopia get priority to undergo up to three-year high-grade professional training in Automotive Engine Service, Automotive Power Train and Chassis Service, General Metal Fabrication and Assembly and Furniture making from level I to level IV. SOS Vocational Training College Kality provided technical and vocational education and training for youth drawn from SOS Children's Villages Ethiopia (from Alternative Child Care and family and Community Development Program) as well as the surrounding community.
The college has a good reputation in delivering quality training that helps the students to secure jobs even prior to their official graduation. It also produces furniture to SOS facilities. It has a good partnership with relevant government offices, and private companies. The college also serves as one of the few centers of competency in Addis Ababa where graduates of technical and vocational colleges take competency exams.
The college also organizes short term training for SOS youth during summer time when the schools are closed with the objective of attracting more youth to the college after completing secondary education.
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