A large primary school several miles from Jidda’s stone road, so without electricity.
The 3 buildings in the middle of the school compound are classrooms.
The teachers live on site, in the buildings on the right.
The small building on the left is the school’s toilet block, a pit latrine.
A classroom just after it had been built.
There was no money to pay for the furniture that was needed.
After visiting this school, we arranged for a local workshop to build desks to a government-approved design.
A before-and-after picture of a school stockroom.
We funded these locally made shelves to make it easier for the school to function.
Even smallish projects like this can make a big difference.
Jidda’s only kindergarten is housed in a brand new building.
Thanks to our funding, when it opened they had these new tables and chairs.
We have made further furniture donations to help them cope with their rising numbers.
We also took a large bag of musical instruments which delighted the children.
Teachers work very hard to make up for a lack of commercially produced teaching aids. .
We have helped by purchasing reference books for school libraries, and teaching posters to go on classroom walls.
Teachers often have to live on the school site.
In this school there is no electricity and the accommodation is very cramped.
Three teachers share this very small room.
We provided solar powered lights for the staff accommodation.
There have been a number of occasions when the village elders have arranged to meet us at a school we have helped.
They tell us how our help has encouraged parents to show more interest in the schools, and attendance has improved.
Providing a better school environment also encourages teachers to work in these remote localities.
Education in Jidda
The network of twenty or so roughly-built schools is a very recent addition to the Jidda landscape, with most schools being less than 10 years old. Most older people (and this includes many of the parents of the current school population) have never been to school.
The central government’s aim has been for all children to be enrolled to ensure they all have a basic education, while at the same time trying to build up some secondary level provision to give the more high-flying pupils a chance to get higher academic qualifications, which can lead to a wider choice of jobs and access to college or university education.
The task is a massive one, and made even bigger because the population is young and growing fast.
To cope with the numbers, a 2-shift system operates, with different students in school in the mornings and afternoons. Classes can still be very big (50 plus).
There has been a crash teacher training program to get a huge number of teachers ready to deliver the curriculum. Teaching staff, mostly young, some with families, and most from outside Jidda, usually live in very cramped rooms within their school’s compound, or in nearby hamlets.
Our Schools involvement
By 2015 there were 7 schools receiving our help, including the kindergarten and secondary school based in Jidda’s only town, Sirti.
Although each school’s needs are different, there are recurring themes in their requests, always pointing to some shortfall between what the school should have and what it has actually got. This information was the starting point for our involvement.
Our help was practical and mainly long-lasting (like pupils’ desks and book cases; blackboards, reference books, and radios to receive educational broadcasts), though we also gave sports equipment and musical instruments which have high appeal to the children.
Some schools don’t have toilets, or hand-washing materials, or a drinking water supply. Teachers have shown us their living conditions, and asked for help to improve them.
Our school-to-school partnerships
Each time we visited a school or a community, we became a little better known, and we learned a little more. The stories we told, helped by photos and video, were a valuable resource for children and teachers in Shropshire schools, raising awareness of the lives of people in a very different part of the world.
We built a series of partnerships where fund-raising activities by school children in Shropshire are directly supporting partnered schools in Jidda.
As well as being very active fundraisers, our Shropshire partner schools found other ways of helping, like sending surplus school sweatshirts or sports kits.
For more information local schools and the support they gave see our Shropshire schools pages.
SHEPEthiopia is a working name for the "Support for Health and Education Projects in Ethiopia", UK charity No. 1161261
Page updated 13/06/2019