"I have a dream to become a doctor to serve my community"

Accelerated Learning Programme creates opportunities for overage out-of-school children

Hailu Workeneh
"I have a dream to become a doctor to serve my community"
UNICEF Ethiopia/2022/Hailu Workeneh
13 May 2022

Chilga, Dembia, Amhara region - Emyte Amroye, a 13-year-old student, started her education in Gijen primary school in September 2018 and dropped out after her school was damaged due to the escalation of the conflict in November 2018.

“The situation was horrible - houses burnt, cattle looted, our school damaged, teaching-learning materials burnt, and people killed and displaced. In 2019, the government rehabilitated our school and reponed it, but I did not get a chance to go to school for the last three years because my parents made me look after cattle and goats. I was also afraid of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all these challenges, I stayed out of school. It was really painful to see my friends going to school regularly,” recalls Emyte.

In 2021, UNICEF, in partnership with World Vision Ethiopia as part of the project supported by Education Cannot Wait Multi-Year Resilience Programme, started the implementation of the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) to recover the learning loss of conflict and COVID-19 and create learning opportunities in a safe and protective environment in Gijen primary school in Chilga/Dembia woreda (district). With this support, Emyte and her other six siblings are currently attending the Gijen primary school.

Through the coordinated support from the Government, World Vision, and UNICEF, Gijen primary school has organized continuous back-to-school advocacy campaigns and Emyte was enrolled in the accelerated learning programme in January 2022. The programme helped Emyte complete grades one to three by the end of September 2022.

The support that was provided so far includes the recruitment and training of facilitators, development and review of condensed curriculum materials in collaboration with the Amhara Regional Education Bureau, teachers’ guides, provision and rehabilitation of WASH facilities, provision of stationery and play materials, capacity building of teachers, supervisors and school directors on child rights, protection, child-friendly pedagogy and assessment for learning.

“I feel happy because I am playing with my friends in the school using volleyball and jumping ropes, and am learning with the support of good teachers, I read storybooks and use stationery materials received from the school. I drink clear water and use a latrine for girls. I make sure my hands are clean using handwashing facilities and sanitisers in the school,” said Emyte with a smile.

This innovative and accelerated learning programme gives hope and opportunity to learn to Emyte and other overage students.

“I hope I will be promoted to grade 4 during the next academic year and can catch up with all my learning. Then I will start to learn in the regular class. I have a dream to become a doctor to serve my community. Patients in our community could not recover from their illnesses due to a lack of doctors, nurses, and medicine. I would like to thank UNICEF and World Vision for their support to the accelerated learning programme that helped me and another overage out-of-school children to study in Gijen primary school,” said Emyte.