Tsadkan: the pre-school teacher who makes toys for children
Tigray region, Ethiopia
Quality pre-primary education is the foundation of a child’s journey: every stage of an education that follows relies on its success. Yet, nearly half of all pre-primary-age children around the world miss this chance.
In Ethiopia, pre-primary education has only recently started to pick up, with enrolment levels increasing from less than 2 per cent in 2000 to over 45 per cent in 2017. More children are now accessing pre-primary education through a one year programme called ‘O’ class. Along with building political commitment and increasing investments to sustain access, Ethiopia needs more pre-primary teachers to reach its ever-increasing young generation which is ready to learn.
On this World Teachers Day, we celebrate Tsadkan Demissie, a dedicated pre-school teacher who finds her own creative ways to teach six-year-old children in the rural village of Mequat, Tigray Region, Ethiopia.
When Tsadkan started her first day of work at Mequat Primary School eight years ago, the ‘O’ class was untidy, dark and there were no toys for the children to play with. She decided to change everything.
“She is a great teacher. I still remember the paper birds she made to teach us about numbers. I still love maths and I want to be a maths teacher,” says 12-year-old Milkawit.
UNICEF calls on governments to increase their domestic budget allocation to pre-primary education. Donors are also urged to allocate at least 10% of education aid to pre-primary education, including in humanitarian crises, to catalyze and complement public resources.