FRIENDS OF 50 YEARS Contributed By Mitiku Dibessa
Jimma College of Teacher Education was established in September, 1968 as teacher training institution. It is now 50 years since the institution began training teachers. In those 50 years, the TEI has trained approximately 50,000 primary school teachers. Currently, it is hard to find universities in Ethiopia where there are no former students of our college and todays’ professors. Generally, the contribution of the college to the development of Ethiopia in political, economic and social areas is tremendous.
The overall success and achievement of 50 years would have been impossible without the support of national and international partners. At this juncture, it is reasonable to look back and reflect on their contributions.
- German Based NGOs (GTZ, KFW)
When the institution began training in 1961, most of the teacher educators were from Germany. Actually, most of the Ethiopian teacher educators at times were trained in Germany with the support of the Government of Germany. German based NGOs such as GTZ, KFW were the notable supporters. GTZ had been supporting Jimma College of Teacher Education not only by providing different training resources but also organizing different continuous teacher development training sessions for teacher educators. KFW supported the construction of training blocks to be used as a resource center where training materials are prepared and displayed. Parts of the building are used for offices.
The following is the block constructed with support from KFW.
USAID has been the most unforgettable partner for its an reserved support during our 50 years’ service. The organization is particularly remembered for the support given when the institution was upgraded college level and began training teachers with diploma. Different training resources (computers, printers and office furniture were donated by USAID.
With regard to human resource development, there was Staff Development Unit (SDU) supported by USAID. The unit was aimed at improving the quality training by supporting teacher trainers engaged in CPD. The USAID support was not limited to college. As a major partner, the two parties have been providing professional and material support for primary schools of Jimma and South West Showa Zones. The College believes the support and the partnership will continue in the years to come.
Development Expertise Center (DEC) is reputable indigenous Non-Governmental Organization established about thirteen years ago. Since its foundation, the organization has been the most respected partner of Jimma College of Teacher Education. As partners, the two organizations have been working on improving the quality of teaching in primary schools of Jimma and South West Showa Zones. Most of the projects implemented by the partners focused on providing on-job professional training. These projects are unique as they particularly focus on providing classroom based support and the trainings are supported by classroom videos. Besides, early childhood care and development, C4C, SLH and others have been effective projects we worked on with Edukans and DEC. Such solid relationship between the two partners is hoped to continue for the next 50 years.
Our strong relationship with DEC helped the college to work with not only with Edukans but also with University of Amsterdam. The professional support given to our teacher educators and primary school teachers by the two organizations (Edukans and University of Amsterdam) has created a significant impact on the nature of training at college level and the nature of teaching in primary schools of the project area. Generally, DEC, Edukans and University of Amsterdam have contributed a lot for the achievements of the college in the last fifty years. On the occasion of our 50th year anniversary the college would like to acknowledge their supports. The college hopes the partnership will continue in the years to come.
- Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) had been working with Jimma College of Teacher Education for many years. Voluntaries came each year and were supporting the college for two to four years. They providing professional support for teacher educators and primary school teachers. They supported the college in improving staff ICT skills. Those Voluntaries highly remembered by all staff as they were the ones who introduced Higher Diploma Program in the college.
The organization also funded the construction of eight separate toilets in eight primary schools for female students. The toilets solved the hygiene problems facing female students. At the result of the construction of the toilets, female students’ dropout rate reduced and completion rate increased. The contribution of the organization for the successful achievement of the college goal was highly significant which need to be remembered on the occasion of the College 50th year Diamond Jubilee.
- UNESCO, OSSA and Ethiopian Family Guidance Association:
The three partners provided support not only by training the college female trainees but also by donating hygiene materials. As a result of the support female trainees’ dropout rate and unwanted pregnancy decreased, achievement improved. The college recognizes that the support is neither the first nor the last.
- UNICEF and SOS:
The two partners particularly have been supporting the training of preschool teachers. Besides, UNICEF provides material resource such as indoor and outdoor paly materials for preschools. As the saying goes, “As planted shall the tree grow” Jimma College of Teacher Education is planning to focus on preschool children in the years to come. To this end, we hope that the support of those two partners will continue in the years to come.