On 3 March 2017, His Excellency, Minister of Education Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam, along with his close aides visited the British Council to discuss present and future collaborative projects. The major part of this two hours long meeting was devoted to the presentation of the British Council’s portfolio of works and undertaking discussion on possible courses of action in strengthening the long lasting commitment between the two organisations.
During the discussions the Minister indicated his strong interest to involve the British Council in a number of ventures. The national assessment (including English and other subjects) is one area which was earmarked for the collaboration. Teacher Development, especially in English, is yet another.
The British Council’s signature program, APTIS, also received a very good reception and the Ministry is interested in exploring ways of utilising this for its teachers and leadership team development.
40 years ago the Ministry of Education opened an ICT centre. This was done through the help of the British Council and the head of the centre was a British Council Staff. This ICT centre now has, Dr Shiferaw indicated, 12 channels and he is interested in getting the British Council on board to broadcast educational content to both students and parents.
It was also pointed out by His Excellency that the Ethiopian Ministry of Education is highly interested in applying for grants availed by the British Government.
Moreover, the Minister himself, volunteered to send an official letter to all Universities, TVET’s etc about the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) that the British Council provides so that these resources will be utilised.
During the meeting the Minister of Education team members expressed their appreciation of the British Council and the Quality Education Strategic Support Programme (QESSP) which, in the Minister’s own words, is ‘a wonderful job and a very friendly arrangement by whoever designed it.’
Dr Shiferaw Teklemariam, during the course of the meeting, mentioned that visiting the British Council was a great experience for him. He said that he and his team were mostly occupied with routines and that he is, for a change, delighted to see the range of resources available at the British Council for the Ministry.
When closing the meeting, His Excellency, thanked the UK Government ‘without whose blessing the 75 years of relations wouldn’t have been so fruitful’.