This is a guest post from Dr. Bill Poole, Institute of Physics coordinator — Ethiopia and a member of the ENTHUSE project team.
I have been coming to Ethiopia for about 8 years as one of the Institute of Physics Co-ordinators to give practical physics training to teachers.
This time it was different because we were joined by Professor Philip Moriarty and 4 students, Jarrod, Emma, Tiago and Jeremy from the University of Nottingham.
We have completed the training of 40 teachers and the University of Nottingham people made an excellent contribution. I think it has been a brilliant experience for them and they have been whole-hearted in their participation. They were a great team to work with and we had some relaxing and enjoyable times mixed in with the hard work.
The students experienced an International collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, took part in delivering training and interacting with teachers who are used to rote learning. Changes to the training programme and lack of resources also gave experience of “thinking on your feet” for the students and they showed great flexibility and ability in adapting to the conditions. All this took place in a significantly different culture to our own.
The teachers reacted with great appreciation to the contributions made by the University of Nottingham with the students giving sessions on what enthuses them about Physics, an experiment with equipment that could be made with local materials and delivering a main session.
In a world that is tense with war, poverty and crime it has been really refreshing to be part of a project that has been so positive and inclusive of people across the generations, faiths and cultures.