How much did you learn in kindergarten? Probably a lot more than readily comes to mind. Sure, there were the ABCs and colors to learn. More importantly, though, you learned how to think, how to be creative.
Kindergarten lessons are no less important for children in Ethiopia. Yet, for most children in Ethiopia, particularly those in rural areas, there is no kindergarten to attend. Kindergartens in Ethiopia tend to be concentrated in urban areas; in rural areas, kindergarten-age children are left to wait for first grade, playing alone at home, or working in the field with adults.
Since WEEMA initiated work in Tembaro District, the community has identified lack of kindergartens as a priority need. While local schools were providing education starting at first grade, there were very limited options for younger children to begin their education.
We are proud that this year marks the opening of the first three public kindergartens in Tembaro District, located in Mudula Town, Keleta Town and Ferzano kebele. In total, 812 students, ages 4 to 6, are enrolled in the three kindergartens. They are now able to come to school each day, learn from certified teachers and practice with workbooks at their desks in the classroom. They also gain nourishment from a daily snack, and play on playground structures. Many of these children would otherwise be working at home or in the field. This experience is preparing them to succeed in primary school and beyond.