Finn Church Aid (FCA) is working to improve the quality of education for Eritrean children and youth.
Eritrea has been ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world, and sits at 177 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index. It faces considerable challenges attaining equitable access to quality education and providing youth and adults with employable skills.
FCA develops teacher training in Eritrea, to ensure that children and youth get to study with the support of a professional teacher. Motivated and skilled teachers are the basic prerequisite for learning. However, due to a critical shortage of teachers, many Eritrean teachers are unqualified and receive only minimal or no training.
Close cooperation with Eritrean education officials
In order to expand the availability of quality teacher training, FCA is working closely with Eritrean teacher training institution and national education officials. Developing the skills of teachers and teacher trainers helps children and young people accumulate the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
In 2018, a total of 1 400 students participated in the teacher training programme supported by FCA. Additionally, 130 teacher educators participated in professional training sessions. Seven of them participated in an academic exchange programme in Finland.
To connect the Eritrean higher education institutions with the international community, FCA supports short-term visits of Eritrean teacher trainers to Finnish higher education institutions as well as their participation in international conferences and seminars.
FCA supports the development of learner-centred pedagogics in the teacher training programmes. We work together with the Eritrean education leaders to support interactive learning and teaching, to adapt best practices and support peer learning and tutoring.
FCA contributes to the education sector development and supports Eritrean education leaders for example in curricula development, new initiatives and programmes.
In addition, FCA supports the Eritrean higher education institutions in developing quality research, including participatory approach and multiple methodologies, for example action research. See Learning together: Collaborative action research to improve practice at the Asmara Community College of Education.
Continued support for School for the Deaf
In 2019, FCA continued to support the School for the Deaf by providing vocational education and training of youth. A total of 35 young people participated, and they are due to become qualified tailors in 2019. Nearly all of the graduates from previous years are employed.
FCA also supported the basic education of hearing-impaired children, for instance, by acquiring books and digital learning devices, such as tablets and laptop computers. Additionally, FCA offered further training to 12 members of staff at the School for the Deaf.
FCA is the only Finnish non-governmental organisation with operations in Eritrea.