The last volunteers we visited were Daniel Shane and Nina James at Debre Markos University. Daniel, a 37-year-old IT specialist had just wired a computer lab in the girl’s dorm and proudly showed us the room where 20 young women were hovering over Internet-linked desktop computers. “The girls had difficulty doing homework at night. They didn’t want to go to the library and even when they did it was difficult to get access to the computers there since male students always claimed them first.” Eskedan Temesgen, vice president of the university girls club, agreed. “We wanted to give women access to the Internet and provide them with the best opportunity we could. This is safer, no trouble with boys. We can use the computers at night, and any time we want,” she explained.
Nina, a 55-year-old math and guidance teacher from Dundee, Scotland, was halfway through her two-year placement as a Higher Learning Diploma leader with the university. “I’ve found it easy to acclimatize here. The people are friendly and I love the job.” One of her students, an electrical engineering instructor named Tesfaye Demissie, felt glad to have Nina at the school. He was especially happy about getting the HDP course early in his career. “This is my first year teaching and I didn’t know what active learning was before. Lectures can be boring. Active learning, using engaging tactics, and methods of assessment allows students to give feedback. It lets me know if they understand or not and if I should change my methodology. I think all new teachers should take this course.”