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FCA tests new training for education leaders in Eritrea

Paulos and Lewi learning how to edit with trainer Paulina’s help. Photo: Meira Valtonen.

Can film be a tool for change in Eritrea? FCA tests new training for education leaders in Eritrea

By Kirkonulkomaanapu

Teachers are at the heart of quality education and investment in teachers yields powerful results for learners. Since 2015, Finn Church Aid's (FCA) education specialists have been working alongside Eritrean education leaders to transform teacher training institutions, so that teachers are better equipped with the knowledge and skills to deliver high-quality education.

Between March–April 2016, faculty members from Eritrea’s two teacher training institutions, Asmara Community College for Education and Eritrean Institute of Technology, College of Education participated in a 1-month course on action research.

Action research is a methodology designed to influence change — in this case, change within the education system, whether it is within the classroom, school, higher education institution, or education policy.

Course participants were trained in audio-visual research tools, including photography, film, and audio recordings. This methodology enables researchers to gather deep insight about complex issues facing the Eritrean education system, such as poor motivation among teacher, high drop-out rates in rural areas, and gender inequality.

“Education really matters to all of us. Education is about our kids, the family, humanity, about our nation, and we can use these skills to make a difference in others’ lives. We can really influence the attitudes and career ambitions of young people by telling good stories, and using this technology positively.” Zacharias, participant.

“I never thought of research as anything else but written form. When I heard about this training, I was very curious. By using audiovisual tools I can send a powerful message to the audience and touch their emotions the way that text cannot.” Paulos, participant.

The course combined in-class theory with in-field practice, where course participants gathered data from their classrooms, schools, teacher training institutions and communities.

After the first training, participants had three weeks to gather data. In the second training, they reviewed and analyze the data they had gathered, worked on building a story structure and edited their footage into short stories. They also worked together to design a plan to communicate their findings to communities, educators, and key decision makers.

Participants, trainers and invited teacher educators watch the films made by participants.

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