November 2020: Ethiopia, Bilbala: The forgotten Village Children of Bilbala

The forgotten Village Children of Bilbala

A village school in Bilbala on the way to Yimrehane Kirstos, 30 kilometres from Lalibela.

This is a “Satellite school” a special category of the Ethiopian school system that accepts children in grade one to three. These kind of schools are opened every where in the country especially in remote areas. The aim is to offer education for small children within their villages so that they are not forced to walk long distances to bigger schools.

They are built by locals using local resources through contributions and donations of materials like  stones, wood, metal sheet and labor. The government pays teachers’ salary.

These schools face difficulties in educational materials like desks, chalk boards, and other basic materials. The pupils in their tender age have to withstand the discomfort of sitting on bare earth floor and stones. Many of these village children have no motivation to stay in school and many of them drop out despite the government policy if universal free education.

The teachers usually have to go the children homes to convince the parents to send them to the school.

Based on these difficulties, PBF responded by facilitating acquisition school desks for one on these schools. This is especially important now that education resources have been outstretched during these Civid 19 times where social distancing is a requirement.