Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education recognizes the unparalleled role that education plays in growth and development. English language education plays an especially important role in building a skilled and competent workforce that can compete on a global scale. For Ethiopian students, especially girls, education is essential to their future prospects. Currently, English is the medium of instruction in all secondary schools; however, this comes with numerous challenges. Outdated methods of instruction coupled with low levels of English proficiency have left many teachers resorting to translation in the classroom rather than interactive, skills-focused lessons. Teachers are often unable to provide individual student attention due to class size (60+ students), insufficient lesson time, frequent class interruptions, and the high volume of material to cover. Teachers do not have regular opportunities for professional development (PD) and lack incentives to participate in ad hoc PD sessions.
In an effort to improve its English education program, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education requested Peace Corps’ assistance to help with improving classroom instruction and teacher support programs. In response to this request, Peace Corps Ethiopia developed the Promoting English Language Learning in Ethiopia STEP (PELLE STEP) program with one goal in mind:
• Students attain communication skills in English necessary to access academic and/or professional opportunities.
English Language Teacher Specialists will serve in rural secondary schools as English teachers. They are responsible for up to two classes each of grade 5 and grade 6 and engage in tutorial and extra-curricular programs for their students. These extra sessions will be designed to focus on reading, speaking, fundamental communication, leadership, and life skills programs.
As a Specialist, you will also be expected to provide direct training to your colleagues in the English department, support a community of practice, collaborate with the Regional Education Offices on teacher trainings, develop TEFL materials, help with baseline and evaluation work, and mentor Volunteers in their area. You will also work with primary schools on clubs, camps, and gender activities.
This is an exceptional opportunity for anyone who wants to connect with hardworking, under privileged students, especially girls. In the classroom and through the extra-curricular activities, Volunteers will have the opportunity to promote English language learning and much more. Peace Corps Ethiopia promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in your country and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.
Education Volunteers will participate in Peace Corps' TEFL Certificate program. This is a 30-month program of training and professional development that begins with online pre-departure modules and continues throughout Volunteer service. Staff will observe and evaluate Volunteers throughout the process to give feedback for improvement and make sure certificate benchmarks are being met. If expectations are met at the end of service, Volunteers will receive a TEFL teaching certificate, which is validated by the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC. Volunteers coming to Ethiopia must be ready to complete the requirements of the TEFL Certificate program even if they already have a TESOL Certificate or academic credential.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check