'Ethiopian veterans'에 해당되는 글 1건

  1. 2013.12.27 [Interviews] Expanding the horizons for learning
APCEIU 안과밖2013.12.27 22:14
- An Interview with Mr. Biniyam Gesse Wolderufael
APCEIU interviewed Mr. Biniyam Gessese Wolderufael, participant of the 2013 UNESCO/ROK Co-Sponsored Fellowships Programme. Representing Ethiopia among the 30 participants from 17 countries of Asia and Africa, Biniyam is the son of an Ethiopian veteran in the Korean War.  


- Is this your first visit to Korea? Could you tell us if you have any special memory from the two months’ stay?

Yes, this is my first time visiting Korea. During my stay, I have had a lot of experiences with the Korean people. I was first impressed from the hospitality shown by the members of APCEIU, KOICA and KNUE. I realized that there was no difference between the urban and rural parts of the country regarding the people’s welcoming nature. Another point about Korea was that the country was very developed, which I saw from its well-organized infrastructure (even the facilities) of its education, communication and industrial sectors. The beautiful city of Busan, the historical sites and cultural activities were all amusing features of the beloved Korea. I also had a remarkable experience hearing the participants’ different experiences on education.
- Could you briefly tell us about yourself to our readers? What made you become an educator?

I was born in 1979 in Ambo, 115 kilometres west of Addis Ababa. I have three sisters and six brothers. I completed both my primary and secondary education there. Upon passing the national exam, I joined Addis Ababa University and majored in Geography Education. After graduation, I worked as a teacher in both rural and urban areas, public and private schools. I also worked as a school principal for a primary school. Since 2012, I am working as an in-service training expert in the Teachers and Education Leaders Development Directorate, the Ministry of Education for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Actually, I wanted to become a psychologist when I was younger, but was assigned to the geography department by the university. In Ethiopia some three or more years ago, teachers were seen as people who had low academic achievements during college. But today, becoming a teacher requires a fierce competition.
- What inspired you to change your career from a teacher to a teacher trainer?

It was a matter of chance. I saw a vacancy in the Ministry of Education and submitted my documents for the post. It sought for applicants who both had professional experiences as a teacher and principal. I then took the exam and passed to join the ministry. Another thing I considered was the remuneration, as it increased from my previous posts in schools.
- Is there any reason you changed your major from geography to multi-cultural and multi-lingual education for your masters?

I tried my best to complete my masters. I wished to study the field of development such as the environment, rural livelihood, demography, federalism or peace and security. But these departments are extremely competitive in Ethiopia and only a small number of applicants are selected. So instead, I looked for a similar department and came by the field of multi-cultural and multi-lingual education. Although I completed the course requirements, I wasn’t able to complete my thesis due to financial problems. So I was forced to quit. Hence, I am looking for another major relevant to my current position in the Ministry of Education. If possible, I would like to come to Korea and study education. In particular, I am interested in educational leadership and management, educational planning and management, educational research.
- What are the subjects that teachers in Ethiopia emphasize more?

It depends on the time period. Currently, the core subjects for the first cycle in primary school (grades 1-4) include Amharic, English, Math, Science and Aesthetics. For the second cycle (grades 5-8), the subjects include English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Civics and Ethics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Amharic. During the last cycles of grades 9-10, teachers put an emphasis on Amharic, English, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Civics and Ethics. The main subjects are English, Math and Sciences.



- We heard that you have a special tie with Korea. Could you tell us the story?

My father used to serve as an imperial guard back in Ethiopia and was recruited as a war veteran during the Korean War. After being wounded from the war, the Korean government compensated him until he passed away. He was always eager to tell all of his children about the war in Korea and that the Ethiopian regime was one of the three military regimes that held the biggest responsibilities during the war. After all his stories, I feel very lucky to visit Korea and meet the people. I also visited the Korean War Memorial Foundation and its museums during the programme. My mother is still alive and a member of the Kagnew Shale Qa, an organization dedicated to commemorating the Ethiopian veterans. My brothers and sisters are also eager to visit Korea.
- What brought you to participate in the UNESCO/ROK Co-Sponsored Fellowship Programme? Is there anything that you accomplished during your participation?

A letter for the UNESCO/ROK Co-Sponsored Fellowship Programme was delivered to the ministry. As the project was in line with teacher-training, many training experts applied for the programme, and I was selected by the committee as the representative. And currently, I am preparing to share my experiences with my colleagues on my insights from the training. It will last for long two weekends.
From my stay, I gained a lot of insights on education systems of both Korea and the countries of my fellow participants. My plan for the next step is to develop a project in one of the schools I have served as principal. I plan to upgrade the project to be more efficiently delivered. Meanwhile, I have presented my country’s educational report to the fellow participants.
-  Do you have specific plans to apply this experience to your work?

Absolutely. I plan to upgrade the projects and organize fundraisings from organizations like APCEIU and KOICA. I will talk to some local NGOs and government organizations. I hope APCEIU could help me search partners to jointly collaborate in projects. Anyway, I plan to keep in touch and will share the progress of my project.
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