About the School
200 miles west of the nation’s capital, Bekumsa Biya School is comprised of about 900 students. As it is in a rural location, many of the students work on their community’s farms as well as study at the school near the main town of Nekemte.
Partnership with BCPS
Bekumsa Biya School (BBS) was introduced to Broadclyst Primary School through former teacher Penny Pullen who now leads the education division at the local charity Exeter Ethiopia Link.
As a partnership, the two schools have a balanced influence on each other. Students in both schools contribute to each other’s cultural education, through activities such as letter-writing, STEM projects and exchange of project work. Bekumsa Biya’s curriculum is strengthened from the educational resources that BCPS provides, just as the global learning aspect of BCPS’s curriculum benefits from the Ethiopian connection. It is not only students and curriculum that benefit: every couple of years, selected teachers from the UK schools travel to Ethiopia to enrich their own teaching methods, resources and cultural knowledge to bring back to students at home.
Past projects include the Broadclyst vs. Bekumsa Biya Olympics. This fun activity helped demonstrate the concept of using investigation to teach mathematical skills. The Ethiopian Schools Grade 4 measured themselves completing a long jump and timed themselves running the 400m. The recorded scores were sent to the children of Broadclyst to compete against.
The partnership has grown through regular visits and successful communication, with the support of Exeter-Ethiopia Link, enabling Broadclyst children and staff to develop and widen their understanding of global learning themes, sustainability and the ethos of the schools such as empathy, compassion and positive global citizens. Relationships such as these continue to be embedded and fundamental in developing students’ positive outlooks of the global community.
About Exeter Ethiopia Link (EEL)
The local charity Exeter Ethiopia Link has four main focuses: education, health, environment, and disability. Under the overarching goal of equal access to education, the organisation emphasizes access to literacy, health, and nutritional education.
Originally funded by donations raised by people from Exeter that visited the schools around Nekemte, the British Embassy granted an additional £5000 in the early 2000s, and since then the Exeter Ethiopia Link has been awarded grants from organisations such as the UK Charitable Trust and Comic Relief, as well as a grant from the British Department of International Development.
With these funds, EEL has set up an eye clinic, funded hospital renovations, and helped develop school libraries and reading centres.
To learn more, visit Exeter-Ethiopia Link’s website.
Devon School Reaches a Global Audience (Devon Life)