By Lincolnshire Echo |

A support worker at a Lincoln School (UK) is helping teach pupils and train teachers in Ethiopia.

Sincil Sports College is supporting schools in the country thanks to a charitable program.

Cara Fairhill, 27, a teacher trainer volunteer in Ethiopia and a support worker at the college, is based in one of Africa’s poorest countries.

She returned to the college to explain to pupils the work she is doing out there to teach English.

She said: “Most of the pupils speak two languages before they then have to learn English.

“All of the text books at secondary school level are in English, so it’s really important than they learn English early on.”

In November 2013, Lynn Combes, director of learning and international co-ordinator, traveled to Ethiopia for a week with two pupils.

Now with support from the charity Link Ethiopia, it has offered the services of a support worker to help roll out a phonics program to schools.

Cara said: “I am teaching students and teachers with support from what is called the Jolly Phonics program how to teach English and the correct sounds and so on through visual aids.”

Pupils in Lincoln are taught about a specific Ethiopian community and its school.

A typical link includes full communication between students, personal visits and an exchange of ideas with support from the charity Link Ethiopia.

Although the school Sincil Sports College is linked with is private, its facilities are basic.

The toilets are little more than a hole in the ground, with corrugated iron walls even for staff – and there are four to serve 900 pupils.

Meals are also not provided, with pupils bringing in tinned food.

The classrooms still have blackboards with benches rather than chairs in order to squeeze as many pupils as possible behind the wooden desks. Pupils learn by rote and have to share textbooks.

Ms Combes, 40, said: “My visit was life-changing and makes you appreciate the amazing facilities we have here at Sincil Sports College.

“We are also writing letters to the children we sponsor in Ethiopia and it’s wonderful to receive a progress report on how they are doing.”

Head teacher Rob Parkin hopes to arrange another visit to Ethiopia, so ideas are being thought up to fundraise £1,000 for fares, accommodation, food and vaccinations.

Source: Lincolnshire Echo

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