HU has won Language Improvement Grant


Haramaya University’s English Language Improvement Center (ELIC) has won the English Access Micro scholarship Program which is funded by the American government, and received more than 3,700 donated books from the American Embassy.

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia announced an open competition for Grant Proposals for the administration of the English Access Micro scholarship Program (Access), which provides English-language instruction to 13 to 20 year-old disadvantaged pupils, to include pupils from urban, rural and/or ethnic minority regions of Ethiopia. As per the call, Haramaya University’s ELIC has won the project and started executing.

It is possible to understand from Mr. Melkamu Alemu, ELIC coordinator that the overall objective of the Access Program is to enhance the English-language skills of disadvantaged youth and thereby develop increased self-confidence, stronger critical thinking skills and opportunities to study abroad or obtain jobs.

Specific objectives include: 1) Providing students from socially disadvantaged families with English language classes at no cost;  2) Enabling these students to develop leadership and interpersonal skills through various enhancement activities;  3) Increasing students’ understanding of U.S. culture and ideals through enrichment activities;  4) Enabling students with improved English language skills to successfully participate in U.S. government-funded academic exchange programs and other public diplomacy initiatives.

As per the agreement, the university is expected to select 75 students from the nearby high schools to give this scholarship opportunity which will have a duration of two years of after-school English language instruction and enhancement activities, e.g. at least 180 hours of instruction per year or a minimum 360 hours, aimed at improving students overall English language proficiency in the four basic skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading. Mr. Melkamu said that in addition to providing quality instruction in the English language to Access students, the university will be encouraged to conduct enhancement activities with content that gives the participants insights into, and an appreciation for, U.S. culture and democratic ideals.  These activities could involve such things as public speaking or debate clubs; lessons on U.S. society and culture (celebrations of American holidays); community awareness activities, including civic education classes; community service and advocacy discussions and activities, including Global Youth Service Day; and English-language summer camps.

The project has been launched on October 21st 2017 after selecting 75 high school students from Harar, Aweday, Haramaya, Adele, Haramaya University Model and Bate high schools. The selection was made in collaboration with seven high schools’ principals to sort out students with economic problems and best academic performance.

The center’s coordinator has also stated that more than 3,700 books have been donated to the project and the university through the office, ELIC. He stated that these books which approximately worth more than 500, 00 ETB are diverse in nature though many of them focus on English language. All the books are handed over to the university’s library after books used for the access students are selected out of them.

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