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Seminar for labor-based practitioners starts in Ethiopian capital

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The 17th edition of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Regional Seminar for Labor-Based Practitioners started here on Monday to discuss issues related to employment-intensive investment approach toward achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The five-day seminar has brought together practitioners, policymakers, funding and development partners and others involved in infrastructure development from the African region and beyond to the venue at the headquarter of the African Union.

Sub-themes at the seminar include conducive investment and infrastructure development policies; technology options for pro-employment and sustainable infrastructure; job creation and resilience through infrastructure; and local capacity building initiatives through South-South cooperation.

Initiated in 1990, the seminar has now become an international platform for South-South learning and collaboration on employment promotion, according to George Okutho, ILO country director for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan.

The seminar addresses policy, institutional, and operational issues that promote environment protection, improved technologies and youth employability, said Okutho, who is also ILO special representative to the AU and the Economic Community of Africa.

Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and Minister of Transport Ahmed Shide spoke at the opening of the seminar.

Shide noted that Africa is still facing challenges of unemployment, underdevelopment, and poverty, despite impressive economic growth over the last decade.

The regional seminar for labor-based practitioners is held every two years in different countries. Benin hosted the previous one in 2015.



Most Ethiopian schools below international standard: ministry

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Some 30,605 schools in Ethiopia are operating below the international standard, an Education Ministry official said on Monday.

Elias Girma, planning director at the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, said the schools, which account for 89 percent of the country’s total, are found to be functioning below the international standard on relevant metrics.

According to Girma, the Ministry of Education, after conducting a wide range of inspection procedures to evaluate the standard of schools in the country, has discovered that majority of the schools have failed to fulfill the aggregate international standard in terms of their input in human and physical infrastructure capabilities, the delivery of the teaching and learning process, and students’ academic achievement.

The ministry, in its first-quarter performance report that was presented to members of the Ethiopian House of Peoples’ Representatives on Monday, stressed that it is working to strengthen the education sector in general.


Chinese author Zhang Haidi donates to Ethiopian deaf school

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Prominent Chinese author Zhang Haidi on Monday donated recreational and educational materials to Alpha Special Primary School for the deaf in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

Zhang, also the chairwoman of China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), said the donation consisting of school bags, exercise books and soccer balls aims to give children something to smile about.

“I’m touched by them, they’re so lovely and my tears are running in my eyes,” said an emotional Zhang as she handed over the donations.

Bahiru Tilahun, Director of Alpha Special Primary School for the Deaf, expressed thanks on behalf of the school while urging for more support to the Addis Ababa’s only government-owned deaf school.

“She also promised us to give us different kinds of supports like taking some teachers to get training in China,” he said while appreciating Zhang’s donation.

Tilahun was speaking in the shadows of a new building being built with finance partly though selling handcraft and woodwork by Alpha school students.

“Ye Enat Weg” Charitable Association headed by Ethiopia’s First Lady Roman Tesfaye funds a school feeding program for the 127 students of the deaf school who primarily come from low-income families.


Chinese medical team treats Ethiopian school children in need

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia  (Xinhua) -- Chinese medical team on Sunday provided free healthcare treatment and educational materials support for school children in need in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The support by members of the 20th Chinese medical team in Ethiopia also incorporated food items provision and educational materials support in partnership with the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia and Chinese companies.

Zhao Cheng, Chinese medical team leader and cardiologist, said that the free healthcare service provision to students enrolled at Muday Charity Association was made in an attempt to enable school children, who are drawn from financially insecure families, to effectively undertake their education.

According to Zhao, 10 medical team members provided services including mouth and respiratory organ treatments, eyes protection support and heart condition checkups.

Muday Charitable Association, a local non-governmental organization based in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, helps thousands of disabled young Ethiopians.

Muday Mitiku, founder and head of the association, affirmed that the support is “very important for these children since their families are poor who are unable to follow up their health and education.”

“This is really very important for us. These children are from poor families and they didn’t get checkups and we do not even know simple health problems,” she said. “They have also helped us in other materials by bringing some school materials and food items that we really needed very much,” Muday added.

Zhu Wenqiang, secretary at the Chinese embassy in Ethiopia, stressed that the support provided on Sunday is part of the Chinese government’s commitment to support African friends.

“China is still a developing country but we still think it’s our obligation to help African friends as much as we can,” he said.

“We invite Chinese companies to perform similar community support activities. It’s a great initiative and we will continue doing these kinds of activities in the future,” Zhu added.


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