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Warsay-Yikealo Secondary School: Preparing Students For Academic Excellence

The 23rd round of the Warsay-Yikaalo Secondary School in Sawa took the National Secondary School Leaving Examination from March 15 to 20. This year the school has enrolled about 15,000 students from all parts of the country to complete their 12th grade studies in Sawa. Along side academic pursuits, the students who came together from different backgrounds learn to develop common understanding during the time they spend in Sawa together. Shabait conducted an interview with the director of Warsay-Yikaalo Secondary School Mr. Kiflay Andemichael regarding the overall activities of the school in Sawa. Excerpts follow:- Let us start with the progress Warsay-Yikaalo Secondary School has made since its establishment?

Previously, a number of high school complete students were unable to pursue their higher education due the limited opportunities in the tertiary level. Following Government plans to widen the chance to attend tertiary education; the Warsay-Yikaalo Secondary school was made available to all Grade 11 students in the country to continue their Grade 12 study there. In this respect, over 80,000 students have so far taken their national leaving examination in this school. In this manner, these students could pursue their education in different colleges and vocational training centers. 

What particular efforts does the school make to boost the students’ academic performance?

The school pedagogy system is student-centered approach designed to enhance or stimulate students’ active participation as well as teacher-student interaction. Various programs are carried out towards improving student performance such as peer education, effective academic performance, supplementary courses and rapid result initiative. In addition, consultation services, First Aid, general knowledge contests and sport competition are implemented to widen the perspective of the students.

How would you evaluate the general drive and focus of students in their studies?

The focus of students in their studies is crucial in effectively realizing the outlined plan of nurturing knowledge-equipped youth. The Government is making substantial investment to increase the number of college students in a bid to equip youth with the necessary skills that could enable them to be self-sufficient. Generally speaking, students’ interest in this school could be categorized into three different levels, which are highly motivated, average and less interested students. For those students who have high and average motivation or interest, the school provides an excellent platform to excel and improve their capacity. For those who are less interested, it is hard to expect them to improve within a year. The academic performance of students is more or less influenced by their basic background educational performance. Nonetheless, in addition to the academic pursuit, all students in Sawa learn to develop teamwork spirit, common understanding, coexistence, steadfastness, perseverance and hardworking ethics in their daily social life.

Can you tell us about the progress made students since the establishment of the school?

Students’ progress is showing commendable growth with each passing year. For instance, 30% and 37% from the students who took the national leaving exam in 2008 and 2009 respectively have passed to higher level of education. This year we are expecting more than 30% of students to pass. The 23rd round students were provided with better opportunities in terms of tutorial classes, academic contests and other supplementary activities.

What about the competence of teachers in the Warsay-Yikealo school?

We have around 300 teachers in Sawa and they are very dedicated to the profession. However, with the increasing of secondary schools in all corners of the country; it is natural the number of students enrolling would rise. The Warsay-Yikealo Secondary school receives students from 62 high schools around the country. But, with the competence and devotion of the teachers is Sawa, school activities are carried out successfully. We have introduced a cooperative learning and teaching method among the students to help both the teachers and students.

In what way could this school be a model for others?

We have better experience than other schools in terms of implementing Learning Centered Interactive Pedagogy effectively. Representatives of various schools pay visit here to observe and share their experience which is vital in enriching ideas.

What is the future action plan of the Warsay-Yikealo school?

With the implementation of the new development road map, the students would be able to participate in technical education from Grades 10-12 and others would take the National Secondary School Leaving Examination. In this way the vocational and technical courses would expand further more. Quality Education is the outcome of collective consciousness of the general public.               

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