Electronics Course in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2 January 2013

Teachers attending IOP physics training sessions during 2010 and 2011 indicated that a course on practical electronics would be helpful.

In response to this feedback, a course developed by Roger Green (Islington College) for use in Ghana was adapted to match the Ethiopian curriculum. 

A proposal was written and submitted to the Ministry of Education who accepted the objectives and made arrangements to hire a venue.

The 3-day course took place from Tuesday 30 October to Thursday 1 November with Roger Green and Bill Poole presenting the sessions.

Training Sessions
The Ethiopian Ministry of Education invited the teachers with representatives from all the main regions of the country and 12 teachers attended the sessions. As with previous courses the teachers had very little hands-on experience but a very theoretical understanding of electronics.

The course was very practically orientated to include building circuits on breadboards and practising soldering components onto circuit boards.

A range of circuits were built using transistors, Light Dependent Resistors, Light Emitting Diodes and other components.  

The experiments were selected from the Ethiopia curriculum for Grades 9 and 10 which includes using Logic Gates.

The teachers were very interested in the boards because they had an in-depth theoretical knowledge of Truth Tables and Logic elements – NOT, AND, OR etc.

In order to demonstrate half and full-wave rectification, an oscilloscope and signal generator were borrowed from the Ministry store at the IOP centre in Addis. This equipment had been in store between 20 and 30 years and had gathered much dust but after some exploration was found to be fully functional and demonstrated rectification very clearly including the use of capacitors to smooth the signal.

Eshetu Asfaw, from the Ministry of Education was delighted that we had demonstrated that the scope and signal generator were functional and implied that it could be used for school demonstrations.

Closing Presentations and Feedback
In the closing ceremony the teachers were given a certificate and some equipment to take back to their schools. The remaining equipment was transferred to the Physics Centre for use in future training sessions.

 

Overall the teachers were appreciative of the course and wanted to have more time and further training with 50% rating it very good and 50% rating it excellent. The average class size is 67 with a minimum of 56 and a maximum of 85. The grades taught range from grade 8 to grade 12 with 50% of those attending the training teaching grade 10.

The success of the training was reflected by the fact that the Ministry were very keen to have a repeat session so that some of their National Trainers could attend.