Dish Programme Created a Convenient Environment for Students to Learn in Difficult Situation – Kokob Gebru

As normalcy is returning to the Tigray Region after long periods of conflict, one of the shining lights that embody the desire of Tigrayans to bounce back better is the Digital Innovation and Skills Hub (DISH), an e-learning platform developed to provide access to youth and women to develop employment skills.

“This program was implemented at a time when there was no access to education and access to any source of information on top of the active war and economic constraints. For students to have access to education at that time was a great opportunity it helped them take their mind off things, helped them connect and socialize with other students,” said Kokob Gebru, one of the DISH Coordinators at Mekelle.

Through DISH, online short certificate courses of 3 months are created and made available. The courses increase the employability of youth and women because they link to crucial emerging sectors in employment and contribute to stability, peace, and resilience.

The courses are – Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Diplomacy, Peace Communication, ICT and Media, Legal Justice System, Community and Customary Law, Business administration, Computer Science, Community Mental Health, Community Health, and Primary School Teaching

“They were mentored and taught by senior professionals in their respective areas, this helped them to explore their interests and a step forward in their future careers. The skills learned are also practical and can be implemented in different sectors if they decide to go ahead and pursue the careers in that lane”, she added.

Recently 657 students took the final exam for graduation, while up to 1435 students are being trained

Last year during the European Development days, Kokob also highlighted the importance of the DISH Project among the youths, “DISH project has given hope to so many young people that they can learn and educate themselves at their own pace and convenience even in times of crises when life seems full of darkness because of the ongoing genocidal war and total siege imposed on the people of Tigray”.

Education is a Basic Human Right and a Means of Resilience

Throughout the war, education and health facilities were either looted or damaged, while vital vaccination capacity was ground to a halt. Despite, these challenges, the students at Mekelle we determined to learn during air bombardments. Yet, the students remained resilient.

“Education is an essential part of life and a basic human right and a means of resilience. It is not something you put on hold as we saw students wanting to come to class even with active air strikes”, said Kokob.

The Mekelle team believes that enrollment will go up now that communication is gradually being restored, and impediments to movement like airstrikes have stopped.

“We still have a number of students coming for registration and now that communications are restored, we have better communication with students omitting inconveniences, also the information about the courses will reach a wider audience when the internet connection is fully restored”.

About The DISH Programme

The DISH platform was established with 12 partners in Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and the Netherlands to implement two projects under the Orange Knowledge Programme managed by Nuffic and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The DISH range from Universities to civil society organisations.

They include East Africa University and Eastern College in Somalia; the Sudanese Organisation for Research and Development (SORD) in Sudan; Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) in South Sudan; Mekelle University, Aksum University, Admas University, Addis Ababa University, and Adwa Pan-African University in Ethiopia; Kampala International University in Uganda; and the NGO Action Africa Help International. Tilburg University in the Netherlands assists with the partnership.


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