The Opening of the Computer Department
At 7:30 am parents began to take their places on the school chairs that had only just begun their procession from the classrooms and been placed toward the front of the new Bethany school technical block. The opening ceremony was scheduled to begin at 9:00am, albeit but with a casual allowance for time for the local dignitaries to arrive! On a front row bench 5 screens of the 30 new computers were turned toward the front of the classroom so that screen savers could be seen. It didn’t really matter what was on the screens, many of the parents had never seen a computer before.
A sunny yellow ribbon, beautifully adorned with bright flowers, was cut by the government appointed head of Bekoji town education to signify the opening of the computer department and, such is the generosity of the Ethiopian people, gifts were given to those that had worked to make this department a reality. By the etiquette of such ceremonies the local dignitaries were shown around the computer room first, then, showing infectious curiosity, the parents of the Bethany school children followed. With excitement, pride, humility and marvel they praised the technology neatly arranged 5 per bench, row by row down either side of the room. The reality was six rows of previously unforeseen opportunity for their children.
The opening and viewing preceded many speeches yet, in significantly less time than the speeches took, the children had got the measure of the new computers! By the time the last dignitary and parent had left, the screens were decorated with pictures, maps, games….