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Project 1: Fostering Analytic, Strategic, and Creative Thinking


Ethiopia has well defined curriculum that is taught using a didactic  method. As a result, students do not develop soft skills such as creativity and critical thinking that are essential for innovation and entrepreneurship. 

We will develop an after school program that will foster analytic, strategic, and creative thinking skills through the use of chess, debate, and theater. 

Students who participate in our program will develop these skills, resulting in a broader skill set that will increase their opportunities to become financially secure. 


The teacher to students ratio often exceed 50:1, and teachers rely on didactic teaching methods to keep classroom order and communicate the class content. Skills and concepts taught in class focus on facts likely to be the answers on the national exams.

In this didactic environment, students do not have the opportunity to express their ideas,   interact with the other students, and learn from each other to develop skills in problem solving, teamwork, and creativity.


Active learning methods such as inquiry, discovery, community based learning, and simulations expand the teacher's approach beyond didactic learning and provides students with an environment to develop skills that are an essential foundation for professional and personal success. 


We will create an after school program focused on fostering analytic, strategic, and critical thinking.

The program will have three main activities:

  • Chess

  • Debate 

  • Theater


These activities will be available to students as a 1.5 hour after school program each day after classes end.

Local instructors will be trained through a mentoring system created in collaboration with Linking Lives. 

Two activities will be offered each day for 45 minutes, with three sessions per activity per week. The intent of this schedule is to introduce the students to each activity and to slowly help them build distinct skill sets.  At the end of each month, students will participate in tournament or performance.

Chess increases problem solving, critical thinking, and helps teach students to strategize and recognize patterns. Students also learn patience and concentration. Playing chess can enhance memory and overall cognitive ability.  

Debate allows students to properly acknowledge that people have differences in opinion, enables them to gain a deeper understanding of various topics, enhances public speaking skills and improves overall confidence.

Theater teaches self discipline, resilience, teamwork and a greater sense of community. Theater also fosters a sense of creativity by encouraging the creation of narratives and acting. 

Anticipated Outcomes

Students who participate in our after school program will develop skills in:

  • Creativity  

  • Problem solving 

  • Critical thinking 

  • Analytical thinking

  • Teamwork 

  • Public speaking  

  • Self Confidence 

By developing these skills, we expect students to be more successful on the national exams, have more employment opportunities after graduation, and will be better prepared for those careers.

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