Q. Why this school?  

A. Because the Haile-Manas Academy will be a model school and the first of its kind.  No other school in Ethiopia offers this level of educational excellence to Ethiopian nationals on this scale.  No other school takes advantage of the residential setting to reinforce academic and social teaching.  And no other school is committed to recruiting students from across the country, or to educating Ethiopia’s brightest students without regard to financial need.

Q. How many students will attend the school?

A. At full enrollment 400 students will attend the Haile-Manas Academy.

Q. Who will these students be?  How will you select them?

A. We know that embracing Ethiopia’s diversity is critical to Ethiopia’s future, so we will recruit promising students from across the country.  We are committed to educating and empowering girls to the same degree as boys, and therefore plan to have gender equity.  We will select the promising students that will make up our community based on a set of factors including performance on our entrance exam, national exam results, and our assessments of leadership potential and other skills and talents.

Q. Why a co-educational  school?

A.  Because Ethiopia needs all of its future leaders, male and female, to embrace gender equality.  In a co-ed setting where we are attentive to equality of opportunity, participation and leadership, we will educate our girls and our boys to truly understand and appreciate both their own and each others’ capabilities and worth. 

Q. Will you offer scholarships to your students?   

A. Yes. We aspire to admit students without regard to financial circumstances.  Inability to pay should not hold back a child who is otherwise ready to make the most of this special education.

Q. Why a boarding school?

A. A residential setting offers the ideal setting for maximizing our investment in each student.  A boarding experience allows for the time and opportunity to reinforce classroom messages of critical thinking and enterprising mindsets, and to promote community and personal well-being.  

Q. What curriculum will the school offer?

A. As a school for Ethiopian nationals, our starting point is the demanding Ethiopian national curriculum, which we will deliver through innovative, progressive teaching methods.  We will fold that curriculum into carefully designed, contextually appropriate additional academic and co-curricular programming that takes full advantage of the boarding school setting. We will also include robust arts programming, because we know that the creative arts are critical to developing student comfort with and expression of original thought and work. 

Q. Who will teach at the school?

A. Consistent with our intent to create a school that blends the best of Ethiopia and the West, we engaged Kari Ostrem, an experienced international educator, as our founding Head of School, and Tesfaye Kifle, an experienced Ethiopian educator, as our Deputy Head of School. If you are interested in being one of our founding teachers, please contact us at info@ethiopiaed.org.

Q. Where is the school located?

A. The school site is in Debre Birhan, an important and growing town in central Ethiopia, about 160 kilometers from the capital of Addis Ababa.  The central location supports our intent to recruit a national student body, and the proximity to the capital will allow for day trips for students, visiting speakers and other opportunities. 

Q. Why the name Haile-Manas Academy?

A. The driving force behind the school is the partnership between Rebecca Haile and Jean Manas.  We decided to use our names to model and reinforce the central HMA values of enterprising mindset and community-mindedness.   We hope the name underscores that this major project was initiated not by a large NGO or a government entity, but by an Ethiopian-American woman, working with other like-minded individuals, several of whom are immigrants, for the purpose of serving others and bringing about change.  We hope our choices resonate with students, faculty and others and inspire them to claim their own powerful agency.

Q. When will the school open?

A. The school will open for the first class of 100 ninth graders in September 2020. Each year a new incoming class of ninth graders will join the school, leading to full enrollment in 2023.  The first class will graduate in 2024.

Q. I’m in!  How can I make a donation?

A. Thank you!  We are particularly focused on recruiting to the Founders’ Circle, comprised of donors who commit $50,000 over five years. But every dollar matters, and we welcome both smaller donations and larger ones which come with building and other naming opportunities. You can donate now or, if you prefer, checks may be made out to Ethiopia Education Initiatives and sent to 461 Fifth Avenue, 17th Floor, New York NY 10017.  EEI is a 501(c)(3) organization, with federal tax ID number (EIN) 81-5480515.  Your gift is fully tax-deductible.  Please contact us at info@ethiopiaed.org for more information.

Q. Can I volunteer?

A. We love volunteers!  To date, we have benefitted enormously from pro bono legal services, architectural services and from the generous expertise of many education professionals.  We have also had young people volunteer to run book drives and to obtain other goods we know we will need.   Once the school is open, we anticipate that we will have many more volunteer opportunities including service in country.  Please follow our progress and stay tuned!