University of Gondar in its final stages of opening Ethiopia’s first ever OT program

On 18 November 2020, the University of Gondar and Queens University, Canada organized its external curriculum review workshop on Occupational Therapy that reviewed the final stages of its new curriculum. The final steps are being taken at the University of Gondar to create a well-organized and quality OT program, and the momentum will inevitably lead to the development of a new career in today’s Ethiopian labor markets. In the curriculum review session, numerous partners and stakeholder from home and abroad took part.
The University of Gondar and Queens University, Canada are working together to establish Ethiopia’s first Occupational Therapy Bachelor of Science degree program at UoG by 2021.

Since current circumstances did not permit face-to-face interaction, the curriculum review session took place virtually via Zoom meeting. After the opening remarks was given by Dr. Asmamaw Atnafu, Academic Director of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences an introduction and an overview of the curriculum on occupational therapy was presented by Ms. Jasmine (OT coordinator from Queens University) and Dr. Nebiyu ( OT coordniatror from Universoty of Gondar).

Subsequently, participants branched out into “break out rooms” where they were assigned specific parts of the curriculum to critically review and brainstorm the draft curriculum. Once the participants from the break out session returned to the main room they consolidated and summarised all the discussion points from the subgroups. Finally Professor Yemtaw Wondie, Director of Quality Assurance Directorate at UoG, gave closing remarks to all of the partipants involved at the end of the virtual workshop.
When speaking on the review session Dr. Nebiyu Mesfin who is an OT coordinator at the Scholars Program at the University of Gondar shared his thoughts on the day. He expressed, “It is a milestone for the field of rehabilitation science in general and Occupational Therapy in particular.” He continued, “We are grateful for the invaluable inputs from the local, national, regional and international stakeholders who participated in the workshop.”
Dr. Nebiyu concluded by saying, “We are preparing to accept the first ever students to be trained in this unique and highly demanded field of rehabilitation in the year 2021.”
Experts from around the world came to give their insights and suggestions on the draft curriculum for the Bsc Occupational Therapy training in Ethiopia. The workshop participants included: faculty member and higher officals of UoG, Occupational therapits from Gahna and Uganda, OT experts from Queens University, Canada, delegates from World Federation of Occupational Therapy, national stakeholders (MoH, MoSHE, HERQA etc) and others. All of the stakeholders put in their fair share of ideas and comments to make this program a complete success.