The following survey study was conducted in 2019  by Melak Senay (Junior at Fossil Ridge High School).  The slide show below contains summaries from the responses of two groups of high school students: (1) Fossil Ridge, Fort Collins, Colorado, and (2) Dangla, Ethiopia. The survey was conducted by contacting selected students and does not constitute a scientific survey. However, this could serve as anecdotal evidence that could lead to further studies in the future.  

Goal:

To compare the school/home conditions as well as the reflections of students from two school groups that are expected to provide widely differing experiences. 

Method:

Eight students from each school were requested to fill out a questionnaire which comprised of about 50 questions with a focus on school and home facilities, house-chores, reflections on future plans and views on ​their home town and the partner country. Four girls and four boys from grades 9 to 12 (one from each grade) filled the Form. The Eight students from Dangla, Ethiopia filled a form prepared in Amharic (hand-written and typed at a computer service center in Amharic) and Fort Collins students used an online Google Docs Form in English.  The responses were summarized in an Excel spreadsheet to create charts along with a word-cloud software.

Summary Remarks:

From the anecdotal evidence, the following observations have been made:

1) The disparity between the two groups of students appears to be pronounced in terms of access to educational resources and home amenities.

2) The number of children per family in the Dangla group (6.4) was about 3 times that of Fort Collins (2.1) which happens to reflect in the average class size with 58 (Dangla) and 21 (Fort Collins) students.

3) The concerns of Dangla students tend to focus on lack of quality education and poor resources while the Fort Collins group reported safety, drugs and mental health issues.

4) Despite the widely differing living and school environments, the hopes and dreams of the two groups were comparable. Both groups plan to graduate from college and build careers in challenging fields including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

 

Acknowledgment: 

I would like to thank all volunteer students from Dangla and Fort Collins for filling out the questionnaire. Special thanks go to Senay Gedam Memorial Library staff for facilitating the Dangla survey. Also,  great thanks to my parents for their encouraging support and for facilitating the  English-Amharic translation.

Views of students about their own countries

Fort Collins Students about America

Dangla Students about Ethiopia

Both groups describe their country as diverse/melting-pot. Dangla students tend to highlight the rich history and poor economy of Ethiopia while Fort Collins students appreciate the opportunities and wealth of America.