About RICE

History

The idea for Reach International Center of Education (RICE) was conceived in the early months of 2012 arising from two sparks. The first spark was seeing yet again the demand by parents for an education that will both prepare their child academically, but one which will also lay a solid moral and ethical foundation, developing a child’s character; a character especially moulded with Christian values. The second spark was the desire to provide quality international education that would encourage Ethiopians living abroad to return to Ethiopia. Ethiopians who live overseas or have been studying overseas with their families are often concerned about the education of their children when returning. This concern has unfortunately resulted in many families deciding to remain overseas. We wanted to see RICE provide one contributing factor for Ethiopians to return to their home country of Ethiopia.

These two sparks ignited an ongoing conversation about the desirability and possibility of starting an international school that was framed within a Christian environment. After much prayer and deliberation we decided to push the doors and see what God would do. God not only opened doors wide but also in doing so He confirmed to us that the seeds of vision growing within our hearts were indeed set there by God Himself. Within two months all requirements were met in order to obtain the appropriate license from the Investment Agency in Ethiopia.

Beside the expectation of raising the minimum required capital amount of $60,000 was the need to find a suitable facility in which the school could be started. Current land prices and building costs are such that a significant amount of capital would be required if we wanted to buy land and build our own school. But would we find suitable facilities? The same week that we started to push doors we found a local university in Addis Ababa that had a block of classrooms they were looking to rent. Built in the last couple of years but never used, and with green space that could be developed as a play area, we again found God leading us through doors beyond our expectation.

Unfortunately, as so often happens when on a journey with God, we found several challenges facing us in early 2013. The first challenge came with the news that the university was no longer able to rent to us. After the initial shock, we began to look for other property we could rent and were able to narrow our choice down to several houses. However, before signing a lease agreement we again enquired at the Investment Agency to ensure there were no ‘surprises’ as we moved forward. Along came the second challenge. We discovered that the Ethiopian Law regarding foreign investment had changed and the minimum capital investment had been changed from $60,000 to a minimum of $150,000.

In February 2013, we therefore decided to postpone starting the school for one year. Though disheartened, we also knew that God’s timing is perfect.

The journey from that decision in 2013 until August 2014 presented many challenges. By the end of that summer we had raised all the required capital through the generous support of many. So we again began to look for a suitable facility in which to start RICE. That turned out to be quite a hurdle. We found one suitably large building towards the western edge of Addis Ababa but the owner was unable to complete the required paperwork despite several months of effort. Another house was found but at the last minute the owner decided not to rent. Then finally in May 2014 we found an old villa house on 1000 square metres of land. Though rather tired looking the house provided everything that we needed to start a school; classroom space, toilets and several play areas. We signed the lease in June 2014. Then began two solid months of hard work turning the house into a school.

By the middle of August 2014 we not only completed the building, but also received our Ministry of Education license and finally the much anticipated business license. We were ready to go. Though perhaps considered as backwards by many, we had already started to advertise and register new families despite not having a building to show parents. God was gracious and we began to have parents registering their children for RICE. Quite a faith step on their part too!

February, 2017 will remain a key milestone for RICE. This was when we became a registered Cambridge International School, able to formerly offer the Cambridge Primary and Cambridge Secondary 1 programmes.

So having been established in August 2014 with 33 children, we have steadily grown so that in the 2022/23 school year, we anticipate having almost 580 children across Grades Year 1 (Preparatory) to Year 12 (Grade 11).

Leadership

RICE is owned by Andy & Haimi Walter.

Andy & Haimi have been married for twenty one years and have two children. Andy, who is British, has lived in Ethiopia for twenty one years. He taught for two years at a rural bible school in Soddo, southern Ethiopia before moving to Addis Ababa, where he was involved in teaching and administration at the Evangelical Theological College for the next six and a half years. From 2011 to 2014, Andy was Project Manager at Bingham Academy where his responsibilities included leading the school through accreditation with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), fund-raising for the new High School building and instigating a school-wide database. Andy has a Masters degree from the University of London in Applied Educational Leadership and Management.

Haimi was born and raised in Addis Ababa. She attended Commercial College where she completed her Diploma in Secretarial Science and Office Management. After marrying Andy in 1999, Andy and Haimi moved to the UK for two-and-a-half years during which time Haimi studied for a Diploma in Counselling and Theology at the London School of Theology. Upon returning to Ethiopia in 2003, she started working for the Summer Institutes of Linguistic (SIL) in Personnel.

Both Andy & Haimi are actively involved in the leadership of RICE; Andy as Executive Director and Haimi as Director of Character & Community Development.

Our Director for Teaching & Learning is Wro. Enatenesh who has been with RICE since the beginning in August 2014. She initially taught a joint class of Year 3 & 4 in her first year, and then recognising her leadership abilities, Enatenesh was asked to join the leadership team in August 2016 as Deputy Principal.

The remaining members of the Leadership Team include Wro. Tigist, Wrt. Emnet, Ato Biniam, Ato Wayessa and Wro Senait.

Vision and Purpose

Purpose

Enriching the lives of children through learning, by providing quality education that develops the whole child.

Core Values

This Purpose is expressed through three core values, which we want to mould the culture of RICE daily. be successful when this is done together.

  • Curriculum

    Providing consistent quality education by having teachers who are effective, creative and engaging in the classroom. Developing our children to become passionate life-long learners. Equipping our children with 21st Century life-skills that will enable them to succeed after they graduate from RICE, both in their further education and working career.

  • Character

    Shaping our children, not just academically, but as a ‘whole child’, emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually.

  • Community

    Working together with our parent community, knowing that the growth and maturity of our children will only be successful when this is done together.

Curriculum

RICE became an accredited Cambridge International School in February 2017 for Primary & Lower Secondary and for Upper Secondary and Advanced we are working towards becoming accredited in August 2022. From August 2022, RICE will follow a full Cambridge international school, using the Cambridge curriculum from Year 1 to (eventually) Year 13. Year 12 & 11 will continue following the Ethiopian national curriculum for the next 2/3 years respectively. The medium of instruction is English, with Amharic taught as the next main language.

1.     Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE)

The Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary Curriculum is an International Curriculum produced in Cambridge, England. It is a recognised curriculum in many countries around the world and encourages high academic achievement, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It covers the core subject areas of Literacy (English), Mathematics and Science, ensuring that children worldwide are at an equivalent academic level.

From Year 3 (Grade 2) onwards there are Progression tests for each Year grade, which are taken once a year to help the teachers check their students’ progress against the Cambridge Curriculum objectives. These tests are produced externally but marked internally by the class teachers. At Year 6 & 9 (Grade 5, 8) the students take an externally produced and marked exam called the Cambridge Checkpoint Exam. This is marked by Cambridge to help the school to see how their students are doing compared to other Cambridge schools around the world. There is an additional charge for the Checkpoint exams. Students are rated across three levels ranging from bronze, silver and gold.

In August 2022, we will start the Cambridge Upper Secondary Curriculum. Offering IGCSEs (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), these are internationally recognised qualifications started in Year 10 (Grade 9) with exams being taken at the end of Year 11 (Grade 10). To begin with, RICE will offer IGCSEs in English as a Second Language, Mathematics, Co-ordinated Science, Geography, History. We hope to expand these options in future years.

We will begin to offer the Cambridge Advanced Curriculum in August 2022, for Year 12 only, by offering AS English General.

2.     Ethiopian National Curriculum

The national curriculum is used to teach a number of subjects: Amharic from Year 1 (Preparatory);  Social Studies for Year 6-9 (Grade5-8); and Civics for Year 7-9 (Grade 6-8). In the transition of moving away from being a national curriculum school to becoming a full Cambridge school, Year 11 & 12 (Grade 10 & 11) will continue to follow the national curriculum until they graduate.

Units from the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) based in the United Kingdom, are used from Year 1-5 (Preparatory – Grade 4) to help teach Social Studies.

Accreditation

RICE receives its education license through the Ethiopian Ministry of Education. We are also a registered school with Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) to use the Cambridge International curriculum at Primary & Lower Secondary level.