EDUCATION in conservation and heritage management including ancient buildings and paintings of different kind in collaboration with universities and institutions in Ethiopia, as well as with people at location, i.e. priests and villagers on the countryside, in order to protect and conserve the cultural legacy of this country is a main concern for SCECH, stated in our charter.
This goes along with the vision we share with friends and colleagues in Ethiopia within the academic world, the national and regional cultural authorities under the umbrella of The Ministry of Culture and with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church: to create a long-term program of conservation and education, with a view to taking care of and protect the priceless cultural properties that belong to this country, not just for the Ethiopian people, but also for the entire international community (quote from SCECH’s concept document about the YK Pilot project)
Practical as well as theoretical education are both necessary in order to become a restorer. This educational concept on different levels in order to create a domestic profession of restorers and to communicate know how on preventive conservation in order to assist the locals to keep their heritage in good condition and prevent further damages, answer to a longstanding wish in Ethiopia.
The practical part, i.e. hands on education of trainees at location, is planned to take place along with ongoing conservation projects on the countryside. We hope the starting point for this activity will be Yimrihane Kristos Pilot project of Conservation and Education during which trainees from different regions will be invited to participate in order to get training. The SCECH’s conservation team will deliver this part of the education. The theoretical education is planned to take place at university. But part of this may also be communicated in workshops at location in direct connection to ongoing conservation. A first tentative sketch for a long term development of graduate education in Ethiopia, including doctoral studies which opens for domestic research in conservation, based on the concept on how higher education use to be organized internationally, has been made by Professor Bosse Lagerqvist, member in SCECH and Head of Department of Conservation at Gothenburg University.
The Universities of Addis Ababa, Mekelle, Bahir Dar and Weldiya have expressed great interest in collaboration with SCECH in order to establish different sort of graduate education. A workshop initiated by SCECH, entirely dedicated to these issues and attended by representatives from the academic world as well as the Church and the cultural authorities, was held in Addis Ababa 2015. After this a discussion between Addis Ababa University at The Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC), headed by the Architect Fasil Giorghis and Bosse Lagerqvist at mentioned department, as well as Professor Inger Lise Syversen at Dept. of Architecture at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, has started and curricula been changed. The University of Weldiya has also made contact with SCECH in order to collaborate on account of the new branch they soon will start in Lalibela, directed towards art, heritage management and vocational training in building and painting conservation.