Discussions on Roadmap Help to Identify Basic Gaps in Education System

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Addis Ababa  May 04/2019  Successive discussions that held on the proposed education roadmap have helped to identify gaps in the education sector that needs intervention, Ministry said.

The government has held a series of discussions on the proposed roadmap it said will reform the education sector with stakeholders at the federal and regional level.

About 3.5 million people have discussed on the roadmap, which the government introduces as part of the sweeping reforms, Minister of Education Tilaye Gete told ENA.

The Prime Minister himself discussed with more than 6,500 teachers at different times on the proposed plan and on how to develop the sector, he added.

Over the past years Ethiopia has shown remarkable growth in the expansion of education at all levels – primary, secondary and tertiary.

The gross enrollment rate in primary schools has reached over 95percent; enrollment in secondary schools and higher education has also increased significantly. However, quality has been in question.  

The roadmap was developed over the year since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office, with the aim of introducing an education system that promotes quality in order to fill the gaps in Ethiopia’s education system.

Low level of knowledge and teaching skill among teachers, low proficiency of students in science and mathematics, lack of sufficient schools in regions and low standard of schools are among the gaps that the government identifies.

The discussions on the proposed roadmap have helped to identify critical areas where the roadmap should focus in order to bring quality.

The ministry has been conducting activities that would help to narrow the gap including expanding the number of high schools; licensing teachers, school directors and supervisors; and improving standard of schools.

Dr. Bekalu Atenafu, Pedagogy and Language Lecturer and researcher at Kotebe Metropolitan University said education quality has been undermined in the past due to various reasons.

The first reason for poor quality is the way that Ethiopia’s education policy was formulated, according to him.

He insists that every education policy needs to consider the societal makeup of the nation and reality on the ground. However, Ethiopia’s education policy lacks this.

The other factor that undermines quality is the long trend of incumbent governments of discarding policies introduced by their predecessors in order to introduce a system that suits their own ideology, he said.

The way that teachers are recruited is another problem that undermines quality, according to Dr. Bekalu.

Noting most of the teachers who joined the profession without their interest, mentioning that they just assigned due to their grades, Dr. Bekalu said this has impacted the quality significantly.H

Since most of the teachers in all levels teach just for living, the lecturer said this has impacted the quality of education.

The impacts are seen at institutions of higher education through knowledge and skill of the graduates. This is the reason according to Dr Bekalu that the institutions have failed to be centers of excellence.

Dr Bekalu emphasized the need to address these challenges and change the sector for the better in order to sustain the development of the country.