16 May 2018

Ethiopia: Education Sector - Striving to Scale-Up the Country's Human Resource

Education is not only a wealth for a country, but also a stairway to create knowledgeable and skilled citizen. Education is a key in the government's strategy of bringing rapid and sustainable economic growth through strong human resource capacity, and becoming lower-middle income country by 2025.

In addition to the plan of making education accessible all across the country, various works are underway to ensure quality education. On a recent 9 month performance report presented to the House of Peoples Representative, Dr Tilaye Gete, (PHD) Education Minister, disclosed the five major focus areas of the ministry, which include preparing a 15 year action-plan, Deliverology, civic and ethical education improvement, and the 'Learning Generation' project, among others.

Regarding the 15 year action-plan, the State Minister revealed that the preparation work is well underway by evaluating and reviewing education and training policies of the last 25 years, and by involving more than 36 higher education institution professionals and researchers.

So far, document assessment, site works, articulation of international experiences, research works have already been completed. The plan is to formulate the action-plan as per the directives given by the government, and by holding talks with the relevant stakeholders through various mechanisms. The plan also involves walking the action-plan through all the necessary process.

As to 'Deliverology' - which is an approach aimed at managing reform initiatives and delivering successful results - it has come into effect in the three prominent and most influential goals of the education sector. It targets to manage and monitor the implementation of activities that have significant impact on students learning outcomes.

Deliverology is employed to deliver effective result in the three identified objectives, which are: ensuring more than 50 percent passing score for students, securing employment for 90 percent of TVET graduates one year after graduation, and securing employment for 80 percent university graduates.

In order to accomplish the aforementioned goals, all the necessary structures have been installed starting from the ministry to regional offices and organizations. And as per the plan, works are already initiated in every sector by involving international consultants on all the three sectors. Follow up, monitoring and evaluations are underway. Also, implementation plan has been laid out by preparing discussion document for the teachers.

There were also works done by the ministry in relation to upgrading history textbooks, and civics education. While the preparation work for grade 9 and 11 history textbooks is nearly completed, works are accelerating in collaboration with Addis Ababa university to complete grade 10 and 12 by the end of the year.

As for civic and ethical education, the ministry has tried to collect inputs from 197 federal offices and public institutions by preparing coordination plan in three sectors to improve the governing principles and value.

By giving civic and ethical education training for 1814 teachers, the number of civics teachers that have gotten the training so far has reached 31,586, while 10,600 teachers are being trained currently. Training manual Preparation has also been given for 749 higher institution civic and ethical education teachers.

The Learning Generation' Project

In 2015, the international community committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 4, which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Out of that came 'the learning generation' project which was launched by United Nations Education Commission to be implemented by countries and ensure inclusive and quality education for all by 2030. Its main aim of the project, among others, is to enable low- and middle-income countries to boost education quality and enrollment rates within a generation.

While 14 countries from Africa have been chosen to be included in this program, preparations are already underway to make Ethiopia one of the early implementers of the program.

In general, moving forward, facilitating education quality, improving the recruitment and training mechanism of teachers and administrators, and finalizing the works that have been started to improve the curriculum will be given attention.

Intertwining the tasks identified to ensure the success of the curriculum/education system with delivery unit to bring results needs continuous attention.

In this regard, it was noted that works need to be done in harmony with the pertinent stakeholders to reduce the rate of dropout, increase teacher attendance rate, and address gaps seen in special needs and elder education.

Also, moving forward, TVET sector will be given attention. More specifically, special attention will be given to bolster the technology transfer capability of the sector, and to strengthen university industry linkage. And for this, the relevant stakeholders should dig in to maintain the performance based system.

Capacity building works aimed at augmenting the (school) administrators' management skill so that they ably carry out the teaching learning process, research and development and social work must continue. It was also noted that completing the next 15 years action-plan of the education sector, and starting its implementation beginning from early next year should also be given due attention.


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