Conference suggests establishment of unit reviewing education policy

 Conference suggests establishment of unit reviewing education policy

 

   Adama, November 13, 2001 (ENA)- Educators have called for reviewing the existing

   education and training policy at different levels of the management structure while the Addis

   Ababa University (AAU) pledged to exert efforts to bring about improvement in the quality of

   education in the country.

 

   The educators who met here from November 9-12 in a national conference on the quality of

   primary education in Ethiopia indicated the need to establish an independent policy analysis

   unit for the reviewing.

 

   The scholars have also indicated the need to resolve multiple accountability of teachers and

   management staff to avoid inefficiency at the implementation level.

 

   Some 180 participants drawn from the Ministry of Education bureaux, international

   organizations, pertinent governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as

   stakeholders attended the conference.

 

   Referring to a study, the participants said teachers were found to have negative attitude

   towards self contained classes and suggested that it should be approached differently in

   accordance with school patterns.

 

   Education at the primary level failed to generate interest in the choice of vocational education

   and this may have an impact on vocational training later on in the education system,

   according to a report of the conference.

 

   The report said the participants suggested the promotion of necessary pre-school education

   aimed at solving poor early experience, large class size and poor socio-economic status of

   students with learning difficulties in primary schools.

 

   They said expansion of preprimary education for children has to be given due attention in

   consideration to closer pre-school/primary education relationship, especially for language

   acquisition.

 

   Discussing the issues of teacher education and gender, they said, the low economic status of

   primary school teachers in many areas force them to be engaged in moonlighting, brain

   leakage and brain recycling to seek other income earning jobs affecting the quality of their

   teaching.

 

   Lack of assertiveness, unwanted pregnancy, low teacher expectation and domestic labour

   were causing gender disparity in enrolment, repetition and dropout, they said.

 

   They indicated the need for gender sensitive training, advocacy, lobbing, awareness building

   and introduction of legal protection, among others, to solve the problem of gender disparity in

   primary education enrolment.

 

   In his closing remarks, AAU Academic Vice President Dr. Tetemke Mehari said the AAU was

   committed to the improvement of quality of education and for encouraging research in

   Ethiopia.

 

   The issue of the large increase in primary gross enrollment ratio in the past few years is highly

   encouraging to reach the envisaged universal primary education by 2015, he said.

 

   Such problems need to be carefully studied, debated on, planed and solution sought for them,

   he recommended.  Themes, such as policy, research and management curriculum assessment,

   teaching and learning process were discussed at length.

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