Meles Says, No Problem With Educational Policy, Admits Hitches In

Meles Says, No Problem With Educational Policy, Admits Hitches In




   Addis Ababa, August 08, 2002 (WIC)- Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the country's

   education policy is based on workable scientific studies but admitted that there were

   problems in the process of execution.


   Meles told the on going discussion forum of the staff of Higher learning Institutions with senior

   government officials that the self contained teaching method and introducing vernacular

   languages as medium of instruction was based on pedalogical research and political interest in

   the latter case.


   Citing capacity problems of teachers and high number of students per class he said one can

   not discredit the importance of self contained education at the first cycle of primary



   The program can be made workable and efficient through capacity building and convincing

   teachers of the importance of self contained education, the Prime Minister remarked.


   Earlier in the day, Minister of Capacity Building, Teferra Waluwa said the government is

   committed to equip schools with human and material resources in a bid to make education

   value creating and a partner of development.


   According Teferra the government is currently procuring books and various other teaching

   materials for higher learning institutions in addition to recruiting expatriate lecturers as part of

   the overall capacity building program.


   He said the higher institutions' annual intake of students for postgraduate studies would

   reach 6,000 over the coming five years.


   Some of the participants expressed the view that Ethiopia's educational system was too

   young to carry self contained education where the capacity of many teachers at the primary

   school level was low and the number of students per class was beyond the acceptable even

   by African standards.


   Opponents of the use of vernacular languages as a medium of instruction at primary schools

   level expressed worry that such a system will kill the use of common language at national

   level, giving rise to serious communication problems.


   Some other however argued that both self contained education system and using vernacular

   languages as medium of instruction were pedagogically right.


   They however said that the government has enacted self contained education before

   preparing fertile ground for its execution.


   "Teachers should have been armed technically and psychologically", they said.