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.