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January  08,2000

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Oromia's Educational Coverage Increase by 31 Per Cent

Addis Ababa, Jan. 8 (WIC) Educational coverage in Oromia zone has increased by 31 per cent following the implementation of the five year programme of development, the state's educational bureau disclosed. Ato Abraham Chale, head of the bureau's planning and project section, told WIC that the state's educational coverage which stood at a mere 19 per cent five years ago has shot up to 50.2 per cent now. According to Ato Abraham, the increase in educational coverage is directly attributable to the special attention given by the government to education, the allocation of considerable budget for school construction and expansion as well as the implementation of the new educational policy and the provision of lessons in the students' mother tongue.

He also explained that the number of schools in the state which stood at 108 secondary and 3,633 elementary schools five years ago has jumped to 128 secondary and 4,356 elementary at present.

Ato Abraham also explained that women's school attendence rate has increased during the period from 12 to 35.7 per cent while male participation also increased from 26 per cent to 64.5 per cent during the same period.

Noting that some members of the Muslim community are still reluctant to send their daughters to schools, Ato Abraham said the state educational bureau in planning to organize orientation saminars for such communities with financial assistance obtained from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).