Education is a process by which man transmits his experiences, new findings, and values accumulated over the years, in his struggle for survival and development, through generations. Education enables individuals and society to make all-rounded participation in the development process by acquiring knowledge, ability, skills and attitudes.
One of the aims of education is to strengthen the individual's and society's problem-solving capacity, ability and culture starting from basic education and at all levels. Education enables man to identify harmful traditions and replace them by useful ones. It helps man to improve, change, as well as develop and conserve his environment for the purpose of an all-rounded development by diffusing science and technology into the society. Education also plays a role in the promotion of respect for human rights and democratic values, creating the cordition for equality, mutual understanding and cooperation among people.
Education does not operate in isolation, rather it has to be integrated with research, practice and development to contribute towards an all-rounded development of society.
To date, it is known that our country's education is entangled with complex problems of relevance, quality, accessibility and equity. The objectives of education do not take cognizance of the society's needs and do not adequately indicate future direction. The absence of interrelated contents and mode of presentation that cart develop student's knowledge, cognitive abilities and behavioral change by level, to adequately enrich problem-solving ability and attitude, are some of the major problems of our education system.
Inadequate facilities, insufficient training of teachers, overcrowded classes, shortage of books and other teaching materials, all indicate the low quality of education provided.
The gross participation rate of primary education is below 22% of the relevant age cohort Of these a large number discontinues and relapse to illiteracy. The disparity among regions is high. illiteracy is an overall problem of the society. opportunities for high school education and technical and vocational training are limited to big towns. Higher education institutions are found only in very few regions. they are overcrowded and their research capacity is very low.
The necessary infrastructure to provide relevant quality education to the rural population, which is over eighty-five percent of the population of the country, is at an insignificant level of development. Aware of the complex problems the country has plunged in by the previous dictatorial, self centered and vain regimes, the transitional government of Ethiopia has embarked on charting the right direction Of development to break the vicious circle we have been entangled in.
Education, as a very important factor to human development, is of a high priority in the overall development endeavor of the government. Hence, it requires an appropriate direction to set a new process in motion and change the alarming situation. For this, a comprehensive education and training policy is formulated.
The policy encompasses overall and specific objectives, implementation strategies, including formal and
non-formal education, from kindergarten to higher education and special education.
It emphasizes the development of problem solving capacity and culture in the content of education, curriculum structure and approach, focusing on the acquisition of scientific knowledge and practicum.
Along with this, it directs that there be appropriate nexus between education, training, research and development through coordinated participation among the relevant organizations.
The policy incorporates the structure of education in relation to the development of student profile, educational measurement and evaluation, media of instruction and language teaching at various levels, the recruitment, training, methodology, organization, professional ethics and career development of teachers.
Due attention is also given to the provision and appropriate usage of educational facility technology, materials, environment, organization and management so as to strengthen the teaching-learning process and the expansion of education. The evolution of a decentralized, efficient and professionally coordinated participatory system is indicated in respect of administration and management of the education system.
It is also stated that the financing of education be just, efficient and appropriate to promote equity and quality of education.
Overall, the education and training policy envisages bringing-up citizens endowed with humane outlook, countrywide responsibility and democratic values having developed the necessary productive, creative and appreciative capacity in order to participate fruitfully in development and the utilization of resources and the
environment at large.