February 23, 2001
Ill Preparedness in Executing New Education Policy
(Editorial) Students, who have completed their senior secondary education this year, will sit for the national school leaving examination to be administered for tenth grade students for the first time. The examination is intended to evaluate students who have been educated along the lines of Ethiopia's new education policy.
Having passed through this process, the successful students will go to preparatory schools, where they will attend specialized studies prior to joining any of the higher learning institutions; the not-so-successful ones will join vocational training centres, which will provide training in various skills.
Only months remain before the start of the next academic year, when the first batch of students are set to join these centres or specialized schools. But there are widespread concerns that enough has not been done in preparation for the launch of the program. In some of the regional states, such as in Afar, training is either in progress or is still to be given to instructors who will be teaching in these vocational training centres. In other places, the vocational training centres are not yet equipped with the machinery and tools necessary to implement the program.
The implementation of the whole policy has been under fire for lack of sufficient preparedness which manifested itself in shortage of teachers' textbooks, teaching materials and aids.
Let us hope that the Ministry of Education, or the Regional Education Bureaux, will come up with some kind of emergency plan, to ensure that at least the most basic materials and trained manpower are in place before the start of the following academic year.