Saturday, February 01, 2014

How Ethiopia expanded education rapidly and equitably (By Hailemariam Desalegn PM of Ethiopia)

(Feb 01, 2014, (The East African))--In Ethiopia, we have every reason to be very proud of the progress we have made in education over the past decade. In 1999, just 37 per cent of children were going to primary school. By 2011 this had risen to 87 per cent — one of the fastest increases in history.

We still have a long way to go, but thanks to this expansion of primary schooling, the share of our young people who are literate has also increased, from 34 per cent in 2000 to 52 per cent in 2011.  How did we manage all this?

This rapid and equitable expansion of access to free education has been enabled through a sustained government-led effort to reduce poverty and expand the public education system by creating an effective balance between supply-side policies (such as the construction of schools in remote areas) and complementary policies to stimulate demand (fee abolition and mother-tongue instruction).

This has been backed by substantial increases in national education expenditure and aid to the sector, which doubled between 2000 and 2010, to 25 per cent, as well as improved planning and implementation capacity at all levels. The shift to greater regional and local autonomy has helped increase community participation and led to more widespread popular recognition of the importance of education for boys and girls.

These encouraging figures are from the 2013/4 Education for All Global Monitoring Report — the world’s most authoritative survey of education progress, whose global launch I am honoured to have hosted in Addis Ababa. Read more from The East African » 

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