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by Nikki Cortoos of ATiT for VISCED

For entities in Ethiopia see Category:Ethiopia


Partners and Experts in Ethiopia

None yet.

Ethiopia in a nutshell

Ethiopia is a landlocked country located in the Horn of Africa, and officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with a population of over 82 million people, and the tenth-largest by area, with its 1,100,000 km2. The capital is Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, and Kenya to the south. It is also the most populous landlocked country in the world.

Ethiopia is also one of the oldest sites of human existence known to scientists today, having yielded some of humanity's oldest traces. During the Scramble for Africa, Ethiopia was one of only two countries that retained its independence and one of only four African members of the League of Nations. After a brief period of Italian occupation, Ethiopia became a charter member of the United Nations.


Education in Ethiopia

Education in Ethiopia had been dominated by the Orthodox Church for many centuries until secular education was adopted in the early 1900s.The current system follows very similar school expansion schemes to the rural areas as the previous 1980s system with an addition of deeper regionalisation giving rural education in their own languages starting at the elementary level and with more budget allocated to the education sector. The sequence of general education in Ethiopia is six years of primary school, four years of lower secondary school and two years of higher secondary school. In 2004 school enrollment was below that of many other African countries. Half the population of Ethiopia is illiterate.

Toward the end of the nineteenth century Menelik II had also permitted the establishment of European missionary schools. At the same time, Islamic schools provided some education for a small part of the Muslim population. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the education system's failure to meet the needs of people involved in statecraft, diplomacy, commerce, and industry led to the introduction of government-sponsored secular education.

After their conquest of Ethiopia, the Italians acted quickly to reorganize the educational system in Ethiopia. An ordinance issued 24 July 1936 reiterated the principle that the newly conquered country, as in the older colonies, would have two different types of educational institutions, namely "Italian type schools" and schools for "colonial subjects."[6] The existing Tafari Makonnen School was converted into two "Italian type" schools, the Liceo-Ginnasio Vittorio Emanuele III and the Istituto Tecnico Benito Mussolini, both reserved for European children, while the prewar Empress Menen School for girls was converted into the Regina Elena military hospital. Many other existing schools were converted to Italian-only schools, while new schools created for the native population, in the words of Patrick Roberts, were "not schools in reality, but have been established for propaganda purposes."[7] Although the Italian government boasted in 1939 that there were thirteen primary schools in the province of Shewa staffed by over sixty teachers and having an enrollment of 1481, actual attendance fluctuated greatly, as the official statement admitted that many students were said to be absent from class in order to follow Italian lorries, or to spend their time "idly in their tukuls."

The government expanded the public school system and in 1971 there were 1,300 primary and secondary schools and 13,000 teachers. But the system suffered from a shortage of qualified personnel, a lack of funds, and overcrowded facilities. Often financed with foreign aid, school construction usually proceeded faster than the training and certification of teachers. In addition, most schools were in the major towns.


Ethiopia education system

Ethiopia has forty-eight indigenous languages. English is the most widely spoken foreign language and is the medium of instruction in secondary schools. Amharic was the language of primary school instruction, but has been replaced in many areas by local languages such as Oromifa and Tigrinya. Ethiopia has its own alphabet, called Ge'ez or Ethiopic (ግዕዝ), and calendar.

The sequence of general education in Ethiopia is eight years of primary school, two years of lower secondary school and two years of higher secondary school


Schools in Ethiopia

There are education facilities for foreign residents, though foreign nationals are not accepted in the public schools of Ethiopia. However, there are quite a few private schools in Addis Ababa specifically for the children of foreign residents. Among them are Swedish Community School, Indian Community School, Bingham Academy, International Community School and others.

Further and Higher education

Universities in Ethiopia

For a list of universities and colleges, please see Wikipedia's page on this:

Polytechnics in Ethiopia

Colleges in Ethiopia

Education reform



Administration and finance



The Higher Education Institutions Board reviews and adapts the plans and budgets of each institution. The universities have senates, which fall in between the boards and the academic commissions in their powers and duties. Each of these administrative bodies creates various committees to assist their duties. The academic commission (AC) of each college faculty deliberates on and submits proposals about programs, plans, courses, certification, promotions, and students' status. The department councils are composed of all full-time academic staff and chaired by the department heads. The council prepares and submits recommendations to the AC concerning programs of study, curricula, courses, staff promotion, research projects, teaching materials, and examinations.

Quality assurance, inspection and accreditation



Accreditation happens both by Regional Educational Bureaus, Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA) and the Federal Ministry of Education Ethiopia.

Information society

There is the Ethiopian Distance Learning Association, "committed to the education of the Ethiopian youth in collaboraton with grass root organizations including The International Open College of Ethiopia, the Virtual School of Ethiopian Studies and the Ethiopian Virtual University", but its website seems to be very outdated

ICT in education initiatives

Virtual initiatives in schools

Virtual initiatives in post-secondary education

Alfa College of Distance Education

This college is located in Harar

PESC Information Systems College

PESC Information Systems College is private limited company established in 2003 in Addis Ababa and it provides distance education to teach IT, consisting of classroom lectures with practical demonstrations and an electronic library service delivery from one central distant site to students in the periphery using video, animations and graphics. Providing modules in text forms and lectures in CD ROM formats to students for home use by VCD players and TV sets; and/or computers at home or office adds to its uniqueness of effective delivery of education throughout the country. This education program was primarily created to respond to the needs of several students who have failed to take advantages of conventional mode of learning. It also helps to extend the reach of ICT education into communities with extreme shortage of qualified professionals in the peripheral regions of the country where limited or no means of effective training exist, especially in this field of study.

In September 2004, PESC Information Systems College has officially launched its degree program in Information Systems and pioneered virtual education in information Systems in Ethiopia. The College has gained pre-accreditation in the same year from the Ministry of Education of the Federal Government of Ethiopia for this 4-year Bachelor of Science Degree program.


Mekelle University

The Mekelle University's website mentions that it offers distance education already, but the level of actual implementation is unclear. It also has a project called MU-IUC ICT project, which aims to maximize the effectiveness and impact of "ICT across all aspects of University life –both by enhancing different aspects of ICT service delivery to lecturers and students, and by strengthening the ICT function through different areas of capacity building." One of the key areas of service delivery include internet access, optimizing the bandwidth utilization and developing effective network services; PC pools, E Administration (e.g. finance, personnel, purchasing), E-learning systems and a fully-operational Intranet.


Adama University

The Adama University offers an eTeaching portal, a Moodle LMS. It delivers online courses with live chat, online workshops enable the students to collaborate and evaluate each other's work, impromptu pools let the teachers evaluate what students think of a course's program, directories set aside allow students to upload and share their files. This online eTeaching experience's core learning theory is based on sharing ideas and engages the students in the construction of knowledge (Social Constructionism).


Addis Ababa University

The Addis Ababa University offers e-learning, but more information needs to be searched about this.


Admas University College

The Admas University College offers both on-campus education and distance learning, in a number of programmes which are offered in number of levels: certificate, diploma and degree. The University College has also started many e-Learning programs to develop the Ethiopian Higher Educational System. It is currently working in partnership with internationally renowned institutions such as Cisco and University of Lübeck, Germany to reach these goals.


Arba Minch University

For instance its Architecture & Urban Planning programme also consists of "interactive based “Blended E-Learning” and other such self learning modules".


Jimma University

The strategic plan of the university states that the future academic and administrative tasks of the university highly depend on the effective utilization of ICT infrastructures and services. Management Information Systems (MIS) will be implemented to take the administration of the university to a higher level. The requirements of the academic wing are also expected to increase to integrate e-learning with the classical teaching-learning process in the near future.

The university has smart classrooms equipped with multimedia teaching facilities such as LCD Projectors and computers at JUCAVM, so that lecturers use their lecture notes saved on memory sticks. The future of the classrooms includes connecting them to the computer network so that lecturers supplement their lectures with resources from the Internet and the university servers.

Jimma University also sits in the African Virtual University's Teacher Education Virtual Consortium, a committee of the AVU Board of Directors that will oversee to facilitate a virtual training program for teachers in 10 African Countries.


Lessons learnt

General lessons

Notable practices


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This page was last modified on 29 January 2013, at 14:36. This page has been accessed 10,438 times.