1.3 Education in Oromia region
According to Oromia Education Bureau Short Term Plan (1995-2000), issued in 1995, out of the estimated 8 million school age children in the country (about 3.9 million are in Oromia region), only about 2.3 million are enrolled. Of these, 0.8 million were estimated to be in Oromia region.
Oromia region has developed instructional materials in the new curriculum trial programme. Many of these materials have areas which specifically use agricultural experience and relate to the home environment of pupils, for example:
A draft document by MOE (1995) states that the curriculum of pre-service education for the last 20 years has been suffering from shortcomings, such as objectives and content that lacked coherence and co-ordination with the curriculum of schools, and equipping student-teachers with inadequate teaching skills, knowledge and attitudes. In order to resolve the problems encountered, and to facilitate the efficiency of teacher education and training, a new Education and Training Policy has come into effect. The policy stipulates that teacher education and training components will emphasise basic knowledge, a professional code of ethics, methodology and practical training. A strategy of the policy is that teacher training programmes and the curriculum will be made relevant to the new educational objectives, and be responsive to the different curricula of general education. In response to this strategy immediate action was needed in preparing a new curriculum for primary school teacher training following the new primary education strategy teacher training institutions (TTIs) will train teachers for the two cycles. Teachers of the basic primary cycle (1-4), and teachers of the general education (5-8) will undergo a 2 year initial training programme after completing grades 10 and 12 respectively. To recruit trainees that have completed grade 10 of the new curriculum will take a period of 6 years, since the new curriculum is introduced on a sequential basis through various stages of preparation, evaluation and trial programmes. As a compromise, a short term plan has been implemented to train teachers in one year. Trainees are selected depending on successful completion of grade 12, and their devotion, interest and commitment to the teaching profession. Most of the teachers interviewed for the study will have completed the previous course of training; a one year Teacher Training Institute (TTI) qualification that follows twelve years of schooling. This was a general training covering pedagogical skills as opposed to a specific subject area.
Donor funded projects
Ethiopia is receiving a considerable amount of funding from multilateral, bilateral and NGO donor agencies and a fair proportion of this funding is to the education sector. In Oromia Region international donor funded projects include: assisting with in-service training; rehabilitating schools; building capacities amongst TTI teachers and educational officials; production of educational radio programmes in Afaan Oromo and natural science for grades 2&6; training female teachers as gender sensitive advisors in high schools; and, conducting training on literacy programmes and materials production. NGOs working in the region have projects in school construction, supply of equipment and materials, and the rehabilitation of pedagogical centres.
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