Ethiopia’s New Education Development Roadmap: Charting a Course to a Brighter Future

4 Feb 2020

As covered in previous editions of this newsletter, over the last few years, Ethiopia has embarked on an ambitious reform process to ensure the sustainability of its economic growth and development. Among these reforms, education has been a foremost priority for the Government since the coming to power of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018. Though the concept of reforming the education sector had been a topic of discussion prior to his ascent, these reforms were initiated in earnest just over a year ago in 2018. As a starting point for the reforms, the Government accepted that previous attempts at educational reform had yielded mixed results.

Previously, the Government had pursued successive sectoral development programmes which helped facilitate greater educational access for the country’s children and young people through the rapid expansion of infrastructure. As a result, in a fifteen-year span, impressive gains were made in the construction of new primary and secondary schools, universities and TVET institutes. However, when delving further into the data, the team tasked with developing the country’s new educational development roadmap found that the rapid expansion of infrastructure had not led to the expected improvements in learning outcomes for pupils. Evidence of this deficit was clear when comparing performance data from Ethiopian pupils with their counterparts in other low and middle-income countries. Moreover, this attainment gap left a question mark over the country’s ambitions to rapidly industrialise – plans, which were ultimately predicated on the ready availability of skilled graduate-labour to fuel a dynamic manufacturing sector.

Before the introduction of a new roadmap, the Government carried out a comprehensive systematic analysis of the existing education system. Taking achievements made under previous education regimes as a foundation, it found that remaining challenges in governance, curriculum and standardization, equity and accessibility, capacity, teaching and facilities needed addressing.

Accordingly, a team comprised of 36 principal researchers, 73 assistant researchers and 11 regional coordinators was formed by the Government and tasked with preparing a new Ethiopian Education Development Roadmap. The authors of the new roadmap presented their findings in a series of public consultations, which brought together representatives from 844 institutions; 17 government ministries; 600,000 participants from the education sector; and 3.5 million members of the public. The resulting roadmap called for the implementation of 357 recommendations at all levels of the educational sector to overcome the challenges identified in the preliminary research.

According to its authors, the Roadmap was prepared with the purpose of:

  • fostering holistic development in all citizens
  • equipping citizens with confidence and competence
  • promoting critical thinking
  • producing competent professionals to compete effectively with their counterparts in the global marketplace
  • spurring entrepreneurship and innovation within a framework of social responsibility, and
  • building a citizenry with strong ethical and moral values based on the pursuit of  justice, peace and unity in diversity.

More specifically, the Roadmap recommends a fundamental shift in the way that education is administered and practiced in the country, calling for an educational system founded on indigenous knowledge that is supportive to national development goals and encouraging of civic engagement.

Though the Roadmap is still in its infancy relative to its ambitions and implementation, the course it charts spells welcome news for an educational sector in need of reform, and a nation desperate to unleash the untapped potential of its best and brightest.

Latest News

Browse all
From Monday 3 August 2020, the Embassy will resume processing visa applications by post only - a service that had been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please plan ahead and allow extra time when applying for a visa by post.
29 Jul 2020
COVID-19 Update: Resumption of Visa Services
His Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), convened an Extraordinary Meeting of the African Union (AU) Bureau of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, on 21 July 2020, to review progress pertaining to the Trilateral Negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance…
24 Jul 2020
Communiqué of the 2nd Extraordinary African Union Meeting on the GERD
To all Ethiopians, at home and abroad, and to all friends and partners of Ethiopia: We offer our sincere thanks for your commitment and dedication in supporting Ethiopia’s principled stand over the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Your support has been instrumental in the progress made so far.
23 Jul 2020
Message from the Deputy Head of Mission on the first filling of the GERD
The follow-up Extraordinary Meeting of the Bureau of the AU Assembly, convened by South African President and AU Chair, Cyril Ramaphosa, was held virtually on July 21, 2020, on the ongoing negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt with regards to the first filling and annual operation of the GERD.
21 Jul 2020
Press Release on the follow-up Extraordinary Meeting of the Bureau of the African Union Assembly on the GERD
Unchanged stances and additional and excessive demands of Egypt and Sudan have prohibited the conclusion of this round of negotiation by an agreement. Ethiopia is committed to showing flexibility to reach a win-win outcome on all outstanding issues.
14 Jul 2020
Press Release on the Tripartite Negotiation on the GERD
Since the tragic incident of June 29 which claimed the life of Hachalu Hundesa and the destruction that ensued, the government has been actively engaged in maintaining the rule of law and holding all perpetrators accountable. Two suspects have been apprehended for their involvement in the killing, while a third is still at large.
10 Jul 2020
Press Release from the Prime Minister’s Office
Statement from the Office of the Prime Minister on the context and updates on current issues in Ethiopia.
8 Jul 2020
Context and Updates on Current Issues in Ethiopia
Make the most of lockdown and dedicate some of that extra time to learning something new…something Ethiopian! This month, bake a banana loaf with an Ethiopian twist, watch a documentary about a town of famous runners and visit an online art exhibition.
3 Jul 2020
In pursuit of an African solution to African problems, the leaders of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt held a meeting on finalizing the technical negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The meeting set directions on the way forward, in which the three countries have agreed to conclude the negotiations and to try to reach a final agreement within the next…
30 Jun 2020
African solutions to African problems
On 28th June, the Embassy hosted Ethiopian Medical Doctors in the UK led by Dr. Merid Gebru, who passed on their experience of handling Covid-19 in the UK that might be transferable to Ethiopia. The full discussion will be available on our YouTube page soon. 
30 Jun 2020
Ethio-UK medical professionals discuss impact of COVID-19
Delivered by Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie, Permanent Representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations, at the Security Council open VTC on Peace and Security in Africa on 29 June 2020.
29 Jun 2020
Ethiopia’s statement at the UN Security Council on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam