Ethiopia has shown progress in access to education, especially at the primary level. Primary education is compulsory and public schooling is absolutely free. The enrolment rate has increased significantly, but there is also a very high dropout rate. The rate of Grade 5 completion is at 85% and Grade 8 completion is at 54%. In addition, when it comes to student learning achievement, 63% of lower primary students do not attain the minimum learning outcomes required to succeed. Early grade reading assessment results indicate that only 32% of students pass reading comprehension tests. Pre-primary education is also at the low end and only concentrated in urban centers. Gender inequality in education is very high resulting from gender norms, high domestic burdens on girls, and long-distance schools. The secondary school enrolment rate remains very low at 25% of secondary school aged children.
Our goal in the education program is to improve students’ access to better quality education. In order to achieve this, we have the following strategic objectives.
- Increase secondary school enrolment through constructing secondary schools.
- Encourage the education of female children through providing additional support.
- Support education of children from poor families who cannot bear costs of attending schools in towns through sponsorship programs.
- Raise the quality of secondary education through improving the capacity of teachers.
- Improve students’ reading and writing skills through enrolling them in extracurricular activities.
- Improve English language proficiency of both teachers and students by providing extra trainings and establishing language labs.
- Provide support for university and college graduates in finding jobs.
Some of Our Achievements
- GTF built the first school ever for the Karayu community in Fantalle at a rural village called Dhebiti. Thousands of Karayu students went through this school. GTF also built a high school at Metehara for Karayu students, where thousands were able to continue their education.
- In order to encourage girls’ education, GTF built girls’ dormitory where female students can stay and pursue their education without having to worry about domestic burdens and long-distance travels. Dormitory was also built at for both boys and girls who come from far places for high school education.
- Children are seen by the Karayu pastoralists as a labor force to support the household economy. Most of the children (both boys and girls) serve their families as herders, looking after sheep, goats and cattle. For this reason, many children are denied the opportunity of going to school. GTF took the initiative to enroll these children in Alternative Basic Education, a format that enables these children to study in their villages at times of their convenience. The ABE classes have 3 cycles, each cycle lasting for 6 months. In 18 months, these children graduate from the ABE classes and can join grade 5 in the formal schooling format.
- Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) programs were conducted in villages throughout Fantalle to help adults read and write, and achieve a level of literacy.
- To help Karayu students excel in their English language proficiency GTF partnered with a Canadian organization to recruit English teachers and run rainy season English language classes. As a result of these classes most Karayu students speak better English than their counterparts from elsewhere.
- GTF constructed kindergarten, elementary schools, and high schools in 6 regional states throughout Ethiopia. In all, 12 high schools, two elementary schools, and one kindergarten were built by GTF.
- Thousands who otherwise would not have had the opportunity were able to pursue their education because of GTF’s efforts. Today many of them have become doctors, engineers, educators, public servants, and private employees both in the country and abroad.