Ethiopia has made tangible progress in the education sector. The system expanded from having 10 million learners a decade ago to more than 25 million learners today. The country has been able to maintain and improve the learning achievement in key subjects. For instance, in 4th grade, the total number of students achieving basic proficiency or higher in all subjects increased from 505,000 in 2011 to 792,000 in 2015 (57% increase).
To bolster up this upward trend, Ethiopia developed a sector plan for 2015/16 to 2019/20. The Education Sector Development Program V (ESDP V) is guided by the vision to maintain the momentum of expanding equitable access to quality general education, establish technical and vocational education and training institutes in all woredas, strengthen tertiary education institutions and provide lifelong learning opportunities so that all can contribute and benefit from rapid growth and economic change in Ethiopia.
Six priority programs have been selected in this regard with their respective goals:
- To improve the management of the education system to increase institution performance and student achievement,
- To improve the quality of general education in order to motivate children to complete primary and secondary school and provide them with the knowledge, skills and values that would help them become productive and responsible citizens,
- To give all children access to pre-primary education for school preparedness and access to nearby institutions where they can complete full eight years of primary education and two years of general secondary education,
- To create a learning society by providing adult and non-formal education related to lifelong learning opportunities that will contribute to personal, societal and economic development,
- To produce a lower-and middle-level, competent, motivated, adaptable and innovative workforce,
- To produce competent graduates who possess appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes, to promote knowledge and technology transfer based on national development and community needs through research, and to ensure that education and research promote principles of freedom in exchange of views and opinions based on reason, democratic and multicultural values.
The ESDP V also focuses on eight crosscutting issues that affect education including gender, special needs, HIV/AIDS, environmental protection, education in emergencies, school health and nutrition, and drug and substance abuse prevention.