Regional states unhappy with new education policy


Tigray regional state says it is not happy with the new educational road map that will be rolled out next Ethiopian academic year because they say it threatens the Federal System and the constitution.
The new educational road map will reintroduce a 6-2-4 system next year replacing the 8-2-2 system introduced some 20 years ago.
Based on a report, the Tigray region rejected the recommendation from the Ministry of Education to teach students Amharic which is the Federal government’s working language.
“We will not teach Amharic from grade one on as it creates confusion with the students in differentiating the sounds because both Amharic and Tigrigna language use the same letters,” said Bahita W/Michael, Head of Tigray Education Bureau.
“The issue of teaching languages is subjected to the respective regional states but the road map recommends teaching Amharic which is the federal language from grade one on, adding that the road map is just a recommendation,” the Ministry of Education said.
Currently Amharic learning starts in third grade in Tigray and in fifth grade in Oromia and the education road map allows students to be taught in their mother tongue between grade 1-8.
Last week, Shimeles Abdissa, President of Oromia Regional State also expressed his discontent with the proposed education road map to teach the Amharic language from grade one on.
“No negotiation over the Oromo language, the recommendation for students to take the Federal working language as a subject matter in school is just ridiculous” Shimeles said.
However, the educational road map is under discussion in the Somali regional state in the presence of all stakeholders to have more input.
For Mustafa Mohammed Omar, President of Somalia Regional State, the recommendation to teach Amharic as one subject matter in classes is an added advantage, not a liability and it does not go against one’s own identity rather creates a common understanding.
One of the architects of the new education road map Professor Tirusew Tefera says there are about 30 recommendations studied by the team and it all depends on the interest of the regions.