Government to re-employ inactive, retired teachers

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Photo: Anteneh Aklilu

The Ethiopian government has called back inactive and retired teachers to help cope with the pandemic crisis that has affected the education system.
According to the Ministry of Education, as of from Monday October 12, 2020, retired or inactive teachers can start applying for these positions. This is an aim from the Ministry to ensure that there are sufficient teachers as schools re-open following months of closure caused by Covid-19.
Hareguwa Mamo, Communications Director at the Ministry, highlighted that teachers responding to this national call can register at their regional education offices. This new employment will also not make them lose their retirement income. The Communication Director also emphasized that the Ministry has not stipulated how long this program will stay active.
Academic institutions have been closed for about 7 months now due to the fear of transmission of the pandemic. As these institutions resume, the Ministry has put in place strict guidelines that fall in line with the Ministry of Health to prevent the surge of the pandemic through the schools. In the coming three weeks schools and academic institutions will be preparing to resume classes.
Upon re-opening, schools are expected to adhere to the Ministry of Health guidelines by; Wearing face masks, cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and maintaining the maximum capacity to students per classroom to 25 and one student per desk to maintain social distancing.
In preparation, the Ministry has started the distribution of protective equipment to students and staff. The Ministry is acquiring the facemasks from the local industry parks including, Hawassa industrial park. The facemasks are reusable and are per the standards set by WHO.
The Ministry is also taking different awareness creation measures at different levels with different stakeholders. These measures are to take into account the capacity of the prevention of spread of the virus. The Ministry’s committee, which comprises of members from different sectors, is set to counter check on the adequate preparation and the learning process.
Ethiopia has about 26 million students. Schools up to high school level are about 45,000. On a tertiary level, public universities are 50 whereas private academic institutions are 250. Close to a million learners obtain education from these tertiary institutions.
Of the 45,000 schools however, 34,000 lack access to proper water systems. This will prove to be a bottleneck for the Ministry.
As disclosed by the Ministry, schools in Addis Ababa and around Addis Ababa will start on November 10, 2020; however, schools out of Addis Ababa will start class on October 19 and October 26. Recently, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have been recommending countries to reopen schools and Ethiopia is aligning itself towards these recommendations.