Students will pass to the next grade without proper class or exam

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Photo: Anteneh Aklilu

Kenya suspends all schools until January 2021

The Ministry of Education announced its decision for all primary and secondary students to pass to the next grade except for those who are taking national exams in 8th and 12th grades. However the Ministry of Science and Higher Education did not come up with a decision on how to deal with university students.

“Because our plan is to get all our students back to their education and we have decided to pass all our students to the next grade” said Haregua Mamo Communication Director of the Ministry of Education.

In neighbouring Kenya where quality of education is considered high compared to Ethiopia, 2020’s school calendar is considered lost and primary and secondary schools will resume next year in January 2021, with a phased reopening of colleges and universities.

Schools have been closed for the last five months and will continue until the government decides to start the education. Ethiopia has around 20 million students in Ethiopian.

On 16 March Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that schools and universities would halt classes for two weeks. On 17 March the Minister of Science and Higher Education HirutWoldemariam gave further directions on how universities should act. For many, it was not an easy order to follow since little preparation had been made by institutions towards this end. However, the decision was applauded by the public, while the duration of school closures remains uncertain.

According to Haregua, grade 8 and grade 12 students will take classes for one and half months before taking the exam since it is mandatory.

As stated by Haregua, if the situation gets better the ministry is planning to start classes in September 2021.

In addition to virtual platforms, the Ministry of Education is using public television to provide courses for students of all ages as well as training to teachers. Two weeks ago Addis Ababa city education bureau has give model examination for grade eight students.

Ethiopia now follows an 8-4-4 system and students currently at the tail end of their studies are required to seat for their national exams in order to progress to from primary education into secondary and high school into university.