Posted by: APO | 18 April 2008

Ethiopia / U.S. Support Improves Primary-School Education in Ethiopia

 U.S. Support Improves Primary-School Education in Ethiopia

April 17, 2008

Washington, D.C. – As part of its ongoing commitment to support Ethiopia’s educational system, and an example of the extraordinary collaboration between educators in the United States and Ethiopia, the American people donated over one and half million English language textbooks to Ethiopia. The donation is part of President George W. Bush’s Africa Education Initiative, which increases access to quality, basic educational opportunities in Africa. The English language textbooks were developed specifically for Ethiopia and are for use in primary schools for grade 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Speaking at the handover ceremony held at Sefere Selam Primary School in Addis Ababa, Dr. Sarah Moten, President Bush’s Coordinator for the Africa Education Initiative said, “Education is the key to future economic growth and lasting democracy, and essential to improving the lives of Ethiopians. We are proud to be working in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Ethiopia’s schools to help this country’s children be better prepared for productive futures.”

Under the Africa Education Initiative the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is working with U.S. minority serving colleges and universities to develop and provide 15 million textbooks and other learning tools for children throughout Africa. The current focus is on six Sub-Saharan African nations, including Ethiopia. The textbooks donated today were developed by Alabama A&M University in close collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education and with financial support through USAID. The three-year partnership between USAID, Alabama A&M and the Ministry of Education not only produced over one and a half million textbooks and related learning materials, but also improved content of materials, institutionalized capacity building, teacher training on how to use the textbooks and materials and fostered a long-term relationship.

Along with the Africa Education Initiative, U.S. support for quality education in Ethiopia includes scholarships that enable girls to complete secondary education, support for teacher training at the primary level, capacity building in planning and management and community empowerment for school governance. With an emphasis on primary school completion, USAID has been supporting the Ministry of Education in eleven regions since 1995. Overall, USAID has invested approximately $160 million in financial, technical and managerial resources to support its Basic Education Program. U.S. assistance has resulted in increased access, decreased dropout rates and improved retention, particularly for girls.

The book donation was apart of the USAID African Regional Education Workshop where over 200 experts in education from 20 African countries have gathered to share knowledge, best practices and innovations in education. As part of the workshop, participants visited a teacher training college, three primary schools and a child day care center.


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