Education is as old as mankind itself and at the same time an indispensable precondition for human existence. It is a specific human creation and function by which we differ from all other creatures. That is why we need to promote it and to transmit it to the next generations in order to guarantee a worthwhile life.
To this effect, in 1994 Ethiopia started a New Education and Training Policy (NETP) in order to improve its educational system. The pursuit for wisdom dates back to ancient Ethiopia, the then Abyssinia, when the legendary Queen of Sheba went all the way across lands and deserts to the Biblical King Solomon in order to share in his wisdom for her own benefit and for that of her people. This long tradition of the quest for wisdom and knowledge is still reflected in the NETP’s efforts to provide education for Ethiopia’s multilingual and multicultural society despite war and droughts. All this happens nearly unobserved by the world community, although it is a brilliant and exemplary effort.
That is why the publishers of this book wish to bring these facts and endeavours to the attention of the public - too little is known about the Ethiopian history of education and the reforms launched in this field. The authors are Ethiopian experts involved from the very beginning in the process of realizing the educational reform, or educational scientists from abroad who have been working in Ethiopia for many years.
The individual articles are based on research work done in different regions of the country, school visits, discussions with experts, interviews and recent statistics. They reflect the facts and aims of the reform, its practical realization as well as the problems encountered. Some of the papers were originally written as a basis for political discussions or as practical guidelines, while others were written specifically to enrich this book.
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Hamburg 1999, ISBN 978-3-86064-888-9 (Print)