IICBA attends a Diagnostic and Planning Workshop on the Pre-primary Education Sub-system in Ethiopia

From 1-4 May 2019, IICBA attended a Diagnostic and Planning Workshop on the Pre-primary Education Sub-system in Ethiopia organized by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education’s School Improvement Program, with UNICEF’s technical support. Around 40 representatives from a few Ethiopian Ministries, UNICEF, the World Bank and various non-governmental organizations were in attendance. Ms. Ruixi Liu, UNESCO IICBA Intern, attended on behalf of IICBA.

The objectives of the workshop were to assess the pre-primary landscape in Ethiopia by identifying key priorities and strategies in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sub-system for enhanced service delivery, develop a mutual understanding among stakeholders, and ensure the connectedness of the pre-primary education sub-system in Ethiopia within basic education as well as its links with health, nutrition and protection.

An ECE Conceptual Framework and Diagnostic Tool, developed by UNICEF in consultation with other organizations and partners, was utilized during the workshop. The tool has been applied in eight countries to support management and implementation of pre-primary education. It was contextualized for Ethiopia in March 2019.

During the workshop, the three key building blocks of an effective pre-primary subsector were addressed. These are:  

1)      Action areas, including pre-primary planning and management, curriculum development and implementation, teachers and other personnel, families and communities, and monitoring, regulation, and quality assurance

2)      A supportive or enabling environment, including policies and legislation, public demand, financing, and ministerial leadership and capacity

3)      A set of guiding principles

Participants in several groups assessed existing pre-primary education in Ethiopia in the five action areas, evaluating the current state such as progress and difficulties. Additionally, participants further listed priority challenges in each area. This was followed by a discussion on detailed actions.

Every group had at least one participant from an Ethiopian ministry, a regional bureau and a development organization. Diverse opinions were reflected through discussions, which helped to clarify misperceptions and generate a common understanding of the landscape of pre-primary education in Ethiopia. Furthermore, consensus on priority challenges in the five action areas was reached among representatives at all levels, which provides guidance for the revision of Ethiopia’s current early childhood care and education policy framework.

As the way forward, a revision meeting will be organized by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education for selected experts of each action area and policy-makers of relevant departments, in order to come up with an updated policy framework of pre-primary education based on outputs from this workshop.