Declining education quality in Ethiopia and Ministry of Education to curve the problem

“Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating in the examinations by the students.” Nelson Mandela

In a discussion Professor Birhanu Nega, education minister of Ethiopia, and Dr. Samuel Kifle, state minister of higher education, held at Afrankalo Hall on August 2, 2022, with Haramaya University community, including senior leaders, teachers, and administrative staff, regarding the quality of education and related issues, the minister called on citizens to do their part to break free from the cycle of problems in the sector by stating that now is the right time to find a solution to the problems in the education sector.

At the opening of the discussion, Professor Mengstu Urge, Haramaya University vice president for academic affairs, said that, even though education quality is alarmingly decreasing at the country level, Haramaya University has achieved excellent results in agricultural research, establishing links with industries, and working closely with the community in teaching, research, and community service, despite budget deficiency for the wide range of activities it does and location disadvantages. Professor, Mengstu, further, explained that it is important to find a solution to those problems because the university is losing its experienced teachers as teachers are not getting the various benefits they deserve.

Dr. Samuel Kifle, for his part, said the quality of education in Ethiopia has decreased because of four main reasons – the unruly and unsystematic expansion of universities; the creation of an inappropriate relationship between higher education and politics, the local sentiment created by politics, and the moral failure we have experienced. Dr. Samuel added that although the problem of education quality has a global issue, the pressure is especially heavy on countries like ours. In order to get out of this failure, the ministry is developing a system that can motivate the teachers to teach well and the students to learn and study hard, according to Dr. Samuel Kifle.

As a part of the solution, Professor Birhanu, in his turn, said Ethiopia is in the process of getting its universities autonomous and urged Haramaya University to start doing the necessary activities to be an autonomous university.

The discussion came to an end with the questions raised by the participants and explanations from the minister.

By: Aweke Ayalneh

Camera: Fuad Ahmed