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Over a million disadvantaged Ethiopian children set to benefit from new investment in learning

More than 1 million children, half of whom are disadvantaged girls and including many children with special needs, are set to benefit from our new 4-year education programme in Ethiopia.

TARGET is the name for the technical assistance programme which offers support to the General Education Quality Improvement Programme for Equity. The programme will work with the Ministry of Education to enable disadvantaged girls and boys including children with disabilities to improve their learning outcomes and successfully transition from primary to secondary schools and be well prepared for the job market.

Ethiopia’s Federal Minister of Education, Dr. Tilaye Getie, praised the programme’s focused approach asserting that his ministry was willing and ready to work with Education Development Trust to successfully implement the programme. The minister was speaking when he presided over the launch of the programme in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. State Ministers Ms. Tsion Teklu, Dr. Geremewu Huluka and Mr. Nebil Mahdi (Advisor to the Minister) were also present during the launch, together with two general directors from the ministry, Mr. Yasabu Berkneh and Mr. Berhanu Moreda and the Director of Planning, Mr. Elias Girma.

The UK’s Deputy Ambassador in Ethiopia, Alex Cameron, also affirmed the Department for International Development’s commitment towards inclusive education and their aspirations in funding the programme.

Specifically, TARGET aims to change the education landscape in the country by improving grade 8 completion, reducing dropout/repetition rates, increasing the number of inclusive schools and enhancing participation of disadvantaged learners.

The priority will be to increase participation of disadvantaged learners especially girls in the poor performing regions, children with disabilities, and children from pastoralist communities in pre-primary and primary schools.

It will also aim to enhance instructional leadership and accountability of at least 125,000 teachers and head teachers in 9,000 schools.

Systemic improvements of the country’s education system are expected to enhance efficiency and performance thereby reducing drop-out rate by 15% and primary repetition rate by 5%, while at the same time increasing grade 8 completion by 24%.

Meanwhile, inclusive schools are expected to increase from the current 113 to about 800, where 24,000 students with special needs will be enrolled. It will also aim to reduce drop-out rates by 15% and repetition rate by at least 5%.

Tim Bainbridge, Education Development Trust’s Regional Director, SSA, emphasised the importance of the project in relation to the lives of more than a million students in Ethiopia.

Mark Rotich, Education Development Trust’s Deputy Regional Director, said ‘we are proud to be working with the ministry on such an important education improvement programme which will enhance the opportunities for so many disadvantaged learners, and which will provide strong support for the teachers and headteachers who are committed to improving the children’s life chances.’