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Press Releases, 1/28/2014 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Better education for Ethiopian children with Finland’s support

Press release 21/2014
28 January 2014

Thanks to a programme supported by Finland, over 21 million Ethiopian children will receive a better education. The programme for developing the quality of general education in Ethiopia was published in Addis Ababa on 28 January, in connection with the visit of Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto

“The goal is to ensure that each pupil has his or her own textbook and a qualified teacher for teaching,” Minister Haavisto said in Addis Ababa.

The programme is also strengthening the school administration. Schools are granted school-specific funding but at the same time it is required that each school is committed to drawing up its own development plans. Funds must be targeted at measures that improve the quality of teaching.

Support is needed because, during the past ten years, the number of pupils in Ethiopian schools has doubled and the number of teachers and schools has tripled.

“More than 95 per cent of Ethiopian children now start their first school year at the age of seven. The huge rise in the number of pupils has stretched the already sparse resources of schools to their limit and has weakened the quality of teaching,” Minister Haavisto says.

The programme now started continues the programme for developing Ethiopia’s education sector, which Finland supported during 2009–2013. The results of the first programme phase are promising: schools have a new curriculum and over 70 million new textbooks at their disposal, nearly 60,000 teachers have qualified in accordance with the new requirements, and over 31,000 schools have benefited from the school-specific funding. The share of pupils finishing comprehensive school, and especially the share of girls among all pupils finishing comprehensive school, has increased markedly during the programme.

Besides Finland, the co-funded programme is supported by the World Bank, the Global Partnership for Education, DFID, USAID and Italy. During the next four years, Finland will allocate a total of EUR 19.8 million for the programme.

Additional information: Desk Officer Minna Hares, tel. +358 295 350 540, Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to Minister Haavisto, mobile  tel. +358 40 522 9869

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Updated 1/28/2014

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