School Readiness Programs in Ethiopia: Practices, Challenges and the Way Forward
Despite tremendous progress in achieving education for all, primary education in Ethiopia notably suffers from problems of quality. This would be attributed to school readiness problems in the early preprimary education systems. Evidences indicate that two-third of the young children who need ECCE programs are as yet marginalized and underserved. The Government has adopted low-cost, culture-sensitive and seemingly innovative one-year school readiness programs (O-class and Child-to-Child Initiatives) thereby improving access from 3.9% in 2008 to about 34% in 2013. This study attempts to critically reflect on these practices, contributions and challenges in order to delineate the way forward. It strongly argues that both approaches have high prospect of scalability and feasibility in the Ethiopian soil but they are constrained by several implementation problems. It is suggested, among others, that the combined use of these modalities would somehow help offset some of the limitations noted.
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