Early Childhood Care and Education in Rural Ethiopia: Current Practices, New Initiatives, and Pilot Programs
This study examines the current urban and private-based modern practices of early childhood care and education and the traditional priest schools, the new (Zero-Grades and Child-to-Child) initiatives of the Ministry of Education launched in a bid to improve access, and the civil societies-initiated preschool programs that are under piloting in rural Ethiopia. While the existing urban-based Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) was arguably presented to be externally introduced and had western orientation in many ways, the priest schools, Zero-Grades, and Child-to-Child, despite several implementation constraints that surround them, were believed to be contextually relevant, feasible, scalable and sustainable in many ways. On the other hand, the civil societies-initiated pilot ECCEs seemed to stretch the features of urban-based ECCEs to a rural setting and, hence, were found to be expensive, less responsive to local realities, and seemed to have less prospect for sustainability. It was suggested that the future of rural ECCEs rather be envisioned within the framework of low-cost and context responsive programs conveniently encompassing priest schools, Zero-Grades, and new kebele-initiated preschools in every woreda such that Child-to-Child initiative be used in conjunction with each of them so as to augment their outcomes. Civil societies were also suggested to work towards supporting such initiatives in different ways rather than working to create model ECCEs not aligned with rural realities.
AECDV (2014). Africa ECD Voice, October 2014, Issue No. 4. http://www.dreamstime.com/noltelourens_info#res8508026">Noltelourens | Dreamstime.com
Alem Eshetu (2007). የአፍ መፍቻ ቋንቋ ትምህርት አተገባበር በኢትዮጵያ፤ያስመዘገባቸው ውጤቶች፤ ያጋጠሙ ችግሮችና ትኩረት የሚሹ ነጥቦች In Belay Tefera and Abebaw Minaye (eds.). Child rights, childhood education and the use of mother tongue in schools: A voyage to reconstructing the Ethiopian child. Proceedings of the Seventh National Conference of the Ethiopian Psychologists‟ Association (pp. 221-239).
Alidou, H., Boly, A., Brock-Utne, B., Diallo, Y.S., Heugh, K., and Wolff, H.E. (2006). Optimizing learning and education in Africa - the language factor: A stock-taking research on mother tongue and bilingual education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). http://www.adeanet.org/biennial2006/doc/document/B3_1_MTBLE_en.pdf.
Belay Tefera (2011). Parenting practices in Africa: Identification, documentation, and reporting of good practices. A research work sponsored by The African Child Policy Forum, Addis Ababa.
Belay Tefera and Hawaz H.Yesus (2015). Childcare services in the emerging daycare centres of Addis Ababa. Submitted for publication in Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Benda, N.G. (2009). The role of civil society childcare service givers in early childhood development and education. Report on the Proceedings of the 6th African conference on Child Abuse and Neglect with Focus on Early Childhood Development and Education, ANPPCAN Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, PP.27-28.
More inside the PDF