Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s Schooling in Ethiopia: Issues and Challenges


  • Alemayeh Debebe


The right to learn is one of the fundamental considerations of both the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights (UDHR)
of the Child. Education is emphasized for the very reason that it plays a pivotal role
in achievement of social and economic advancement. Nations around the globe
have been working towards attainment of universal access to basic education since
1940s especially following the adoption of UDHR by the UN member states. Some
countries have reached at the desired end and some others are lagging far behind
from achieving universal enrolment to their eligible group of children. Orphan and
Vulnerable Children (OVC) are in the fore front of being disadvantaged in terms of
access to basic social services like education. This study has examined into the
situation of children in difficult circumstances in Ethiopia with respect to access to
basic education. The review results indicate that there are 6 million children who
have lost either of their parents or both. Orphans constitute about thirteen percent
of the total child population. The total number of street children is estimated at
150,000 out of which 60,000 are dependents of the streets of Addis Ababa for their
livelihood. Besides analysis of magnitude of the problem and identification of
challenges and issues of concern, the study has also suggested remedies that may
enable to keep OVC in schools and improve their academic performance in view to
enable them aspire for better future. Data used in this study have been collected
through careful identification and examination of relevant literature sources and case
studies pertaining to basic education provision and the lives of orphan and vulnerable
children. Verification of data accuracy was made through consultation of different sources
about same information.