It is uncommon for the city administration to make decisions on educational curriculum and medium of instruction. In “democracies” it is a provincial jurisdiction.
The trend seems to be changing in Ethiopia, apparently due to what PM Abiy described as the federal government’s “babysitting” attitude and lack of accountability.
Addis Ababa City Administration on Wednesday passed a decision regarding school curriculum and medium of instruction in KG to senior high school levels. The decision is mostly related to language usage and seems to be, it is in fact noticeable that it is a reflection of political struggle, and an effort to address the recent controversy over identity politics in schools.
It is to be recalled that Adanech Abiebie’s administration, with apparent support from radical ethnic Oromo nationalist elements on the regional and federal levels of government structures, attempted to impose Oromia regional state anthem and flag on schools across Addis Ababa which met with resistance from students and teachers.
It called the new curriculum “diversity language curriculum.” The administration makes claims that the decision is based on a study that Kotebe Metropolitan University has been undertaking.
The administration is saying that enough consultation has been conducted on the research at the cabinet level and also with students and parents.
According to the new curriculum, the Amharic language is to be offered as a second language class to students in Addis Ababa whose mother tongue is Afan Oromo and to give Afan Oromo as a second language to students whose mother tongue is Amharic.
English is to be a medium of instruction for all subjects for grade seven and above students but they will continue to take local language classes too as a first and second language
Grade nine and 10 students are offered Arabic and French as alternative languages.
The kindergarten school starting age is set to 4.
Ethiopian Opposition political parties have not, at this writing, remarked on the decision from the Addis Ababa City Administration.
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