By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) Members of the House of Peoples Representatives are expressing grievances about the recent academic scores of high school leaving students. The MPs have gone to the extent that the Ministry of Education should be held accountable for the failure of the students. This was heard while Minister of Education, Birhanu Nega (professor) presented a performance report to the parliament.
Chairman of the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, Employment and Technology in the House of Peoples Representatives, Dr. Negeri Lencho said that being held responsible does not mean anything but to say whether the tremor was felt by all sector bodies starting from the ministry, down to the regional and Woreda education offices that work in coordination with the Ministry of Education as well as the education leadership at the school level.
Magnifying the problem, the parliamentarians stressed that only the students and their parents are the ones who bear this burden.
Chairman of the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, Dr. Negeri asked if there is any action taken by the Ministry regarding the bad academic scores. “The heads of the education bureau and the directors, all remained silent. Whether a student passes or not, it is not their concern. Nothing will happen to them whether students fail or not,” he said.
The MP said “should we continue in such a situation? No! At least there should be an issue of accountability. The Ministry of Education and regional as well as city administrations bureau heads that work with the Ministry of Education should do something about this”.
Negeri said that It is not a normal phenomenon to have more than 96 percent of the students who could not score 50 percent or more in the 12th grade national exam. The implication should not be regarded as a simple occurrence, he said.
He is of the opinion that the simple retort of “every individual is responsible” should not be left unheeded. It is difficult to say that “everybody” is responsible. If everybody is responsible, it means nobody is responsible, Negeri stressed.
“Everyone is responsible.” Who is everyone? Saying “all” is not a solution. If parents, teachers, students, and the education bureau at every level take their shares, we can understand. “The Ministry of Education should consider this as its own failure. The Education offices of Regional and the two city administration should also share the accountability,” Negeri said.
“These students have reached here from the bottom by scoring passing grades. This shows that the evaluation system from the bottom has a problem. The Education system also has a problem. Some are made to teach what they themselves do not know. We have also heard in the media that some have been teaching for years without going to college or having a certified academic credential. So the whole system needs to be inspected,” Dr. Negeri said.
The MP finally recommended that research should be conducted by independent scholars to identify why students fail. “Find out if there are other reasons. Please suggest a solution to fix this. Without that, there is no solution.”
The Minister of Education, Birhanu Nega (professor) has suggested on the occasion if the Parliament, as a neutral body, can establish an independent committee of scholars and conduct the study.
Dr. Negri said that it is possible to represent an individual for the study, but it is not appropriate in terms of procedure to establish a committee. He said that the study would be a valuable resource for the ministry.
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