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Parliamentarians say Ministry of Education should be held accountable for failure of students

Berhanu Nega-Education-Ethiopian-News
Berhanu Nega, Minister for Education (Photo :PD)

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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4 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t understand why the minister of education is suggesting for an independent body of scholars to conduct a study why only about 50,000 students out of almost 900,000 passed the school leaving exam. That means less than 6% of the entire students in the nation had the proper high school education. That is a disaster. So why the need for a study group of scholars when the person who heads the ministry of education is a former professor and a scholar himself? It is a plausible idea but why didn’t he come up with an independent study group to find out the ‘boogeyman’ who failed those students? Now this problem brings out one cardinal fact to bare. Those who used to be and those who are in the opposition today deafening us with this or that diatribe don’t have the silver bullet to solve the issues that have bedeviling the old country in many ways. They know how to talk. They know how to make us cry rivers talking about the terrible things the leaders of that country perpetrating against their citizens. But when the plain field is left to them, then things will be like ‘which way is up?’. This minister is a former professor at a renowned American university and has a PhD. My dog ate my homework ain’t gonna fly with me!!! You claimed to know the problems and their ultimate solutions. So, here is the paper along with fully loaded pen. Solve it!!! And don’t you dare to deafen us with the stupid blame game of ‘Orommumaa’ this, ‘Neftegna’ or ‘Woayane’ that just like these loose lipped PhD’s have been moving their jaws on us here on this esteemed website and other similar media outlets. Enough already with that!!! Show me the money, bro!!!

  2. The question is really about where the priorities of the administration lie. This is not a problem that the Minister of Education can solve alone. He may recommend the studies to find out why such catastrophic failure of hundreds of thousands of students not getting even 50%. But we all know what it will say: deplorably underfunded education system; awfully inadequate teacher preparation; dismally paid teachers, etc… Since the advent of the Derg, all the administrations that have followed were more intent at prioritizing the funding of the military, and not the education system. Understandably so, because we still have not definitively resolved the terms of our coexistence as a multi-ethnic nation. If this does not find an equitable and sustainable solution, neither will the education system.

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