By Fikru Helebo
I watched an interesting documentary this past weekend on the topic of "Education in
The documentary features the work of British volunteers with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), of which Mr. Dimbleby is a president. From what I saw on the video, the VSO volunteers' main mission is to improve the quality of teaching delivered in Ethiopian primary and secondary schools by training Ethiopian teachers to adopt modern teaching methods, such as "active learning", that are child-centered. The volunteers also advise the Ministry of Education in curriculum development and devising standards.
Unless you were a privileged kid who experienced a more open education system offered in one of the few private schools, you know that the Ethiopian education system is not student-centric and does not foster a favorable teacher-student relationship, which is vital to learning. Aside from lack of resources, I believe most would agree that the main obstacle to learning in
But I also recognize that these volunteers are not operating in a vacuum. The Meles regime had to create an environment where these volunteers can come and try to help
Meles' record in fostering an education culture that encourages openness is a dismal one to say the least. One of his main accomplishments in his first few years in power was to summarily fire 40
Here is what baffles me about Meles: as intellectually capable as he is, why does he fail to recognize that Ethiopia will need the good will and cooperation of an overwhelming majority, if not all, of her citizens to achieve the education goals that he says he wants to achieve? He has continuously alienated the cream of the crop in Ethiopian education in his many years, too many years, in power and to think that he can change the education culture of Ethiopia for the better without their active participation is foolish!