By Binyam Tamene
The Japanese and South Korean governments are building eight new schools in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa with a total capital of 100 million birr, according to the Addis Ababa Bureau of Education.
The Japanese government has allocated over 72 million birr to construct six elementary and one high school in different sub-cities of the capital city. The Korean government just entered the final stage to begin the construction of a school that will follow the example of schools in Korea. The Korean-style high school will be built in Akaki Kaliti sub-city and is expected to cost around 28 million birr.
Education is one of the prime concerns of the Addis Ababa City Administration. Mayor Kuma Demkesa has admitted that the educational standard in Addis Ababa has to be improved drastically. There are plans of establishing new schools, colleges and universities with modern facilities to improve the educational standard.
Still Addis Ababa doesn’t have enough quality schools and universities for its growing inhabitants, say pundits. Government schools have a very high number of students per class room, making it difficult to give adequate teaching to the pupils.
These new schools will contribute to that, says Talegeta Aytenfesu, communication director of the Addis Ababa Bureau of Education. Speaking of the Korean high school he adds: “The entire model of the school will be based on a Korean standard. It will be finished within a short period of time”.
“Five out of the seven schools that are currently being constructed by the Japanese government are completed and they are expected to serve dwellers of the city in the next academic calendar,” Talegeta says.
Beside this, there will not be any other major building projects in the city this year. “This is mainly because we have enough schools to accommodate the students of the municipality,” the Bureau explains.
Meanwhile, the Education Bureau of Addis Ababa has installed a new machine at a cost of five million birr to give marks to this year’s regional 8th graders. The grading system was bought from England and is said to be able to alleviate problems caused by the previous one.
The Bureau used to mark grades manually, which makes it prone to mistakes. But the Bureau said the new machine alleviates this problem and was used in this year’s 8th grade regional exam grading process.
For this year, close to 62,000 8th grade students attended the national exam. Accordingly, 22,951 male and 24,780 female students passed the exam. While the remaining 5,584 male and 9,326 female students have failed.
The number of female students who fail this year’s exam exceeds the number of male students. “The reason for this needs a tough analysis and study in order to act upon it,” Talegeta concludes.