Pre-primary must be fine-tuned: Prof Laureate Tirussew Teffera

Prof Laureate Tirussew Teffera of Addis Ababa University, the guest of honor at 4th national symposium on ‘Research for Development’, highlighting complementarity between education and research, has underscored fine-tuning of pre-primary education in his interview.

On pre-primary, he said, the early year’s training lay the foundation for child’s personality, and if things go wrong at this crucial stage, life takes wrong turn. Unfortunately, Ethiopia couldn’t give due attention and results are discouraging. It’s only in the last six years major initiatives have been taken by government such as introducing primary school, child-to-child and other programs to strengthen the education system in the country.

He informed that Ethiopia has had traditional and pre-school system, but participation rate was quite minimal because private education system mainly focused towards upper and middle income sections so poor families would directly send kids to formal education and result wasn’t as expected. To rectify the flaw issues like curriculum, relevance, age-appropriate curriculum and facilities are now being taken care.

Further, he adds, consequently, Ethiopia has high attrition rate of 21% in primary school. Things will change if contributing factors like teaching-learning, quality of teachers, learning materials and financial background of families will be carefully looked at.

On research, he said, it is core to education, so, higher education institutions must cultivate the culture of research. On one hand, funding facilitates it but bureaucracy plays spoil sport; another issue is that most of the institutions are in nescient stage, so competence will be one of the major issues.

On contextualization, he reminded that for it, curriculum should be relevantly contextualized and made global in nature so that children are not left behind in modern era; technology support should start as early as possible for our children, he stressed.

For inclusivity, he said, research is one of the components; similarly sectors like agriculture and health research institutes must collaborate with local and regional institutes and learn from one another. It must be at the centre to obtain comparative advantage in universities wherein young scholars must be equipped with research skills to address new issues.

In Ethiopia, research didn’t get special attention, now there is gradual increment in budget and efforts are on to build infrastructure. In future funding will increase; incentive system will be in place to change the scenario. It will help us to end poverty in the years to come.

 

(Corporate Communication Directorate)