As Ethiopia begins to rejoice in Growth and Transformation Plan-I success and started rallying its might for GTP-II to bolster economy, Arba Minch University too, has began to relook into the laid-out benchmarks supposed to narrow the gap between GTP-II goals and present-day reality.

Strategic Plan, Evaluation and Implementation Directorate’s Director, Mr Gezmu Kelbo, dwelling into the wider issues gets into the specifics of GTP-I & II and AMU’s preparedness; following is the excerpt.
All higher education institutions need to have their own sub-targets to ensure quality while producing professionals. And above all, there has to be creativity at the minimal cost compatible with community’s needs to be promoted by research from different areas through university, he said.
AMU has been successful in producing skilled manpower in different areas and relentlessly promoting innovation in science and technology transfer. But we hit the roadblock in technology transfer area, Mr Gezmu added.
Unraveling the hitch, he said, ‘‘AMU couldn’t achieve the required 70:30 ratio that stipulates an institution to have 70% academic staff with Masters and 30% doctoral degrees to execute technology transfer and innovation without any impediments.’’
Presently AMU has 28% first degree holders, 67% Masters and miniscule 5% PhDs. To fill the gap, Ethiopia needs more opportunities for doctoral studies and quota across the world. However, Ministry of Education, will be giving due attention in this regard in the next five years, he adds.
He further elaborated, though the enrolment has increased to the expected level, but there is an urgent need to improve the quality of education. It has to be student-centric and practical oriented. Extra attention will be given to the slow-learner by facilitating tutorials to bring them on par with other students.
To maintain consistency in education quality and stimulate job prospect, check and balance will be best bet. Therefore, AMU is all set to evolve a mechanism, wherein employed graduates progress will be monitored. If some found falling short of expectation, those programs will be revisited.
Education quality, organizational relations, good governance and dispensation of services (customer satisfaction) will receive prime attention. To stem the rot, his directorate has started administering training in Balanced Score Card and Citizen’s Charter that train and educate one to appropriately handle the customer. Other issues will be taken care of in a standardized way in time, he revealed.
Advocating for special support, he said, ‘‘There is need to give special attention and support to students coming from developing regions in the country for they had scarce resources. This initiative will build their capacity and enable them to compete with others. Extra efforts will be taken to achieve gender equity and disability.’’
AMU with its five-year plan is optimistic to achieve goals as responsibilities have been cascaded down the ladder in the university, he sums up.

By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph