Since 2000, USAID has supported three national learning assessments in Ethiopia, which revealed that students’ learning achievements were below standards. Rapid growth in enrollment, large classes and a lack of teaching materials in the classroom have challenged efforts to improve educational quality. Meanwhile, girls and migratory pastoralists are less likely to be enrolled in school.
USAID is helping millions of Ethiopian students advance in their education while building the capacity of teachers and institutions. The program has particularly focused teaching reading at earlier ages and on educational opportunities for pastoral and other marginalized children. USAID has also partnered with the Peace Corps to improve English language skills among Ethiopian students.
To close the education gap between boys and girls, USAID identifies gender-related obstacles and implements remedies to remove and overcome them. Greater educational attainment, especially for girls, has been proven to result in better health and nutrition, reduced infant mortality due in part to delayed marriage and child bearing, increased infant birth weight, age-appropriate entry into school, and lower risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
Youth and Workforce Development
Young people under 25 make up almost two-thirds of Ethiopia’s population, making them one of the country’s largest potential resources. However, barriers to Internet access inhibit the development of youth civil society, as their peers in other countries have been profoundly shaped by information and communication technology and social media access. USAID’s programming enhances the role of youth as positive and active members of their communities, especially in conflict mitigation and reconciliation. To address the needs of youth and the community as a whole, USAID is working to help develop relevant and useful curriculum for meaningful training that leads to meeting the needs of employers. Training and activities take place in a number of settings, including university campuses, and address topics ranging from life skills to leadership and business planning.
Last updated: May 10, 2013