Opening a new chapter for teachers' development

05 Apr 2016


It is true that education plays a critical role in addressing social and economic inequalities. Thus, parents are more and more demanding better education for their children and are eager to see tangible improvements in learning outcomes. Currently, the country is doing its level best to bridge the gap between access, quality, and affordable education to both low income families and the affluent.

Recently, the Ministry of Education announced that it is working to restore the previous respect for the teaching profession. According to the Ministry, various incentives are in the pipeline to reward teachers serving at all levels within a few weeks. In this regard, Education Minister Shiferaw Shigute noted that the Ministry has been working to change attitude towards the teaching profession and for teachers' honour.

According to the Minister, a new salary package would be effective to improve the living conditions of teachers. Moreover, housing packages, other educational incentives and rewards are prepared to maintain the interest and initiation of teachers thereby improving education quality. Indeed, it needs urgent measure to improve the living condition of teachers as it affects education quality.

Besides the new salary package proposed by the Ministry of Public Service and Human Resource Development for all sectors, the Ministry has developed its own salary package and incentive programme for teachers in consultation with teachers associations.

Ethiopia education system has now taken the right path towards achieving transformation through raising teaching profession which is a basis for creating skilled, knowledgeable, responsible and civic minded citizens. The nation has over 400,000 teachers who tried to improve their state of living, and change the traditional way of building citizens. While government focused on teachers' development, primary schools and higher learning institutions are expected to focus on quality of education.

In reality, however teaching profession is undervalued in many institutions, teachers have the potential to improve the learning experience with the support of a well-implemented curriculum for many years to come. But without very careful consideration, it may end up simply exacerbating the existing problems.

It would probably not be hard for the universities to aim for high quality in both their teaching and their research. But it is much harder to identify what quality education actually is, how it can be recognized and how it can be measured. Supporting innovative solutions that improve the quality of education is a priority for the country. To this end, the whole universities can be dedicated to monitoring and improving quality education, and to offer proper education for new generations.

Over the past couple of years there had been howling efforts made by the government to improve education quality, lack of willingness and motivation and promotion as well as context based educational leadership policies are still challenging the sector. However, one can consider that quality assurance is about process, it should be apparent that quality is about content and highbrow creative thinking. If universities are earnest about having a high quality higher education system, they have to focus on content, avoiding one standard way of measuring education.

The wrong perception about the profession, coupled with its lack of incentives are the major factors for the displacement of teachers while lack of willingness is the other reason from the teachers side. Therefore, the government has to implement context based policies, establish and empower leadership as an engine for bringing change in schools. In any case, the government should primarily be accountable to fill gaps in the process of ensuring quality education.

In sum, teachers should waste most of their time on coaching their students to harvest the fruit of learning at some point without regretting for their low income from the profession. It is optimistic to say that teachers have the potential to create responsible, competent and civic-minded generation in due course. This is not only left for teachers but it is also an assignment urging all stakeholders for a coordinated effort.

Likewise, the government should sustain the development of teachers profession through continuously working on developing highly qualified teachers and well equipped schools. All the challenges of teachers should be identified and solved to enable students aspiring the country's vision and harvesting the fruit of success in the long run. If such disruptive situation dropped off, it would not be difficult to perform the teaching learning process effectively. This year will be the time to open new chapter for teachers development in a bid to gain first-rate generation.





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