The Education and Training Policy of 1994 has, to date, been the inspiration for four medium-terms Education Sector Development Plans (ESDP). The region REGIONAL ESDP V drawn from the national ESDP V plan and serves as the strategy document for educational development in Ethiopian Somali Region from 2015/16-2019/20. Education is a process by which we transmit, ‘experiences, new findings, and values accumulated over the years… Education enables individuals and society to make all-rounded participation in the development process by acquiring knowledge, ability, skills and attitudes.’ The region achieved remarkable progress in the last five years. Even if the result achieved was impressive, the region is still lagging behind from the rest of the country. Moreover, there is also disparity exists within the region. The ‘complex problems of relevance, quality, accessibility and equity’ remain, but with different faces. The Now, our education sector respects the varied needs and expectations in our diverse society and
we must continue to strive for a system that strengthens, ‘the individual’s and society’s problem-solving capacity, ability and culture starting from basic education and at all levels’. Education ‘plays a role in the promotion of respect for human rights and democratic values, creating the condition for equality, mutual understanding and cooperation among people. Education does not operate in isolation; rather it has to be integrated with research, practice and development to contribute towards an all rounded development of society’. ‘Education, as a very important factor to human
development, is of a high priority in the overall development Endeavour of the government’. The policy ‘directs that there be appropriate nexus between education, training, research and development through coordinated participation among the relevant organizations... Overall, the education and training policy envisages bringing-up citizens endowed with humane outlook, countrywide responsibility and democratic values having developed the necessary productive, creative and appreciative capacity in order to participate fruitfully in development and the utilization of resources and the environment at large’.
The REGIONAL ESDP V, as with previous sector plans, is consistent with this policy base. REGIONAL ESDP V will involve a concentrated focus on a few select important policy priorities drawn from the national and context with the region (for example, improving teacher quality, developing core foundation skills, reducing high drop-out and repetition, ensuring relevance of middle- and higher-level training, creating access of education specially for rural pastoralist community) rather than on trying to spread limited resources across too many priorities. These align with the priorities established in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) of the country as well as the regional government, which emphasise equitable development, economic growth and industrialisation.
This government-wide national policy document makes clear the expected changes in the structure of the economy over the next five years and the implications for education and training, as a main source of supply of human capital to the emerging economic and productive sectors. The priorities of REGIONAL ESDP V are also consistent with those of regional and international agreements, such as Education for All, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Managing the massive investment that is necessary to support education for Ethiopia’s expanding population is not easy. Strong leadership and direction, and effective cooperation and communication across all education levels and amongst ministries in multi-sect oral efforts, will be essential. This endeavour will be supported by the approval and introduction of an education law emanated from central level, currently at the draft stage, during the period of REGIONAL ESDP V.
In order to bring about the improved outcomes that we expect within the education sector over the next five years, we need to identify and expand those approaches that have been successful. Focus is essential if every child, youth and adult is to achieve at least the core foundation skills needed to contribute to national development objectives. The following priorities, plan goals and outcomes are motivated by identified challenges and set the scene for the detailed priority programs and strategies that follow.