Education in Ethiopia
As education, business and economic development, and overall living standards in many parts of the world continue improving, Ethiopia's people, even with tangible advancements, continue to face exceptional challenges in their daily lives. Without solid education, the future of Ethiopia’s children is as bleak as their past. Theirs will be a destiny mired in unrelieved poverty, disease, drought, civil unrest, and ethnic tensions.
Almost two-thirds (61%) of adult Ethiopians are illiterate. An estimated 39 percent of adults can read and write. While 86% of the children in urban areas and 61% in rural areas enroll in primary school grades, only 40% complete grade 5. Only 15% attend high school. More than 10 million Ethiopian youth (ages 15-24) are considered illiterate, 5.4 million of them are girls.
The largest single reason for non-attendance is that parents cannot afford school fees. There is no free public education in Ethiopia. The average income for a family of four is under $410 a year (2012). A lack of school materials, uniforms, books, pens and paper would make it impossible for a child to attend. Other obstacles range from children staying home to do housework and carry water to having too far to walk to school.
ADULT LITERACY RATE 39%
YOUTH (MALE) (15–24 YEARS) LITERACY RATE 63%
YOUTH (FEMALE) (15–24 YEARS) LITERACY RATE 47%
Data Source Definitions
Typical School Organization:
In Ethiopia, primary education lasts 8 years and is split into 2 cycles, grades 1-4 and grades 5-8. Secondary education is also divided into two cycles: (grades 9-10) provides two years of general secondary education and upon completion students are streamlined into either grades 11-12 (preparation for University) or TVET (Technical and Vocational Education Training) based on successful completion of the Ethiopian General Secondary Education Certificate (EGSLCE). For more information about this topic, click here.
SOURCE: BBC, UNICEF 2008-2012*, UNITED NATIONS, THE WORLD BANK