Amharic will not be taught in primary schools in Tigray
Schools in Tigray’s major towns reopened after a two-year hiatus due to the war in northern Ethiopia. Preschools, kindergartens, and nurseries are the first to open after registration ended early last week.
Elementary schools will open on May 2, 2023, with registration closing mid-last week. It is an important move for the region, which saw 85 percent of its schools suffer partial or full damage as a result of the war.
The move comes barely two weeks after Save the Children urged the international community to contribute to the reconstruction of Tigray’s schools. Over 22,500 teachers in the Tigray region have gone unpaid for more than two years, according to Save the Children.
Millions of children have dropped out of school as a result of the war and the coronavirus outbreak, the Tigray Education Bureau says. This includes children who became eligible for schooling during the pandemic and the war.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that no students in the region are left behind,” Dagnew Aytegeb, the Bureau’s head, told The Reporter.
Given the region’s inadequate resources, a decision has already been made to reduce the number of subjects offered to students. This includes Amharic, information technology, general business, sports, music, and art.
“This is to give more time to other subjects while saving money and time,” Dagnew explained. “It is to quickly compensate for the time lost due to the war.”
Students have already expressed excitement at the opening of schools in the region.
“By now, I would have been a third-year university student. Better late than never,” remarked Nahom Hailemichael, a grade 12 student, of the reopening of schools.
Maedot Yohannes, a 7th grade student who would have been in 10th grade if the conflict had not occurred, expressed similar sentiments.
“I really missed school. It’s unfortunate that I’ve lost three years of education,” Maedot stated.
Contributed by Daniel Nigussie