Curriculum Planning Process for the Primary Level Education in Post-1991 Ethiopia: The Case of Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional State

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Addis Ababa University


Diversifying primary school experiences has been considered as a solution to accommodate differences through school curriculum and the government of Ethiopia set an Education and Training Policy (ETP) that provides provisions on localizing primary school curriculum to make the education relevant and responsive to the learner and the society. To materialize the policy, the roles of the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Regional Education Bureau (REB) with regard to curriculum planning process for the primary school were described. Researches on access, equity, quality, efficiency and relevance, which necessitated the launching of the declaration of the Education and Training Policy, were made. However, there have been scarcities of research reports on curriculum planning process for primary schools in post-1991 Ethiopia, especially on Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS). Thus, a descriptive case study and content analysis were conducted with a purpose to examining and getting clear understanding on the implementation of the policy provisions by assessing to what extent the curriculum planners have been acquainted with the theoretical knowledge, the rationales of curriculum planning and localization of the primary schools’ curriculum and possess required technical skills. It also examined how open and flexible the syllabi were to incorporate local experiences and to accommodate local differences, the work relationship between the Federal and the SNNPR Education Bureau; the achievements, problems and challenges of the localization of the primary school curriculum. To this end, a mixed methods research design has been employed and samples of curriculum planners were selected from former Institute for Curriculum Development and Research (ICDR) and the current Curriculum Development and Implementation Core Process Directorate (CDICPD) from the Ministry of Education using snowball and availability sampling techniques respectively. At the regional level, the Region’s Education Bureau, six Zones and a Special Woreda Education Departments’ Curriculum and Educational Materials Supply Core Performers, Subject Performers, textbook writers and editors were selected using stratified, availability and snowball sampling techniques. A total of 54 samples were made to fill in a questionnaire. In addition, thirteen students’ textbooks were selected using stratified sampling technique for content analysis. Semi-structured interview items were used to collect data from the two heads, two panel members and a coordinator; a director, two experts of the ICDR and the CDICPD at the federal level. One core performer, nine subject performers, eight textbook writers, and three content and language editors were interviewed at the SNNPRS. The data collected through the interview, questionnaire and content analysis were analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative (mixed methods) approaches. The qualitative data analysis has been done using narration while the quantitative data were analyzed using frequency count, percentage and mean values to determine the position of level of agreement of the respondents. The analysis of the data showed that the primary