Successes, Challenges and Prospects to Achieve Upe in Benishangul Gumuz Region: The Case of Agro-Pastoralist Gumuz Community Children

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to examine the major success, challenges and prosp ects in achieving the target of UPE in the agro-pastoralist areas of BenishangulGumuz Region of Metekel zo n e. Ba se d on this, analyzing the status of primary education with respect to the Agro-pastoralist Gumuz localities is very important to decide up on the future goals which are intended to meet the target at the year 2015. Particula rl y to provide primary education to all children of the official school admission age, evaluating the challenging factors and identifying the cause for prevailing problem and suggestin g the possib le strategies to alleviate the problems enab les to achieve the UPE target. The research design emp loyed in this study was descriptive survey. Apart from consultation of relevant documents from different so urce , data were gathered from 305 Gumuz students, 86 teachers, 15 sc hool principals, 21 REB, zone and woreda educational experts and officials, 21 PTA members 12 Gumuz community eld ers and 15 KETB team s. The data collected was analyzed using some statistical tool s like percentage, mean and chi-square test. The data from do cumentary ana lysis indicated that the educational status of AgroPastora li st Gumuz children participation in primary school is extremely low. Thi s indicated that there were challenging factors for the Agro-pastoralist Gumuz localities to achieve the target of UPE. Ba sed on thi s finding, sc hool related and out-of-school related co n st raints were assessed to identify the cha ll enging factors . The school related cha llenges like irrelevance of curriculum, inappropriate medium of instruction, shortage of student text book, absence of upper primary (5-8) sc hool have been identifi ed as major cha ll enges that hinder the achievement of UPE . The out-of-school challenging factors were further ca tegorized as socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio -c lim atic problems. The soc io-economic constraints li ke low parental income, high demand of child labor by their parents, distance from home t o school and lack of awareness of Gumuz parents about the value of education were found to be the major barriers to the ed ucational involve ment of the Agro-pastora list Gumuz children. Moreove r, sociocultural constraints like existence of exchanging Gumuz fema les to get wife for her brother, lack of educated ro le model, and lack of awareness of Gumuz parents about the va lue of girls' education were also found to be the major barriers to educationa l participation of the ag r o-pastora li st Gumuz ch ildren . Furthermore, socio-c1imatic constrains like the impact of malaria on the students health were found as a maj or problem . Hence, it is concluded that in most cases there was challenges that hinder the in volvement of Agro-pastoralist Gumuz children in primary schools which wa s a fun ction of school related , Socio-economic, socio-cu ltu ral and socio-c1imatic constraints, which altogether indicated as there were challenges in achiev in g UPE particularly in the agropastora li sts localities and generally in the region. Depending on this finding s th e recommendation made for addressing the chal lenges are upgrading the existing schoo ls, using the non - formal approach, using resettlement program, realizing awareness and advocacy program , using boarding schoo l, school feeding program and u si ng alternative basic education.