Local Community Participation in Alternative Basic Education Program in North Wollo Challenges and Prospects

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Addis Ababa University


Basic education is a key element to development. Recognizing this, worldwide effort has been made to access basic education for all in a shortest time possible. Hence, alternative approaches such as alternative basic education program (ABEP) came into being. One of the purposes of introducing this alternative approach to basic education is to make a difference in regard to local community participation. It is to create a sense of ownership and to initiate the whole community to participate actively. However, in spite of physical proximity, fiexibilities, facilities and other peculiarities of the program, the local communities ' involvement in the ABEP seems unsatisfactory, limited and almost all problems that are related to local community participation in the formal program are still persisting. This motivates the researcher to assess the challenges and prospects of the local community participation in the ABEP in the study area (North Wollo). To this end, a descriptive survey method was used as an appropriate methodology to reflect the intended purpose of the study. Besides, the Input - Process - Output (IPO) model was used to identify the available inputs, the nature of the process and the results to identify the challenges and prospects of the local community participation. Relevant data on a wide range of issues pertinent to the study were collected from three woredas of North Wollo namely Kobo, Meket and Wadla. The basic instruments used were questionnaire, focus group discussions and structured interviews. The respondents were education experts, school cluster supervisors, ABE facilitators, ABE centre management committees, ABE students, parents and other local community members. Looking through the process, forms and extents of participation of the local communities, the study identified challenges of local community participation in ABEP and prospects for active participation. The major challenges identified are mismatch of interest and economic capacity of local communities to participate, low level of awareness of local communities on ABEP, lack of adequate and relevant procedures / guidelines, high expectation of external support (donation and other external support), lack of joint planning mechanisms among sectors of the woredas, absence of formal mechanisms to maintain and transform knowledgelinformation and documents. Consequently, the prospect seems blurred and active participation might not be obtained, unless those obstacles are removed timely. Finally, the study includes recommendations. The major recommendations are: prepare user friendly and relevant procedures / guidelines specifically on ABEP and community participation, design formal mechanism to transfer knowledge/ information and documents, provide detail orientation to the local community; and create mechanism to enable government sectors to plan their schedule jointly.



Alternative Basic Education Program