The Current State of the Learning Environment in the Ethiopian Kindergartens

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to survey the current state of the learning environment in the Ethiopian Kindergartens to obtain a clear picture of the situation of preschool education at the national level. To this end, three data gathering instruments(observation scales, questionnaires, and interview) were employed, while fifteen kindergartens, fifty-six teachers teaching in those kindergartens, head of kindergarten teachers training institute, and pertinent officials in the six sample urban centers were used as the subjects of the study. Percentage and mean scores were employed to analyse the data. Findings made clear that the distribution of child areas with regard to indoor space is below standard in the kindergartens of Awassa, Dire-Dawa, and Dessie with the average mean scores of .30, .32, and .32 respectively, while kindergartens in Jimma and Nazareth have proper distribution of child areas with the average mean scores of .48, and .46 respectively; eight kindergartens (two from each towns of Awassa, Dire-Dawa, Dessie, and Nazareth) are inadequate in bathroom facilities with the mean scores ranged from .14 to .29, while two kindergartens in Jimma are adequate scoring .50 and .57 respectively. Problem solving and creative construction materials have been found to be poor with the mean scores which ranged from .14 to .34 while the rest have been in a good working conditions their scores being in between .37 and .60. In all the studied kindergartens information and literary materials are meager and in poor conditions with the mean scores that ranged from .14 to .36. Props for sociodrama, musical toys and equipment, and hard surface play area equipment are scant in most of the kindergartens the mean scores being .14 and .36. Significantly higher proportion of the teachers (68 percent) have not got inservice or refresher courses; and the majority of the teachers (80 percent) have got only a three months training. On the other hand, encouraging results have been documented as regards staff facilities, distribution of child areas in outdoor; and arrangement of the available toys, equipment, and materials. Finally, prolonging the duration of the training to at least one year; giving adequate time for practice teaching, and field based observation; providing opportunities for further training of teachers through seminars, workshops, summer courses, etc.; applying a ~ift-system; attempting to keep the norms set whenever kindergartens are established; and equipping kindergartens with at least the toys and equipment that could easily be prepared locally as the major reconfmendations in order to help improve the existing deplorable conditions.



Learning Environment