Technical and Vocational Education (TVET)

The Federal TVET agency delegates regional TVET agencies or regional education bureaus to implement their decisions, procedures and guidelines, including accrediting providers and issuing Certificates of Competence (CoC). TVETs can prepare their own curricular to meet local conditions. TVETs aim to provide marketable and entrepreneurial skills and previously provided one or two year certificates and a three-year diploma for students who had passed grade 10 exams. Now students may enter the TVET system at levels 1 to 4 depending on their grade 10 results. Students entering at level 1 can progress to higher levels if they pass the outcome based occupational assessment taken at the end of each level. Students who have passed through the TVET system and worked for two years can apply to a public university. TVETs have expanded to train students without formal qualifications and these courses can last from a few days to a year or more.

Occupational standards define the expected outcome of students' training. The national qualifications framework has five CoC levels which industries accept as effective for performance at work. CoC levels 1 and 2 provide entry to an industry or occupation. CoC level 3 is a trade level and CoC levels 4 and 5 are for supervisors, middle management or people with special technical skills. A CoC can be awarded to anyone passing the occupational assessment for each level, regardless of the way the skill was obtained. This includes both formal training and informal training at work or in the family.

There is prejudice against attending TVETs since they are regarded as catering for those unable to pass the grade 12 exams and some trades have traditionally been associated with despised "castes" regarded as polluting. Despite this prejudice, there has been substantial increase in TVET enrolment in the five years between 2006/07 and 2010/11 although training for males and females remains gender stereotyped.

Government TVETs are particularly concerned with occupations requiring investment in machinery and equipment and with increasing provision in remote areas. Workshop provision varies in quality. Some TVETs have good provision but many others have a shortage of workshops or old dilapidated workshops that lack safety features, basic sanitary facilities and essential equipment. Classrooms, stores and libraries may be in poor condition or non-existent. Instructors may lack competence since, in 2012, only 53% of those assessed met the assessment criteria. Even when TVETs have machinery and equipment, there are too many students for the few resources available. Students cannot meet the 70% to 80% requirement for practice and training remains theory based. Consequently, students have difficulty in meeting the assessment criteria with only 23% of students being found competent in 2012. Students who do graduate may still find it hard to get work. The Amhara TVET promotion bureau found only about 40% of TVET graduates managed to obtain employment.

Both public and private TVETs have failed to link education and training to the skills and quality of skills required by the labour market and have failed to monitor graduates' subsequent employment. Once TVETs have labour market information, they should provide vocational guidance to match skills to job opportunities. Private TVETs, accounting for 51% of TVET provision in 2010/11, are concentrated in urban areas and have largely been concerned with making a profit rather than their graduates' employment opportunities. They do tend to have better resources and more practically skilled instructors than public TVETs but they have been reluctant to allow their workshops to be used for co-operative training and occupational assessment.

Teacher training
Teachers are trained in 34 colleges of teacher education (CTE) and 10 universities. Previously, kindergarten and primary schools, grades 1 to 4, required a one or two year teaching certificate while grades 4 to 8 needed a three-year diploma. Recently, certificates have been replaced by a three-year diploma for all new primary school teachers. Selection requirements for primary school teaching include a minimum of 2 in the grade 10 exam (EGSECE), no "F" grades in mathematics or English and a minimum of "C" in specialist subjects. Student teachers take an entrance exam and are given an interview to assess interpersonal skills and motivation. Primary school teachers' cluster training prepares teachers for grades 1 to 4 and linear training prepares teachers for grades 5 to 8. All students have the same professional training but differ in that cluster training has composite subject matter while linear training includes three specialist subjects. These are three year programs for a diploma. A policy revision is expected to up-grade teacher qualifications to a degree for grades 7 and 8.

Secondary school teachers needed a B.Ed. until 2010. Since 2011, they have to have a B.Sc. or BA related to secondary school subjects plus a one-year post-graduate diploma in teaching (PGDT) which includes a practicum accounting for 30% of the credit hours. Student teachers also take an entrance examination and have an interview for PGDT enrolment.

Primary school teacher educators are expected to have a first degree in a relevant subject and are being encouraged to take a second degree. They are expected to develop professionalism by earning a higher diploma, participating in research and by having primary school teaching experience. Secondary school teacher educators are expected to have post-graduate degrees in education and at least three years teaching experience in secondary schools or five years teaching experience in teacher colleges.

In 2012/13, enrolment in CTEs for regular, evening and summer classes increased from 81,091 (39% female) in 2008/09 to 175,142 ((40.2% female) in 2012/13. Combining the cluster and linear modalities, the number of graduates has increased from 16,129 (38.8% female) in 2008/09 to 43,890 (43.1% female) in 2012/13. CTE staff have increased from 774 (12.1% female) in 2008/09 to 2044 (8.4% female) in 2012/13.

Higher education
Addis Ababa University (AAU) was the first university established in 1950 followed by Haramaya University in 1954. By 2007, there were 7 existing universities which were expanding and 13 new public universities had started construction. By 2012, the number of public universities had risen to 34, 31 owned by the MoE plus the Ethiopian civil service university, Defense university college and Kotebe college of teacher education. There were 64 accredited non-government universities or colleges awarding degrees.

Between 2008/09 and 2012/13, undergraduate enrolment for regular, evening, summer and distance programs had increased in both government (86%) and non-government universities from 310,702 (29% female) to 553,484 (30% female). First degree graduates increased from 56,109 (29.9% female) to 79,073 (28.6% female).

Between 2008/09 and 2012/13, masters' enrolment in government and non-government universities increased from 9,800 (11.4% female) to 28,139 (20.4% female). Doctorate enrolment increased from 325 (8% female) to 3,165 (11.2% female). Masters' graduates increased from 3,574 (11.8% female) to 6,353 (14.9% female) and doctorate graduates increased from 15 (0% female) to 71 (9.9% female). Academic staff increased from 11,028 (9.8% female) to 23,905 (10.5% female).

In 2012/13, the undergraduate intake ratio of science and technology to social and humanities sciences for government regular programs was 74.26 and for all programs it was 67.33.

Quality assurance
The Ethiopian government established the Higher Education and Relevance Quality Agency (HERQA) to monitor the quality of education provided in higher education institutions. The government appoints HERQA's director and the chairman of the board is an MoE representative. Western consultants helped develop HERQA guidelines and provided initial training for quality assurance. HERQA's responsibility is limited to providing reports and recommendations to the institutions involved and the MoE. HERQA accredits private institutions but only conducts an institutional audit for public institutions. Public institutions do not need to act on HERQA recommendations.

HERQA recommended that university staff should be about 30% Ph.Ds, 50% Masters and less than 20% first degree holders. Excluding medical and veterinary degrees, in 2012/13, qualifications for all government universities were 13% Ph.Ds, 54.7% Masters and 32.2% first degrees. AAU was approaching the recommendation with 27.6% Ph.Ds, 55.3% Masters and 17.1% first degrees.

There was some doubt about HERQA's competence to fulfill its mission since the majority of members were from agriculture and would thus not be able to insure quality and relevance throughout the higher education sector.
Business process re-engineering has recently been introduced across the public sector to improve effectiveness and efficiency from "scratch" but this has received only limited support from universities. HERQA has recently changed its name to Education Training Quality Assurance Agency (ETQAA)

Government responsibilities and directives
The Federal government provides a block grant to universities based on student enrolment but unrelated to performance and lacking in accountability. When university education was first introduced, students were given free room and board but, since 2003, there has been cost sharing whereby the student pays full cost for room and board and a minimum of 15% of tuition fees. The government provides a loan which must be repaid, starting one year after completing the degree. Certain programs are chosen for exemption whereby students can re-pay in kind. In the case of secondary school teacher training, students can serve as teachers for a specific number of years.
The MoE has the power to grant university status to an institution if it has the potential to reach university status in an "acceptable time", which is not specified. New universities thus struggle to meet the criteria upon which they were awarded university status in advance.

The MoE ordered curriculum reforms but over-rode proposals from academics so all universities had the same mission and academics thought they had no right to make curriculum revisions. Universities could not initiate new programs without MoE permission but the MoE could choose a university and order a new program without proper curriculum development or adequate facilities and equipment. Consequently, curriculum reforms to graduate programs became unstable and this instability spread to Masters' programs. AAU was ordered to change to modular programs for all master's degrees. The MoE's directives effectively prevented universities from carrying out their mission.

The government requires universities to have 70% of students in engineering and natural science and 30% in humanities and social sciences. Students can state a preference but only those with high marks in the grade 12 exam are likely to be selected for their chosen course.

Ethiopian universities used to have collegial governance. There were three governing bodies: a) the executive body of president and department heads which implemented decisions passed by the senate, b) the senate which included professors, faculty and student representatives and was responsible for academic matters and c) the supervisory body of assemblies which provided advice to the executive. The president was the chief executive officer directing the university. The university board had overall supervision and was independent of the MoE. It selected candidates for president based on merit and made recommendations to the government.

In 2008, there was a change from the collegial model to management model with the introduction of outcomes based BPR. AAU expanded administrative posts to create a reform office and five vice-presidents. Previous faculties and schools were combined into seven colleges headed by directors reporting to the president. Faculty or school deans reported to vice-presidents. Colleges had greater autonomy from the central administration in terms of using their budgets and organizing activities. However, this did not reduce the high ratio of support staff (60%) to academic staff (40%).

Research on governance and teaching quality was conducted between 2009 and 2010 at AAU, Mekelle university (MU) and Jigjiga university (JU). MU is a young, medium-sized university upgraded from a college in 2000 and JU is one of the twelve new small recently established universities. At AAU, long serving academics considered that governance had changed from democratic to autocratic. Previously, the three university bodies were strong and provided quality assurance but now the president had all the power with assemblies reduced to meetings and only a skeleton senate remaining. There were rules and regulations but they were ignored. Leaders were quarreling among themselves and preventing any attempt at change. University leaders used to be selected on merit, from those who had come up through the system, but now they were appointed by the government and their ability was questionable. There was no control from the university board since they were government officials with their own work and little interest in the university. Increasing numbers of academic staff were failing to attend their classes and there was no one to check their attendance, research or student learning. The introduction of BPR had only produced another layer in the bureaucratic hierarchy, contrary to BPR recommendations to reduce hierarchy.

MU had implemented BPR to the extent of having policies and a one-man quality assurance office that lacked resources or support from top management. They had introduced self-evaluation but this made no difference to practice. Staff and management thought leadership lacked commitment and they noted corruption, lack of transparency, networking and inadequate evaluation of employees. The board lacked commitment and the president maintained his position by pleasing the board.

JU's governance was hampered by inexperienced staff throughout the hierarchy although top management did support their lower level staff. Quality assurance was impossible without minimal staff and facilities.

In 2012, AAU announced extensive reforms to their governance. The president would remain the chief executive officer. The post of college director would be removed and the duties undertaken by the college dean who would be chief executive officer of the college. The chain of command would be reduced from six or more layers to two layers below vice-president. The new structure would be: a) governing board, b) president with inputs from senate, managing council and university council, c) four vice-presidents, an executive director for the college of health sciences, institutes of technology and institute of peace and security studies would report to the president, d) colleges/institutes would report to the president, and e) departments/schools/centers would report to colleges/institutes. Research units which had become teaching units would revert to 75% research and 25% teaching.

Academic staff, resources and students
In 2010, all academic staff were poorly paid and there were no incentives for good work or penalties for poor practice. At AAU, academic staff could increase their income with additional work outside the university. This was not stopped because it would result in loss of experienced teachers. There was resentment that Indian professors were paid more than twice as much as Ethiopian professors. MU had the potential for improvement but, given low pay and possible opportunities for work in new private colleges, they could soon resemble AAU. JU, being in a remote area, had no opportunities for outside work, so staff were fully engaged with their work but they would leave if given the opportunity. Staff thought teaching was not up-to-date or based on practice because research was not being done. Staff were relying on foreign teaching materials and textbooks which might not relate to the Ethiopian situation. Class sizes and resource shortages meant that laboratory work, practical work, field work, essays and projects were gradually being phased out. Courses were reduced to theory without practice thus encouraging rote learning to pass exams.

All three universities suffered from poor resource. JU resource shortages were most severe with basic facilities still under construction. Students had to go to nearby Haramaya university. In 2007/08, MU only had 5 academic staff with Ph.Ds while JU had one Ph.D. AAU staff were advising MU students and JU students depended on Haramaya staff. All Ethiopian universities suffer from poor library facilities, large class sizes, and lack of equipment. The internet has the potential to access world knowledge but there is only one internet provider which is run by the government. All ICT suffers from poor connectivity and a shortage of technicians.

The MoE were selecting students inadequately prepared for university since 56.3% of students in 2008/09 and 50.6% of students in 2009/10 had not attained the required 50% minimum pass mark for university entrance. Students focused on obtaining diplomas and degrees since this was what society required. Student non-completion for those entering in 2007/08 were highest at AAU (33%), particularly for Physics (77%) and Economics (57%), followed by MU (29%) and JU (24%).

All universities suffered from lack of resources but some of this was due to corruption. In 2009/10, AAU staff thought nepotism, patronage and abuse of resources was widespread. They noted that the number of administrators driving expensive cars around campus had increased. Inadequate planning from both government and universities allowed resource abuse to occur. Corruption was encouraged by social recognition for wealth and power rather than academic excellence. Some professors were opening private colleges and advising their students to attend them. Teachers were often absent from class and moonlighting to make up for poor pay. Teachers might award marks based on favoritism or ethnic and religious relationships. In on case, a female student reported an administrator for demanding sexual favors in exchange for passing her grade to the registrar. The administration could change a fail to a pass at the student's request. Corruption and lack of transparency were also observed at MU.

Mismatch between higher education and the employment market
The Ethiopian government concentrated on expanding higher education without due attention to the employment market. In 2013, there were 9,185 new engineering graduates but their training did not meet employer requirements. A HERQA survey in 2010 found that employers considered graduates in engineering, medicine and management were not sufficiently qualified for the work required. Graduates' only advantage was that they could be hired cheap. Higher education institutes were not responding to employer needs and there appeared to be no channel of communication between them. Furthermore, employers were overlooking recent graduates and only employing those with five years of work experience. In 2012 alone, 50,000 new graduates were released onto the job market which was too large a number to be absorbed by private or state institutions. Graduates from AAU were told to become self-employed if they could not find an employer. The African development bank sees this situation as a cause of discontent across North African countries.

It is possible to improve the match between graduate training and employer requirements when relevant organizations interact with university faculty and manage to obtain money for laboratories and equipment. The competence of medical laboratory technicians was improved in five Ethiopian universities. In-service training was too disruptive to normal services which already suffered from staff shortages. The Centre for Disease Control Ethiopia and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) together with university faculty assessed medical laboratory education. The curriculum was revised and standardized to include practical training which formed part of the final assessment. Faculty staff were trained in grant writing and quality management systems. The United States President's fund for AIDS relief provided money for equipment, including an uninterrupted power supply and consumables. Lecturers were trained to use the new curriculum, improve their teaching skills and up-date their knowledge through website resources supplied by ASCP consultants. The result was graduate laboratory technicians who were confident, competent and skilled.