Cabinet adopts New Education Policy, Passes Bill Granting Autonomy for Universities

Cabinet Approves New Education Policy, Bill Granting Autonomy for Universities 

ADDIS ABABA – The council of ministers has approved a revised education and training policy as well as a bill granting government-controlled universities autonomous status.

The draft documents were among the four agenda items that Prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet discussed in its regular session on Monday.

The previous education and training policy was in use without any amendments for more than 28 years ago.

This has left several gaps in the effort to bring up job-creating citizens, and encourage technological innovation and use of locally generated knowledge, the PM Office said in a statement.

The newly formulated draft policy strives for rendering quality education to children and youth to become multilingual with competitive skills, read the statement.

The policy is also prepared to take the current global development in the sector into consideration with a view of lifting the quality of education in Ethiopia to the highest level, the PM office added.

After in-depth discussions and adding inputs to the draft document, the Council of Ministers approved the policy unanimously.

The council also decided for the Education and Training Policy to become effective as of today, Feb 27, 2023.

Bill to grant autonomy for universities

During Monday’s session, the council of ministers also discussed a draft law that paves a way for government universities to get autonomous status.

The politicization of administrative and academic decisions and financial constraints are among the major blamed for deteriorating quality standards in higher institutions.

Breaking free from government control is expected to improve quality.

The PM office said the draft law aims to enable universities to become internationally competitive places for academic and research programs.

The bill is prepared to enable universities to gradually evolve into autonomous institutions to exercise independent control over their operations and curriculum.

This will enable the universities to render their services to the public and generate their own revenues, and eventually achieve financial independence, the PM Office said.

The council of ministers thoroughly discussed the bill and voted unanimously to refer it to the parliament for ratification.

The approval comes months after federal authorities reportedly approved Addis Abeba University’s request to reclaim operational autonomy. 

AAU, the oldest higher education institution in Ethiopia,  was a chartered institution granted autonomy from its inception in 1950 until the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974. There are more than 40 public universities in the country.