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Secondary Education

Middle school involved learning the Merha Euoor (Book of the Blind), which took six months, and history, which took one year. Mathematics, astronomy, canon and civil law, Christian ethics, world history, and the Amharic language were also studied in middle school. Amharic is considered the language of national unification and literature. Many subjects could be learned simultaneously if the student had the aptitude. Completion of middle school qualified a student to serve as a deacon in the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church.

Many schools were boarding schools to accommodate the large number of war orphans who were homeless. This led to marked attrition at the secondary school level, except for bright students. Secondary school students who wanted to attend universities had to take the London Matriculation Examination, the General Certificate Examination, or the Ethiopian Secondary School Certificate Examination. Students headed for the United States took the College Entrance Examination set by the Board of Regents of New York State. These examinations measured Ethiopian secondary school graduates against international competitors for university seats globally.

In 1948 two years of junior high school were added, and secondary education was reduced to a four year curriculum. From 1954 on, primary school consisted of the first four grades, and junior high school started at the fifth grade and ended with the eighth grade. Efforts were made to create a uniform curriculum to facilitate transfers between schools. By 1943 the Haile Selassie Secondary School opened its doors and began training students. This school offered a full four-year secondary program. Most of the teachers were foreign. The school had two tracks. The first track prepared students for university entrance, while the second track prepared students for further technical training in vocations. The British assisted by opening the General Wingate Secondary School. This school had science laboratories, and offered classes in science, art, music, and handicrafts. Both secondary schools were boarding schools.

Competitive examination at the end of sixth grade determines which students can advance to junior high, high school, vocational training, and ultimately, the university. Elementary school students who fail the tests set by the Ministry of Education are not allowed to repeat a class. Failed students are not prepared for jobs, but neither can they go on to high school.

Junior high schools increased from 420 in 1973 to over 800 in 2001. Students attending junior high school rose from 101,800 to more than 215,000. The number of junior high school teachers rose from 3,226 to over 4,800. Polytechnic education is being expanded to include all children between the ages of 7 to 14 years of age. The goal is to stream junior high graduates into vocational training and productive work in line with Ethiopia's demands for industrial, health care, and service industry workers.

High school construction rose from 113 to an excess of 190 and is still rising rapidly. The secondary school population expanded from 82,300 to over 220,000 students. The high school teacher population rose from 2,955 to more than 5,500. The teacher pupil ratio rose from 1 teacher for every 10 students in 1962 to 1 teacher for every 30 students in 1970 and 1 teacher for every 44 students in 1984. In one sense this illustrates more open access to education; however, quality of education becomes a concern. Before 1974 approximately 91 percent of high school students entered the academic stream, 7 percent went into vocational subjects, and 2 percent studied education as part of teacher training.

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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceEthiopia - History Background, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education, Higher Education