Situated in East Africa, Ethiopia is vast, shares borders with six other countries and has a population of 84 million, the second highest on the continent. Annual population growth is estimated at 2.6 percent and children under the age of 15 are thought to total 33 million. The country has a federal system of governance and includes nine states and two city administrations. The government has made a concerted effort to link the education sector with macroeconomic policy to achieve the objective of arriving at middle-income country status by 2025.

source(s): UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14

Main Barriers to Education

  • Gender discrimination
  • Poverty & conflict
  • Shortage of trained teachers

Interventions to Barriers

  • School construction
  • PTA capacity building
  • Provision of teaching materials

To that end, the education sector has prioritised attainment of the MDGs and the objectives of the National Development Plan through supplying a qualified, trained work force with appropriate skillsets at all levels. Access to education has made rapid progress, corresponding with increases in the number of teachers, schools and institutions in the past few years. Moreover, in an attempt to alleviate the disparity between disadvantaged groups and those in more advanced regions, efforts have been made to develop curriculum and structure education management more relevant to Ethiopia’s diverse population through initiatives, such as Alternative Basic Education (ABE). 

Although Ethiopia’s education sector has made strides, inhibiting factors prevail, which stifle access and quality. For instance, gender disparities persist in the distribution of educational opportunities and dropout rates remain high, particularly in pastoralist and remote areas where drought and localised conflict are common. Furthermore, poverty, geographic constraints and lack of parental education and support are effective in excluding primary-level school children in Ethiopia.

To address these barriers to education, EAC has established partnerships with imagine1day, Pact, Save the Children and UNHCR. Through a diverse cadre of projects, EAC and its partners will build the leadership and technical capacity of key stakeholders; mobilise communities through awareness campaigns; implement teacher-training programmes; enrol new class one children and ensure a corresponding number of teachers; and provide teaching and learning materials.


Geographic Location: East Africa

Languages: Afar (official), Amharic (official), Oromo (official), Somali (official), Tigrigna (official), Sidamo, Wolaytta, Gurage, Hadiyya, Gamo, Gedeo, Opuuo, Kafa, English, Arabic

source: Worldbank, UNESCO

Year added: 


Community Driven Primary Education for All

Successfully Completed Project

The goal of this EAC and imagine1day project in Ethiopia is to increase the primary school net enrolment rate in the three districts in the northern Tigray Region and two districts in the southern Oromia Region from 66% to 89% by mid-2018 by enrolling 32,268 primary age OOSC.

Educate A Child Partnership

Successfully Completed Project

Educate A Child (EAC) has partnered with UNHCR to bring quality primary education to refugee children in 12 priority countries.
Enabling, Encouraging & Excelling

Enabling, Encouraging & Excelling

As the global refugee protection agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible for ensuring that refugee children have access to quality education in their countries of asylum. There are over 2.7 million refugee children out of school in 12 targeted project countries.
Increasing Access to Education for Marginalized Children in Ethiopia

Increasing Access to Education for Marginalized Children in Ethiopia

Successfully Completed Project

The goal of the Increasing Access to Education for Marginalized Children project is to respond to the education needs of OOSC in Ethiopia and contribute to equitable access to quality primary education for disadvantaged children.
Reaching Educational Attainments of Children in the Hinterlands (REACH)

Reaching Educational Attainments of Children in the Hinterlands (REACH)

Successfully Completed Project

Reaching Educational Attainments of Children in the Hinterlands (REACH) is a one-year initiative that builds on Pact’s success in using flexible and innovative models to expand opportunities to the most marginalized and hardest to reach children and help them access and complete education in Ethiopia.
The Bale Out of School Children Initiative

The Bale Out of School Children Initiative

Successfully Completed Project

Through the Bale Out of School Children Initiative, EAC and imagine1day International will provide access to quality primary education for 28,599 out of school children.



EAC is partnering with imagine1day International to ensure children in Ethiopia receive a quality education. Together, EAC and imagine1day will increase education access to more than 60,000 out of school children in the regions of Oromia and Tigray.

PACT International

EAC and PACT have partnered in Ethiopia to reach 15,120 out of school children in 27 districts with quality primary education. Using flexible and innovative education models, the EAC-PACT partnership will reach the most marginalised and hardest to reach children across six regions of Ethiopia.

Save the Children

Save the Children and Educate A Child have partnered in Côte d’Ivoire and Thailand/Myamar to help children affected by conflict to enrol and stay in school. In Ethiopia, the Save the Children and EAC partnership is working to reach the most marginalized children across five regions, three major cities, and two refugee camps with quality primary level education.


EAC partnership with UNHCR will ensure quality education for over 448,000 refugee children. UNHCR and EAC’s shared commitment to children in the most extreme circumstances help to ensure that all children in crisis situations have the opportunity to gain from the benefits of basic education.