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News: High school students in Tigray to continue with old curriculum despite nationwide adoption of new syllabus

Education officials have stated that the secondary school leaving examination for students in Tigray for both the current and upcoming academic years will conform to the old curriculum (Photo: Social Media)

Addis Abeba – Despite the Ministry of Education’s nationwide implementation of a new curriculum in both public and private high schools, effective in the current academic year, students in the war-torn region of Tigray will continue to follow the old curriculum in the near future.

According to education officials, the secondary school leaving examination for students in Tigray for the current and subsequent academic years will be aligned with the old curriculum.

Tewodros Shewarget, Chief Executive Officer for Curriculum Development at the Ministry of Education, disclosed to Addis Standard that the decision emerged following extensive deliberations between the Ministry and the Tigray Education Bureau.

He clarified that, by the consensus reached, the Grade 12 national examination for students in Tigray this year will adhere to the old curriculum.

As part of the initiative introduced by the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to enhance the declining quality of education nationwide, the Ministry is implementing a new curriculum across all public and private high schools in the country starting this academic year.

On the other hand, primary schools in Ethiopia have already adopted the new curriculum from the previous academic year.

Recently, the Ministry announced the new fields of study to be included in the Higher Education Entrance Certificate Examination, commencing with the current academic year.

In the past, students undertaking the secondary school leaving examination were mandated to undertake seven subjects in the natural science stream and six subjects in the social science stream. This requirement has since been revised, with both streams now requiring six subjects.

According to the updated curriculum, the subject of civics will be excluded from the university entrance examination for both streams, while economics will be incorporated into the social science stream.

Nevertheless, Grade 12 students in Tigray who are scheduled to undertake the secondary school leaving examination this year and in the subsequent academic year will need to undertake subjects in alignment with the former curriculum.

Kiros Guesh, head of the Tigray Education Bureau, confirmed the Ministry’s decision to exempt high school students in Tigray from adopting the new curriculum. He elucidated the rationale for adhering to the old curriculum, citing delayed academic progress resulting from years of disruption caused by the region’s conflict.

Kiros emphasized that high school students in Tigray, who resumed their education this academic year following a three-year hiatus, are already using textbooks that are in line with the old curriculum.

In response to inquiries from Addis Standard concerning potential disparities arising from the utilization of two distinct curriculums and examinations, Tewodros assured that the effect on students entering higher learning institutions would be minimal.

“It will not result in significant differences,” he stated. AS

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