Jigjiga(Mogadishu24)-Teachers from across Ethiopia have on Wednesday concluded a two-day meeting at Jigjiga University, in the capital of Ethiopia’s Somali Region, to commemorate World Teachers’ Day.

The theme of this meeting was “The Global Imperative to Address the Teacher Shortage,” which aimed to discuss the roles of teachers in society and serve as an encouragement for their exemplary work.

During the meeting, educational research studies were presented, and reports about educational transformation in the country were shared.

Abdullahi Abdi Badal, the chairperson of the Teacher’s Association of the Somali region, stated that this meeting aimed to honor the dignity of teachers and their roles in society.

“We have convened this two-day meeting to commemorate World Teacher’s Day, which fell on October 5th, although we couldn’t observe it on that date due to our busy preparations for this significant event. Teachers are the backbone of our society, playing a vital role in shaping the future generations,” said Mr. Abdullahi.

“During this meeting, educational research findings and reports on the quality and standards of our education system, teacher welfare, and key education areas were presented,” he added.

Dr. Yohanas Belte, the President of the National Teachers Association emphasized the importance of this event in the reformation of the country’s education sector.

“October 5th is World Teacher’s Day, and we usually commemorate this day. Our main aim is to motivate teachers for their invaluable contributions to society and to address important issues related to our educational system that can enhance standards. We also tackle the challenges faced by our teachers and students while promoting a conducive learning environment,” Dr. Belte said.

The meeting was attended by the President of the National Teachers Association, directors from the Ministry of Education at both the national and regional levels, representatives from international partners such as UNICEF, teachers, youth, and professionals.

This important meeting comes at a time when concerns are mounting over the declining performance of students in the recently released national examinations.

Abdullahi Abdi Adan, Director of the Office of the Somali Regional Ministry of Education, has drawn attention to a huge drop in the number of students advancing to university compared to last year’s results.

“In our region, 21,887 students participated in the exams at both levels, with only a 0.3% progression rate. Contrasting this with the previous year, where nearly 24,000 students sat for the exams, achieving a 0.7% success rate. The results are too low, but they reflect the standard of our education. What students are examined on is what they have been taught from grades 9 to 12,” he said.

Less than 20 per cent of the students from across Ethiopia who took the national examinations have met the minimum grading required to advance to the next level.

This alarming results has sparked concerns among parents and government officials, who are urging immediate action to address the challenges facing the education system.

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