UN WFP’s Development Project in Ethiopia

“Improving Education Through School Feeding” &
Ethiopian Government’s Social Sector Programme

“Education Sector Development Programme”
I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION Ethiopia is one of the educationally least developed countries in the world. Though it is becoming closer to 50% recently, the gross enrolment rate (GER) in early 1990’s was less than 30%, which is definitely the worst in the world. Due to high drop out rates and repetition, only about one fifth of children enrolling in primary school complete grade 6. The unsatisfactory general situation is further aggravated by gaps between the regions, population groups and gender. World Bank’s Programme Appraisal document in 1998 envisages the poor quality of education; “Poor performance is linked with inadequate facilities (due to long standing neglect and civil strife, a number of schools in the country are in need of major repair), lack of teaching materials (textbook to student ratio is 1:5), inadequate teacher training (only about 85% in primary, 30% in junior secondary and 40% in senior secondary are qualified for their post), and a curriculum that fails to take into account regional, cultural and linguistic differences. Science, language and culture components seem too theoretical, lacking enough practical material to prepare students to lead productive lives in their communities.” In order to bring any development effect in Ethiopia, improvement of education sector is absolutely prerequisite. Also under the context of education as human right, it is government’s responsibility to deliver proper education opportunity to all the children in Ethiopia. Thus, Ethiopian Government has been committed itself to achieve the Education for All by 2015 and needs big effort to fulfil its obligation.
[Table 1] Primary (Grade 1-8) Gross Enrolment Ratio (1999/2000)
Region Tigray Afar Amhara Oromiya Somali Benishangul-Gumuz SNNP Gambella Harari Addis Ababa Dire Dawa Total Boys 65.8 10.2 50.3 66.9 10.6 105.5 77.4 114.9 110.6 91.6 69.1 60.9 Girls 61.2 7.7 43.2 36.1 5.6 57.2 41.9 71.3 81.2 91.2 55.5 40.7 Total 63.5 9.1 46.8 51.6 8.3 81.8 59.8 93.7 96.2 91.4 62.4 51.0

[Figure1] Ethiopia School Age Population and Enrolment
14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 1999/2000 (million children)

Primary Total School Age total

Source: Both information of “Ethiopia School Age Population and Enrolment” and “Primary (Grade 1-8) Gross Enrolment Ratio (1999-2000)” were taken from “Education Statistics Annual Abstract 1992 E.C. / 1999-2000” by Ministry of Education.

Other Basic Information (“The State of the World’s Children 2000” by UNICEF) Adult Literacy (1995): Male 40% [3 countries less than Ethiopia; Mali, Niger (21%), Somalia] Female 26% [16; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger (7%), Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Lion, Somalia, Yemen] Gross Enrol (90-97): Male 47% [5; Bhutan (31%), Djibouti, Mali, Niger (36%), Somalia (15%)] Female 27% [4; Bhutan (19%), Mali, Niger (22%), Somalia (8%)]

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II. OVERVIEW OF PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION [Right Targeting] The project is designed to address following three major problems: 1) Short term hunger due to insufficient access to food at home; 2) Micro-nutrient deficiencies due to inadequate dietary intake; and 3) Low attendance and high drop-out rates. In order to improve above issues positively, WFP targets chronically food insecure areas. WFP and our partner agencies jointly developed the way to incorporate 9 different indicators to show the priority areas in terms of development assistance in Ethiopia. WFP believes that the project should focus the “Very Highly Vulnerable” areas in Chronic Vulnerability Status map so that the right population can receive the assistance. [Original Design] The project started in 1994 under joint effort of the Ministry of Education (MoE) and WFP with the initial beneficiary level of around 37,000 students in 40 schools. The expanded school feeding project (ETH 4929/01) was approved for a five-year period in March 1998 by the WFP Executive Board and was commenced in the same year. This project, valued at almost US$ 26 million, was originally designed to cover an average of 125,000 students per year in chronically food insecure areas in 4 regions (Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Afar). [Project Keep Expanding] Due to the emerging demand in the drought affected areas, the number of school children in the existing schools was dramatically increased in first two years. By the end of 1999, we found that more than 40,000 children on top of planned 120,000 children were absorbed by WFP assisted schools. WFP HQ approved 7,237 mts of extra food resource in October 1999 and this was utilised to cover increased number of students. In the following year of 2000, we found more cases of so called “magnetic effect” in WFP assisted schools, which means that students in nearby schools were attracted by WFP assisted schools and non-assisted schools were deserted. Since this project has been strictly targeting the chronically food insecure areas in Ethiopia, the same phenomenon was found in many of WFP assisted schools. Therefore, WFP and MOE jointly decided to increase the coverage in existing target areas. By the end of 2001, the project covers almost 300,000 students in 600 schools, which counts almost 5% of roughly 6 million enrolled students in all Ethiopia. This makes the project cost increased up to US$ 32 million. As a result, the project demonstrates its strong popularity among school children and the volume of the project soon becomes treble comparing to the volume in just two years ago. [Food Basket] Until the last semester, the food basket of this project consisted of two different commodities, one was a fortified blended food called FAMIX, and another was school feeding biscuit. Both of commodities have been produced and purchased locally in Ethiopia. WFP is promoting the local capacity of food production which would eventually give the project a potential to be sustainable in the future. Meanwhile, US Government launched its new initiative called Global School Feeding Initiative in late July 1999, just after G8 Summit in Okinawa. This gives WFP more food resource to cover in WFP supported countries but also gives a restriction in food basket which means US Government gives food but not cash. US Government donates CSB (Corn Soya Blend) to WFP among other commodities like wheat, maize and vegetable oil. Since the project in Ethiopia has been using FAMIX which is similar commodity to CSB, the project is under the process to switch the way to acquire food commodity from local purchase to food import from US Government. [Impact of the Project: From the recent Assessment] Recently, WFP has conducted the study called “Impact Assessment of School Performance and Nutrition” to see the achievement of the project rather scientifically. The report is not formalised yet but here are some of the result and findings of this assessment study.

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The assessment study was done with randomly selected 30 WFP assisted schools and 29 non-assisted schools. The study suggested that the level of enrolment increase was higher in WFP assisted schools comparing to that of non-assisted schools. At the same time, the ratio of dropout to enrolment shows that WFP assisted schools has smaller/reduced dropout comparing to that of non-assisted schools. The study also suggested that the school feeding benefits to the reduction of girls’ dropout. It is found that only a third of children have three meals per day and half of the children get only two meals. Much strikingly, a quarter of children has merely one meal per day. Under this circumstance, it is not difficult to imagine the fragile food security at house hold level and the widespread prevalence of malnutrition among children. The study found that it is obvious that WFP assisted schools show much better status in terms of stunting, wastage and underweight than non-assisted schools. As summary, the study confirmed that the project has been achieving the objective of the project by increasing enrolment and decreasing dropout, also decreasing malnutrition rates.
[Figure 2] Enrolment in assisted and nonassisted schools, absolute numbers
18000 16000 Enrolment 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 95/96 96/97 97/98 Year 98/99 99/00 assisted total non-assisted total assisted girls non-assisted girls

[Figure 3] Ratio of dropout to enrolment in assisted and non-assisted schools
30 Dropout enrolment ratio 25 20 15 10 5 0 95/96 96/97 97/98 Year 98/99 99/00 assisted total non-assisted total assisted girls non-assisted girls

[Table 2] Malnourished students in assisted and nonassisted schools (%)
Nutritional Indicator Stunted Wasted Underweight Assisted Schools 17.8 13.0 25.0 Non-Assisted Schools 23.5 18.0 31.5

[Table 3] Number of meals per day in surveyed area (%)
Region Amhara Tigray Oromia Afar Total 1 meal 17 5 59 19 20 2 meals 77 41 29 31 48 3 meals 7 54 12 50 32

Source: Above Figure 2, 3, Table 2, 3 were taken from the forthcoming document “Impact Assessment of School Performance and Nutrition” by WFP, Addis Ababa.

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III. EDUCATION SECTOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME This project is within the framework of the Education Sector Development Programme (ESDP), which is supported by the World Bank together with many other bilateral and UN agencies. Ethiopian Government is the main body of implementing ESDP to make sure that this sector wide approach will be successful. In this regard, the School Feeding Project is one of the big contributors to the success of ESDP in terms of decreasing drop-out and increasing enrolment. [Programme Approach vs. Project Approach] ESDP started in 1997/98 with a lot of enthusiasm by donor community and Ethiopian Government. The main idea of ESDP is that major donors put their money into the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Ethiopian Government manages the fund appropriately. Later, the Government sends the one unified report to those who contributed. This reduces the chances of overlapping, double funding, redundant, and unnecessary duplication of same kind of reporting. Therefore, most of bilateral donors and the World Bank were enthusiastically pushing ESDP. This approach is called “Programme Approach”. However, only World Bank and African Development Bank deposited their money into MoF account so far but no other donors did. In this sense, one can say that ESDP has not exercised the main idea of the programme but just the fragment of implementation. Most of UN agencies, GTZ, JICA and few other bilateral donors are restricted their way of funding within “Project Approach”. Because of low implementation of Programme Approach, it seemed that Project Approach gained some strength in its argument. It is not clear yet which argument may overwhelm the other. However, the fair view should be that there must be a good balance between both approaches. [Ethiopia Eritrea War Affected Heavily] Soon after ESDP started, the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea broke out. Most of European countries called peace but it was not heard. As the war deepened, the relationship between ESDP donor countries and Ethiopian Government was getting worsen. Donors stopped funding and Ethiopian Government called it “betrayal”. The height of dispute was the time of Joint Review Mission (JRM) in Nov/Dec 1999 and also at Annual Review Meeting (ARM) in March 2000. Ethiopian Government was building the argument called “on-board / not on-board” which means that Government differentiate donors who supported ESDP even during the war from other donors who didn’t. Government named some donors like DFID, EU, Finland, etc. as “not on-board donors” and tried to block their participation in JRM or ARM. After the war ended in the mid 2000, though the relationship has not fully recovered yet, the atmosphere was getting better and some donors have been trying to find the way to resume assistance to ESDP. DFID sent their representatives to ARM in June 2001. [Quantity vs. Quality] It should be properly acknowledged that Ethiopian Government has been successful to achieve the enrolment target so far. However, it also should be properly acknowledged that the level of educational quality in classrooms has been deteriorated. In March 2000 at the second ARM, the Government first rejected the JRM recommendation that quality also should be taken care. But they accepted the idea by the end of three-day ARM after heavy discussion regarding the quality. Since then, there has been nothing done in this area and situation has been worsening. In Mid Term Review (MTR) Mission in March 2001, this point was raised strongly by the mission. And this argument gained better position at the third ARM in June 2001. The main focus now is the revival of three education policies namely “Continuous Assessment”, “Selfcontained classroom”, and “Automatic Promotion”. These were introduced at the beginning of ESDP but were abandoned because of unpopularity among teachers and even parents. In ARM 2001, these old policies were discussed and gained new attention. Another focus is the simplification of curriculum especially in the lower primary level. In order to maximise the efficiency, curriculum should be fairly easy to handle by teachers and understandable by students. ARM in 2001 approved this idea and MoE will start revising the curriculum soon. [The Third Annual Review Meeting in Nazareth: June/2001]

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As briefly noted above, the discussion in the third ARM in June 2001 produced some tangible outcome which should be and will be implemented for sure. As for a technical point, participants of ARM agreed that ESDP indicators regarding dropout should be strengthened so that the dropout issue can be monitored well. The following is some important outcomes of the third ARM.

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Quality of education gained fresh focus for coming fiscal year or two. The original question was "how to regain real education in a classroom?" The improvement of curriculum, textbook, teacher training etc. will be carried out. NGOs were officially recognized as partners of ESDP in first time of its history. This was emphasized because many people especially regional and zonal officials are becoming to understand that NGOs are very much needed to carry out non-formal, innovative type of education in order to achieve the Education for All in 2015 in Ethiopia. Reduction of drop out and gender gap are the focus points. Special Task Force Report which was written jointly by MoF and IDA (World Bank) was generally endorsed by ARM which says (1) 3 years rolling plan of budget should be exercised, (2) donors should provide 3 year assistance plan, (3) Social Sector Capacity Building Fund (SSCB) should be initiated by separating health and education (this was formerly called Social Sector Technical Assistance Fund), (4) harmonization of donor procedures should be strengthened and it should move toward merging into government's procedure. It was recognized that government and donor relationship should be improved.

[Table 4] ESDP Key Performance Indicators (Selected)
Suggested Indicators Budgetary and Expenditure Indicators Education’s share of the total budget Primary education’s share of the total education budget Access Indicator Total number of primary schools (‘000) Total primary (grade 1-8) enrollments (‘000) Quality Indicators Share of lower primary (grade 1-4) teachers who are qualified Total number of upper primary (grade 5-8) teachers Number of core primary textbooks in school Grade 8 examination pass rate Efficiency Indicators Primary school student : section ratio Secondary school student : section ratio Grade 1 dropout rate Total primary school dropout rate Average grade 4 to 8 repetition rate Average grade 4 to 8 repetition rate for girls Coefficient of primary school efficiency Equity Indicators Gross primary enrollment rate in the two most under-served areas Share of girls in primary school enrollment (grade 1-6) Base Line 1995/96 13.7% 46.2% 9,670 3,788 85% 27,381 5,729 61.7% 52 63 28.5% 8.4% 12.8% 16.2% 60.0% 16.2% 38.0% Status 1999/2000 11.28% N.A. 11,490 6,463 89.6% 39,145 7,205 82.39% 66.4 74.9 30.3% 18.9% 12.9% 9.5% 36.6% 8.53% 39.2% Target in 2001/02 19.0% 65.0% 12,595 7,000 95% 36,777 20,000 80.0% 50 50 14.2% 4.2% 6.4% 8.1% 80.0% 25.0% 45.0%

Prepared by Mamoru ENDO JPO (Junior Professional Officer) In WFP Ethiopia Country Office 27/July/2001

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