Education for Community Development
Education is critical to both community development and the development of Ethiopia as a whole. UNESCO and the World Bank agree that universal primary education is the core of all human progress. In many communities, the establishment of a vibrant school leads to further strides, including improvement in adult literacy, and the establishment of healthcare facilities and economic opportunities. Providing education is one of the most important development projects that can be implemented in a community.
In recent years primary schools have been established even in very remote and un-serviced regions all over Ethiopia, helping to fulfill the goal of universal literacy and access to education opportunities. It has not been an easy road, especially for girls. Traditionally, girls did not attend school; they were kept home to work, help with younger children, and fetch water and firewood. They were often married off early, both for the bride price and to protect them from rape and abduction.
Cultural norms have gradually been altered so that girls are now allowed and welcomed to attend school. Children are graduating from primary school in unprecedented numbers all over Ethiopia. But what happens to them then?
Lack of secondary education opportunities is chronic in marginalized communities across rural Ethiopia. Without these opportunities, youth have nothing to do and cannot contribute to the development of their communities. Building and supplying high schools in these communities supports sustainable development, giving young people options previously impossible for them to imagine, particularly if they can proceed to post-secondary education.
There is a real need for skilled trade’s people who can help the country keep up with a burgeoning population and a growing economy by building roads, railways, buildings, and bridges. The ability to secure these types of jobs provides young adults with an income that they can use to support themselves and to help their communities develop. To do this, they need technical and vocational training that is easy to access and provides a good education.
These trained, skilled workers will contribute to the economy both locally and nationally. They can start their own businesses and hire and train others. Young people can stay in their own communities but will be equipped to work and contribute, building the local economy.