ERIC Number: EJ705754
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug-15
Reference Count: 25
A Cyber Ray Hope for Ethiopian Children
Szente, Judit; Hoot, James
Childhood Education, v80 n6 p295 Aug 2004
Major obstacles threaten the future of Ethiopia. Global publicity regarding the drought of 1986 has left the world with images of starving and orphaned Ethiopian children. Such conditions do still exist in parts of this nation, in which 45 percent of the population falls below the national poverty line (The World Factbook, 2003). In a nation of such expansive poverty, educational aspirations for those who could change the future, the children, are often subservient to concerns for basic survival. Even when children are fortunate enough to attend school at all, the quality of the schools vastly differs (Hoot, Szente, & Mebratu, in press), and the drop-out rate--especially for females--is very high (United States Agency for International Development [USAID], 2002). In rural areas, where the majority of the population lives, school attendance is further complicated by the view that marriage at a very young age is necessary for many families' economic survival. Girls as young as 5 may be promised to generally older males, with whom they live following a pre-marriage celebration. Such traditions may lead to girls who are only 9-12 years old becoming pregnant. Severe complications for both the physically immature mothers and the likely premature infants result in even greater entrenchment of the poverty cycle. These, as well as other challenges (such as the AIDS pandemic), promise to lower the current life expectancy of 41 years even more in the near future. This article describes the efforts of a USAID project being implemented in two primary schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During the initial years of the project, efforts focused on creating exemplary early childhood programs as well as long-term educational collaborations through the use of educational technology. By introducing computer training at an early age, students will be able to contribute to the economic capital of the country, thus eventually increasing the economic well-being of the entire nation.
Descriptors: Primary Education, Textbooks, Teaching Methods, Teacher Education, Foreign Countries, Educational Technology, Rural Areas, Poverty, Academic Aspiration, Premature Infants, Elementary School Students
Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Subscriptions, 17904 Georgia Ave., Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Web site: http://www.acei.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ethiopia; India; New York; New York (Buffalo); United States