Contribution of complementary elementary Education towards transition of nomadic pupils From non-formal to middle school education in Habero Sub-Zone, Eritrea
Tesfu, Tekle Okubamichael
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Education in Eritrea is a fundamental right of every person. Therefore, ensuring equal and equitable educational opportunities for every citizen is essential as a solution to socio-economic and political marginalization of different social groups in the country. However, enrolment in areas inhabited by the nomadic groups is far less from the national average. Nevertheless, to boost enrolment among the nomads and to meet the MDG goals the government of Eritrea with the help of donor partners introduced nonformal Complementary Elementary Education in 2006/07 which was targeted at the outof- school children aged 9-14 years. There has been no study conducted since the program started to establish whether the children are continuing from non-formal primary education to formal middle school primary education. The objectives of the study were therefore, to assess the transition rate, to capture the attitude of nomadic parents to formal education, to examine the frequency of inspection and initiatives taken by supervisors to facilitate transition of pupils, to identify challenges that can influence the transition of pupils and to identify possible alternatives to facilitate transition of pupils to formal middle school education in Habero Sub-Zone. The study is significant in providing information for educational policy makers and planners, both at regional and national levels and further, all educational stakeholders. The study adopted descriptive survey research design which combined qualitative and quantitative approaches. The study population was 421 from which a sample size of 170 was drawn in which it included 150 pupils, 18 teachers, 1 middle school director and I sub-zone education officer. The study used questionnaires and semi-structured interview schedules. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the CEE pupils and CEE teachers and the semi-structured interview schedules were used to collect data from the middle school director and sub-zone education officer. The data collected through questionnaires and scheduled interviews was coded and analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The study findings were presented using descriptive statistical tools in the form of frequencies, percentages, graphs and tables. The study findings indicate that the transition of pupils from the CEE centers to formal middle school education is high (83%). This has been as a result of the commitment by the government and all education stakeholders treating the CEE schools equally as schools in the formal system. However, the study shows the enrollment of pupils transited from CEE centers in available middle schools of I' the sub-zone is low (35%). This has been contributed by distance of middle schools, early marriages and economic status of the community. Finally, based on these findings, it is recommended that CEE centers at a long distance should develop to formal middle school. Establishment of at least one boarding school in Habero sub-zone to accommodate the most disadvantaged nomadic children would ease economic burden of the pupils. Further, government authorities, national unions and religious bodies should play important role in sensitizing the community about benefits of education.