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PSI Participated in RISE Ethiopia (2017-2022) Project Closure Workshop

Policy Studies Institute(PSI), one of the consortia for the five-year Ethiopia Education System project (2017-2022), participated in the final project closing and dissemination workshop at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa on December 15, 2022.

Addis Ababa University was also involved in the project. Professor Tassew Weldehanna, President of Addis Ababa University, said in his welcome address that the RISE program assumes that transformative improvement in education is possible by building a specific system that supports political and social commitment to the universal mastery of basic skills.

Education systems have made tremendous gains in achieving specific educational goals, such as expanding schooling, by adopting the five key actions, Prof. Tassew said.

The five key actions, Prof. Tassew added, are commitment to universal early foundational learning, regular measurement of learning (reliable and relevant), alignment of systems, support for teaching, and adoption by creating space and capacity for research on local problems to achieve system change to support learning.

The President pointed out that the results of research on improving education systems in Ethiopia point to the five key actions as ideal means to find a way out of the learning crisis and into a future that provides basic skills for all children.

In his speech, H.E. Dr. Fenta Mandefro, Minister of State for General Education at the Ministry of Education, said that RISE Ethiopia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, began evaluating the implementation of GEQIP-E five years ago, where quality and system improvement are key components of the program.

H.E. Dr. Fenta Mandefro said on this occasion that RISE Ethiopia in collaboration with the Ministry of Education started five years ago to evaluate the implementation of (GEQIP-E) where quality and system improvement are key components of the program.

The State Minister said, "We sincerely hope that the study has explored the key issues and come up with important findings and recommendations that bring together our reform agendas and shed light on the policy issues.

Dr. Fanta added that the ministry will carefully review the results and reflect on them in terms of the Ethiopian government's policy direction and reform agenda with policy recommendations. He added that the desired impact cannot be achieved alone as resources are a key factor in this regard. He calls on all stakeholders and donors to mobilize the huge resources needed to transform the education system.

H.E. Ato Alebel Dessie, Deputy Director of PSI, in his key note speech said that PSI has been involved in this project for five years and that the research findings of this project point to the five key actions as the ideal means to overcome the learning crisis and build a future that provides basic skills for all children. He emphasized that the focus of the education system should be on expanding access to education and ensuring that children acquire the knowledge they need, based on the collaboration of all stakeholders in their success.

H.E. Mr. Alebel Dessie saidthat PSI is working with the University of Oxford for the Young Lives Study, the University of Cambridge for the Research on Improving System of Education (RISE), and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) for the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE), funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). In addition, PSI also collaborates with Addis Ababa University and the University of Cambridge for the Early Learning Partnership (ELP), funded by the World Bank. These are just a few of the projects that PSI has conducted with a focus on education in Ethiopia. A number of dissemination workshops were conducted for the above research projects that were policy relevant.

The Research on Improving System of Education (RISE) program is a large-scale, multi-country research program that aims to improve education systems in developing countries to enable better learning for all on a large scale. The RISE Ethiopia aimed to understand and diagnose the General Education Quality Improvement Program for Equity (GEQIP-E). The unique feature of the RISE research program is that it goes beyond the immediate causes of learning performance and uses a systems approach to address the root causes of the learning crisis in developing countries in general and Ethiopia in particular.

To date, RISE Ethiopia has conducted two rounds of household surveys, four rounds of school surveys, two rounds of qualitative research and political economy analysis in eight regions of Ethiopia, namely Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, Benishangul Gumuz, Sidama, SNNP, Somali and Tigray. A total of 168 schools were included in the 2018/19 baseline survey. However, RISE data collection was challenged mainly by the conflict and COVID -19, so only 76 schools were surveyed in the end-line survey 2021/22.

H.E. Ato Alebel Dessie underlined at today's dissemination workshop, the team from RISE Ethiopia will present the research findings related to RISE research outputs, education system coherence, learning loss and equity in education. In order to save our country, we need to get out of the learning crisis that we are experiencing. He added that the lessons PSI draws from the RISE study are critical to reversing the learning crisis and he hopes the Department of Education will use the findings and recommendations .

He emphasized PSI believes that education research and dissemination of findings is an ongoing process. We know that the implementation of GEQIP_E has not been full due to the COVID-19 pandemic and conflict. Therefore, we sincerely hope that RISE research will receive funding to further understand and diagnose the GEQIP_E program implemented by the World Bank and disseminate important findings to policy makers and the public.

Mr. Alebel Dessie, on behalf of PSI, is pleased to collaborate with Addis Ababa University, the Institute of Education Research, the University of Cambridge and the Ministry of Education. He also thanked the Principal Investigator of RISE Ethiopia, Professor Tassew Woldehanna and his team, and Professor Pauline Rose of the University of Cambridge for their professional expertise, collaboration with the Policy Studies Institute, and leadership in the success of these projects.

PSI has learned that various researchers presented the final research report during the half day and a discussion took place among the researchers and stakeholders.

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