The present study focuses on Ethiopia, a country despite facing daunting development challenges, is said to have sustained a notable push towards realizing universal primary education. The study was, therefore, made with an objective of critically assessing and evaluating the right to primary education in the present Ethiopia.
Using both qualitative and quantitative method, this study not only attempted to describe the political, economic and legal/policy reforms the Ethiopian Government have made in order to realize the right to primary education but also tried to describe and analyze the achievement in expanding primary education in the country using the latest educational statistics for the year 2006/07. The study probed further to identify the existing challenges to realizing the availability, acceptability, adoptability and affordability of primary education in Ethiopia.
The result of the study showed that the country has indeed shown a great improvement in achieving universal primary education. This should be celebrated especially when compared with the last two regimes of the country with major policy-related weaknesses in the area. Nevertheless, the study has also noted that despite the increase in the general enrolment rate, gender parity and various other educational indicators, considerable challenges remain in order to overcome inequalities which impact on children s access to education, in particular in rural regions, and on the basis of ethnicity and sex. One can comfortably conclude that children in Ethiopia have no equal access. What is more, there was significant shortage of necessary school facilities including access to potable drinking water, sanitation facilities, libraries etc. in primary educational institutions. The Study also observed that harmful traditional practices, poverty and the hidden costs of education including uniforms, stationeries etc are also among the major challenges to the right primary education.
Realizing that the right to education in Ethiopia can only be done in a holistic approach through finding a solution to the factors that serve as a cause to these problems including harmful traditional practices, limited income to send children to school and child labour, the study forwards a few recommendations. One of the recommendations is for the Ethiopian government to address the above challenges and find a means of incentives to support parents send their children to school. This can be done by working hand in hand with NGOs engaged in the area and UN/ international development agencies including UNESCO, UNICEF, OXFAM GB and other like minded organizations.