The objective of this study was to investigate how participants and guardians of participants perceive the quality and relevance of the Alternative Basic Education (ABE) program in the Amhara National Region of Ethiopia. The ABE program is a condensed version of the first cycle of Formal primary school (grades 1-4) and is a variation of Non-formal education (NFE) with features similar to the `community school´ approach to education. The interest in the program and the research focus arose from the fact that the Ethiopian educational authorities, like governments in several other developing countries have embraced this type of educational programs, apparently in an attempt to achieve Education For All. In 2005/06 the Gross Enrolment Ratio in ABE was at least 5, 5 % in Ethiopia and a steadily increasing share of the school age population is enrolled in the program. Findings on previous research on this type of NFE initiatives indicate that on one hand this type of approaches to education may be more relevant and accessible to the learners and the communities, including that it may enhance the participation of girls and marginalized populations. It may also be less costly to both the implementers and the communities than Formal education. On the other hand there were concerns expressed in the reviewed literature over that NFE in reality may be, or be perceived as being, of second rate to Formal education, and thus neither be more relevant to the communities nor enhance the demand and participation in education.In order to investigate the research problem a mainly qualitative methodology was applied. The research design has features of an instrumental multiple case study, and there are also some aspects of formative evaluation. Primary data was obtained during field studies in Ethiopia in February- March 2009. Students enrolled in the last year of the ABE program, students who had transferred from ABE and were enrolled in the 5th grade of the Formal school system and guardians of present and former students in ABE participated in Focus Groups and interviews. During the field studies information about the study area and the situation with regard to education in the area was also obtained. Relevant literature on the education sector in Ethiopia, on the contemporary history and culture of the country, in particular on Ethiopian children and literature on Non-Formal Education, quality and demand for education was reviewed. The findings are discussed in light of this literature and previous research on the ABE program and other NFE initiatives for children and young people.The findings indicated that the participants of the program and guardians of participants in ABE which were included in the study to a large extent valued the ABE program positively. The program however scored higher or lower on different quality-dimensions. In some areas, such as the infrastructure of the Alternative Basic Education Centers (ABEC), the order and discipline in the ABECs and the attendance of the facilitators, there is apparently a lot of room for improvement and these issues deserves serious attention from the implementers. In other areas, such as the organization of the education, the intended strategies on adapting to local needs seemed to be correct, but it should be ensured that intentions are followed up in practice. Some modifications of the school calendar, in order to make it more compatible with the farming seasons would possibly also signify an improvement and lower the risks of some students dropping out from school. There is also room for improvement of the curriculum, which with regards to the wide age-range of the participants in ABE, preferably should be differentiated to suit the needs of the different groups of participants. There also appeared to be an unfulfilled potential of the ABECs also serving as centers for adult education.