The 2021-2025 Education Sector Development Plan VI (ESDP VI) refers to “information and communication technologies (ICTs)” and “Educational Technologies”, “distance education” and “assistive/ adaptive technologies (screen magnifiers, voice recognition software, etc.)”.
Constitution and laws: The 1994 Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia refers to the to access free education (art.90) but does not refer to education technology.
No information has been found on an Education Act or Law. The education system is guided by the Constitution, Education and Training Policy, programmes, plans, strategies, proclamations, guidelines, and frameworks.
Policies, plans and strategies: The 2023 Education and Training Policy Second Draft states that the general education curriculum achieves competence with technology support.
The 2021-2025 Education Sector Development Plan VI (ESDP VI) aims to “Use ICT to transform the teaching and learning system”, “Use ICT for student assessment and testing”, and “Introduce the use of ICT/digital technologies as an alternative mode of delivery”.
The 2016 National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy objective is to “ ensure that ICT is an integral part of the national education system and to expand quality ICT education and make it accessible” as the education system is the “main way that the government provides an opportunity for Ethiopians to acquire digital literacy and ICT skills”.
Digital competency frameworks: The 2021-2025 Education Sector Development Plan VI (ESDP VI) aims to develop and implement an “ICT skills framework for head teachers, facilitators and teachers”.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by WHO on March 12, 2020. Four days later, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia ordered the closure of all schools and banned all public gatherings, including sports. The 2020 Concept Note for Education Sector COVID-19-Preparedness and Response Plan was therefore launched to address the disruption of education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for over 26 million students. These include maximizing awareness creation efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, creating awareness on hygiene, sanitation, and healthy living, providing digital technology for secondary education, using multimedia channels like TV and radio to reach primary school children, undertaking school feeding for vulnerable children in food-insecure areas, and establishing support programs for needy children in collaboration with development partners, civic society, and the community at large.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: No information has been found on a “Universal Access Policy” on electricity.
Computers and devices: The 2021-2025 Education Sector Development Plan VI (ESDP VI) aims to equip all schools with relevant ICT teaching and learning equipment and infrastructure (computer laboratory, Internet access, tablets). It states that “Grade 12 students living in pastoral areas have been provided with 180 solar-powered mobile phones and 480 tablets with solar panels and power banks” to make education accessible to all students.
Internet connectivity: The 2016 National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy mentions that Universal Access Policy (UAP) objectives include: “ensuring universal, affordable, open and safe coverage of broadband internet to all”. The ICT Policy explicitly mentions its intentions “To promote Internet-connected schools and higher education institutions to accelerate and support mass ICT literacy effort in the society”.
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The 2020 Concept Note for Education Sector COVID-19-Preparedness and Response Plan considers three learning modalities in which the first is digital learning, an approach that can address a few groups of students with access to the internet and personal technology equipment. The second modality is audio-video programs, which potentially address large groups of people by repackaging all digital and non-digital curricular content to be transmitted through TV and radio. The third modality is material distribution, which involves distributing the repackaged digital and non-digital curricular content for unreached children through connected devices and hard copies. This includes teachers and educational leaders conducting home visits and using SMS contacts between teachers and parents to check student progress.
It also states that students and parents in Ethiopia were encouraged to use media lessons broadcast through radio and TV, including the Ministry of Education's TV. Regional initiatives have been successful in using regional FM stations and TV. Teachers and students have volunteered to engage in awareness creation, psychological support, and continuation of learning through social and mainstream media.
The concept note emphasizes the need to introduce digital technology for the education system to leverage teaching and learning during and after COVID-19 by “introducing the digital connectivity of secondary schools”, “procuring and distributing context-specific connected devices (Tablets/Radio) for Grade 12 Students, teachers and hard to reach children”, and “Renting satellite to broadcast learning via radio and TV”.
According to the 2021-2025 Education Sector Development Plan VI (ESDP VI), ICT-supported curricula and STEM subjects are part of the goals and strategies “regional centres of excellence will be established for the development of ICT-supported curricula; integrate digital skills instruction into all curriculum areas; Design and implement strategies to deliver STEAM education from pre-primary level onwards to develop creative and innovative citizens”; develop strategies to implement STEAM scholarships for female students”.
The 2021-2025 Education Sector Development Plan VI (ESDP VI) aims to incorporate ICT into teacher training curricula by providing “ICT-based training to pre-service and in-service teachers on integrating technology into the teaching and learning process”.
2.4.1. Data privacy
The 2021-2025 Education Sector Development Plan VI (ESDP VI) aims to “support ICT-based, ethical and accountable data administration process”.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The 2016 Computer Crime Proclamation No.958 addresses illegal content data such as crimes against liberty and the reputation of persons (art.13), but no information has been found on online abuse and cyberbullying in the context of education.
The Federal Ministry of Education (MoE) governs education from early childhood to the secondary level.
The Ministry of Innovation and Technology coordinates research and facilitates the teaching and learning process. It also contributes to expanding digitalization, ICT infrastructure, technology, and education innovation.
No regulations on the roles of schools, including their management of digital devices or mobile phones, have been found.