The Role of Local NGOs in Promoting Primary Education: Evidence from Six Local NGOs in Sidama Zone, SNNPRS, Ethiopia

Biniyam Belachew Lemma


Education is among the determining factors of a country’s development. Nothing can go right if education goes wrong. One cannot imagine about development when the actors of development are illiterate. In connection to this, in Ethiopia, a considerable attention and priority has been given to education in general and that of primary education in particular. In this regard, NGOs are playing important role in promoting the country’s development. These motivated the researcher to assess the role of six local NGOs in promoting primary education in Sidama Zone. To examine the role of local NGOs in primary education promotion, both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed. A total of 201 student respondents were systematically selected from 10,632 target population to conduct the questionnaires interviews. Primary data was collected by using questionnaire, interview, field observations and FGDs. The information obtained from these sampled local NGOs indicated that their involvement has brought different benefits to the target community like quality education service provision, improved the low awareness of community to send children to school, fulfilled the material needs of children in general and girls in particular, supplying different educational materials and teaching older children with vocational skills training in order to enrich students’ future career. Above all, the educational project implemented by these local NGOs benefited older children beyond the conventional primary school age that they had no access to primary education before project intervention by the local NGOs. On contrary, the research reveals some important issues to be improved like lower level of community participation at identification and evaluation stages, challenges in sustaining vocational skills training and NGOs priority in targeting their projects in nearby districts. In relation to challenges, there are many challenges faced during the project intervention. Among which, lower level of capacity at grassroots level officials to support project implementation process, shortage of qualified teachers , high staff turnover in district education office and new Civil Society Organizations Proclamation on budget utilization. In addition to this, delay in starting the project after agreement signed and timely reporting problem were raised as challenges from district education office. It is concluded that, the intervention made by these local NGOs increased access, improved quality and ensured gender equity of education service provision. As the result, participation of students in general and that of girls in particular in those districts are improved after the intervention of education projects. In general, the community should participate at project identification and evaluation stages to ensure project sustainability and vocational skills training should be institutionalized and run by schools.

Key words: Local NGOs, Primary Education, Projects, Role, Sidama

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/10-19-05

Publication date:October 31st 2019

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