Education is compulsory and free at all levels. Primary education has a duration of 8 years (age groups 7 to 14). Secondary education has a duration of 4 years. The Ministry of Education formulates policy and guidelines of the education system for basic education; while each of the country’s nine states have National Regional States Education Bureaus responsible for the administration and management of general, technical and vocational education.
Total public spending in education in 2015 was US $ 2.9 billion (27.1% of total government expenditure). The school aged population across primary (16.8 million) and secondary (15.5 million) education levels is 32.3 million, against a total population in Ethiopia of 106.3 million.
Households spent ETB 4731.4 per year on education (US $ 328.34) (2010), corresponding to 0.9% of the total household expenditure of the year. No information was found on subsidies or financial support to private institutions.
The State budget is calculated using a “general purpose block grant” (or regional subsidy) that is transferred to each region based on an equity formula that takes into account each region’s population size, level of infrastructure development (favoring disadvantaged regions), revenue raising potential, and expenditure assessment for the provision of basic services. Based on the principles of fiscal federalism, transfers are made from the federal to the regional governments and from the regional governments to woredas (districts) through a system of non-earmarked block grants. Once block grant transfers are sent by the federal Government to each autonomous regional government, the regional government decides how much of the region’s budget is retained at the regional level and how much is transferred as block grants to each district. A “specific purpose block grant” named Pro-poor National Spending is also transferred to regions to allow for capital expenditures targeted to meet SDG goals, tied to agreed results in selected pro-poor sectors (WASH, education, health, roads and agriculture).
Ethiopia’s Education Sector Development Program V for 2015/16 - 2019/20 (ESDP V) prioritises gender disparities; students with special educational needs; access to primary and secondary education in emergency prone areas (particularly drought). However, there is no budget estimate for programs.
The program set a number of strategies to increase girl’s access to basic education, including secure and protective hostel services for secondary school girls from rural remote areas; expansion of secondary schools; access modalities of education for out of school and remotely located girls and girl friendly school environment.
GEQIP-E program funded by GPE proposes to support phases V and VI of the ESDP. Area 2 of the project for improved equitable access aims to improve girls’ education in Afar, Ethiopia Somali, and Benishangul-Gumuz through girls’ clubs, life skills training manuals and gender-sensitive school-planning. It also aims to improve school participation of children with special needs, though provision of supplementary school grants to transform 687 cluster center schools to inclusive education resource centers (IERCs) to promote mainstreaming of children with special needs in education.
The total Government Program (ESDP V and VI) 2018-2022 is US $18.8 billion, and the non-salary recurrent costs is US $1.9 billion, or approximately US $380 million per year, corresponding on average to 13% of total education expenditure. The Program was expected to benefit annually some 27 million students (84% of school-aged population) and 35,000 public primary and secondary schools.
Developed by the Ethiopian government with the support of UNHCR, the strategy focuses on enhancing access to formal and non-formal education and fostering girls education and refugee children in urban settings. As of 30 June 2019, combined funding under the Ethiopia Country Refugee Response Plan 2019-2020 totaled US $ 164 million. 131 000 primary school-aged children and 10 000 secondary school-aged children (0.44% of total school-aged population) were enrolled in school.
The Strategy aims to improve access and educational achievement of school children through health and nutrition interventions in educational establishments. In 2014, the Home Grown School Feeding program cost US $ 28.01 per child per year, WASH cost US $ 7.35 per child per year, and Deworming cost US $ 0.4 per child per year. In 2008, the total nutrition budget allocation by the Ministry of Health was US $ 455 million, of which school health and nutrition programs received US $ 36 million (11% of total funding in nutrition). Total national health expenditure in 2015/2016 was ETB 2.4 billion.
Pastoralist Area Education Strategy The MoE implemented its Pastoralist Area Education Strategy in 2013-2019 through a US $ 110 million grant from the World Bank (the project ended up costing US $250 million) for the Pastoral Community Development Program III (PCDP III). This program aims to improve participation in general education of children residing in pastoralist woredas. One of the components was Community Driven Service Provision (US $199 million ), which among other objectives, constructed, furnished and operationalized a total of 1,362 education subprojects. In the project-constructed schools, the actual number of students enrolled (grade 1-8) was 617 thousand (corresponding to 1.9% of school-aged population).
The strategy (2014) was set to increase girl’s access to basic education, including scholarship support for vulnerable girls, school kits, and capacity building for girl empowerment.
There is no social safety program in which education is a condition. The Productive Safety Net Programme and its pilot program Integrated Basic Social Services with Social Cash Transfers (IN-SCT) aims to integrate education program; however, there is no education component.