In Ethiopia the education follows an 8-2-2 system, where
the primary school lasts for 8 years, the secondary school
for 2 years and the secondary school for 2 years. According
to UNESCO, in 2007, 61% of the population over 15 years were
The official school age is 7 years. Primary school is in
principle free and compulsory. In recent years, Ethiopia has
made tremendous progress in providing basic education. While
only 46% of children attend school at the turn of the
millennium, UNESCO (2011) estimates that 86% now begin
school. At the child stage, English, mother tongue and the
national language are taught in Amharic.
Higher education is offered at a number of vocational
schools, colleges and universities. An academic year
consists of 36 weeks and is divided into semesters
(October-February, March-July). Bachelor's programs last
from three to four years, while master's degree programs
last a minimum of two years. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Ethiopia.
Academic freedom is very limited in Ethiopia. In the 2010
Education under Attack report, UNESCO describes widespread
human rights violations over academics who are critical of
the governing powers.
In October 2013, Mulatu Teshome was elected President of
Parliament with 659 votes against 0. He had no
In November, a 7-month amnesty period for illegal
immigrants ended in Saudi Arabia. The Ethiopian government
started flying the illegal Ethiopian emigrants home from
Saudi Arabia and had expected to fetch 30,000, but when the
last one landed in Addis Ababa, 150,000 had been picked up.
Many Ethiopians had traveled to rich Saudi Arabia to work,
but for most, it had ended in a lack of wage payments and
ill-treatment. The deportation triggered a diplomatic crisis
between the two countries.
In the period 2011-14, authorities arrested over 5,000
residents of the Oromo region, solely on their supposed
opposition to the government.
Up to US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to the
country in April 2014, the authorities arrested 6 bloggers
and 3 journalists. The nine, along with a tenth, were
indicted in July for contact with banned opposition groups
and for attempted "violent overthrow of the government". It
happened within the framework of the state's far-reaching
terror laws. In parallel with the persecution of the media
and opposition, the authorities are waging a self-proclaimed
"war on gays" that is being bullied or sent to prison.
In December 2014, security forces arrested 90 members
from a coalition of 9 opposition parties preparing for a
demonstration. The authorities generally tightened the grip
on the opposition as a prelude to the parliamentary
elections in May 2015 by assaults on meetings and
demonstrations, imprisonment of opposition members and
activists, and obstruction in its members. At the election,
the ruling EPRDF got 500 out of Parliament's 547 seats. Its
support parties got the remaining 47. The opposition was
thus not represented in parliament.
Oppression of the opposition continued after the
election. In June, the chairman of the Semayawi party,
Samuel Aweke, was killed in the town of Debre Markos. A few
days before, he had published an article in the party's
newspaper, Negro Ethiopia, criticizing local
authorities, police and security forces. After the killing,
the party declared that in the days following its
publication, he had received death threats from the security
forces. The following month, 3 other members of opposition
parties were killed.