Original Research

Politics of meaning about quality of education in Ethiopia

Solomon A. Tesfamicael, Desalegn Chala, Liyew A. Desta, Sikunder Ali
African Journal of Teacher Education and Development | Vol 1, No 1 | a3 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajoted.v1i1.3 | © 2022 Solomon A. Tesfamicael, Desalegn Chala, Liyew A. Desta, Sikunder Ali | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 June 2022 | Published: 04 November 2022

About the author(s)

Solomon A. Tesfamicael, Department of Teacher Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
Desalegn Chala, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Liyew A. Desta, Department of Cardiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Sikunder Ali, Department of Teacher Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway


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Abstract

Background: In recent years, the policymakers in Ethiopia are engaged in reforming the curriculum to address the poor quality of education in the country. The public as well as the different stakeholders have been engaged in debating on the topic. The discourse about the education policy has been intense at times.

Aim: The purpose of this study is to provide a framework for the different meanings of quality of education in Ethiopia that arise from different experiences and factors among the participants. This, in turn, can guide and shape the intense discourse among the different stakeholders.

Setting: The Ethiopian diaspora group arranged a two-part Twitter Space discussion among the Ethiopian diasporas who are engaged in the affairs of their home country to discuss the education policy of the country. The theoretical approach about politics of meaning by Ole Skovsmose was used to reflect on the discussion made by this community.

Methods: Discourse analysis has been used on audio data from the Twitter Space conversation to trace different meanings of quality of education that different stakeholders attribute within the context of Ethiopia.

Results: Seven different politics of meanings about quality of education has been identified: the good old days, decolonise, expectation, moral, foundation, opportunity and vision meaning.

Conclusion: The authors believe that these seven meanings can provide insight to the policymakers in their endeavour to improve quality. In fact, these meanings are generic to any education system, and this can be investigated further.

Contribution: Even though the authors’ analysis depended on the information obtained from the Ethiopian diaspora, the findings can be generalised to the wider Ethiopian public, the origin of the informants.


Keywords

quality of education; politics of meaning; foreground; decolonise; expectation; moral; foundation; opportunity; vision meaning.

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