News and Events: Press releases

USAID/ETHIOPIA Basic Education Program (BESO) reflects on impact of 10-year project

Program results in significant improvements in quality, equity of primary education

ADDIS ADABA, Ethiopia (U.S. Embassy), 19 June 2006 - On 14 June, USAID and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the Basic Education Support Objective (BESO) Program at the Addis Ababa Hilton in the presence of U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Vicki Huddleston and H.E. Dr. Sentayehu Woldemichael, Minister of Education. The day was a time to reflect on the achievements and impact of the BESO program and to look toward the future.

BESO provided assistance to the Ethiopian Ministry of Education in eleven regions; for professional development, strengthening the capacity of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and local government, increasing the access and equity of education, particularly for girls and other disadvantaged populations. The program also included efforts to strengthen education administration through improved systems for planning and management.

Describing BESO as “a quintessential USAID basic education project,” Ambassador Vicki Huddleston noted in her opening remarks that the BESO program “is integrally linked to USAID’s strategic objectives for Ethiopia, and firmly based on the education policies of the Ethiopian government.” “Its activities,” the Ambassador said, “are thoroughly integrated into government plans and institutions at national, regional and local levels.”
With an investment of nearly US $150 million over the last ten years, BESO helped to enhance the capacity of 80,000 teachers and school directors, built the capacity of 3,256 Woreda education officers in educational planning and management, provided grants to 5,100 schools and strengthened more than 14,000 members of PTAs and Kebele Education and Training Boards. The Girls’ Education Advisory Committees (GEACs) introduced by BESO, now function in all schools and have helped prevent thousands of girls from sexual harassment, early marriage, and incomplete education.

The one-day celebration brought together approximately one hundred major stakeholders who participated in BESO. Participants shared stories, and lessons learned. Attendees included education officials from the Ministry of Education and Regional and Woreda education offices, representatives of PTAs, GEACs, staff of teacher education institutions, donors, staff of USAID and BESO implementing partners.



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