Main Article Content
The main purpose of this study was to explore practice, challenges and future prospects of Alternative Basic Education program in pastoral community of Ethiopian Somali Region. To achieve this purpose, mixed research design was employed (it was given more emphasis to sequential exploratory design). Three Zones were selected out of eleven Zones using purposive sampling technique. From Siti zone, Shinile, Afdam and ErerrWoredas were purposely selected. From Shebelle zone (Gode, Dannan and Adaale) and Fafen zone (Gurusum, Jijiga and KebribeyaWoredas) Woredas were purposely sampled. From the specified Woredas, a total of 54 ABE facilitators, 27 education heads and supervisors and 18 community members and 8 NGO workers were involved. Questionnaire, interviews, FGD and observation were employed to collect data for the study. Besides, so as to triangulate the data collected using primary sources; different documents were analyzed such as national and regional ABE related documents. The finding revealed that ABE curriculum was not able to accommodate over aged children, over aged and appropriate age children are attending in the same class, one teacher is assigned to teach different subjects and levels with no knowledge of multi-grade teaching, teachers were teaching with no syllabus, clash was found between the planned date/hour for the programs (under implementation) with the actual plan designed by MoE, no accelerating program was implemented to address the demand of over aged children, ABE education was not found convenient for learning (children are attending their education in a tree shade), ABE school is running on some fixed villages, the schools and schedules are not mobile, unavailability of appropriate management, lack of qualified facilitators, high class absenteeism, poor teacher incentive and salary, high turnover of facilitator, inadequate community participation, low level of supervision and monitoring and lack of learning materials were captured from the study. With respect to contributions of ABE program, participants responded that ABE system supported the government to easily transfer ABE School in to formal primary schools, improved literacy rate, improved enrollment of girls and boys, improved community awareness and perception towards modern education. The respondents further asserted that the future fate of ABE is gloomy since the value and quality of the program is questionable. Hence, the study recommended that greater attention and improvement shall be made on accessibility of ABE schools, appropriateness of ABE curriculum, preparation of ABE facilitators and facilitators guide. Region education bureau and Ministry of education shall also work out on the way to introduce and strengthened multi-grade teaching and accelerating program in pastoral areas. The ABE syllabus shall be also revised in line with pastoral community’s livelihood and cultural orientation.