Ethiopia has a population of about 114 million and 48% of the population are children below the age of 19 years old. Just under one third of the population live below the national poverty line of USD0.60 per day. In terms of the Global Youth Development Index of 2016, Ethiopia ranks 131 overall and 170 in terms of its education ranking.
The 2004 National Youth Policy in Ethiopia provides a policy framework for youth development and education. Education in Ethiopia is divided into two levels:
Ethiopia has made considerable progress in education over the past 10 years with primary school enrollments tripling and youth (aged 15 – 24 years) literacy rates up to 69.5% as of 2015. However Ethiopia’s schools have high drop-out rates and the world’s third-largest out-of school-population – with 2.6 million primary-school aged children out of school. For example, 18% of grade 1 children drop out of school. Primary school attendance is 71%, dropping significantly to only 18% attending secondary school – with large urban-rural disparities. Furthermore, many of Ethiopia’s schools lack basic facilities, well trained teachers and educational learning materials.