Adult Education in Sweden and Ethiopia: Lessons for Ethiopia in Focus

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Dessu Wirtu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the systems of adult education in Sweden and Ethiopia. To this end, qualitative research design was employed and a critical review method was used. Tacit knowledge of the researcher, relevant research litreatures, policy documents and monographs were used as sources of data – the data were critically analyzed. The major findings showed that in both Sweden and Ethiopia, adult education was used mainly as a mechanism for promoting the development of civic competence, employability skills and raising environmental awareness. On the other hand, there werer differences between the two countries; Sweden has (a) a special non-formal adult education known as popular adult education (folkbildning) which utilizes ‘study circles’, and ‘folk high schools’; (b) a culture of providing formal municipal adult education, and (c) the provision of Swedish for immegrants. Likewise, Ethiopia has also its own pecular adult education which is known as ‘integrated functional adult education’ that aims at integrationg basic literacy skills with livelioods of
adults. Hence, one could safely conclude that despite nation-specific differences, Sweden and Ethiopia consider adult education as an indispensible tool for promoting the development of democratic political cultutre. Based on the findings and conclusion, it is suggested that the Ethiopian Ministry of Education
is advised to consider the use of ‘study circles’ in the provision of integrated functional adult education, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is advised to consider the Swedish experience of labor market training for the unemployed.

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