Indigenous Knowledge in Modern Education Policy Discourse in Ethiopia: Lessons from Japan


This paper is prepared in the context of the what, why and how the Indigenous Knowledge system is addressed in Public Education Policy for the Development Initiatives of Ethiopia. The paper assumes that Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular are rich in indigenous knowledge, however little recognition accorded from the academics, research and development institutions. Considering the Ethiopian context of high diversity, there is a disconnect between the modern education and the indigenous knowledge system. Although, indigenous knowledge represents an important component of global knowledge on education and other development issues, it is a marginalized and underutilized resource. Indigenous knowledge/indigenous education is tied to identity, cultures, languages, history and these are issues of policy and educational discourses. The modern education system can intervene the marginalization and the negative effect of globalization on indigenous education. That is, modern education is not only to help bring global knowledge but also has to be an inclusive of indigenous knowledge so that others can learn. How indigenous knowledge can and should both act as a tool for promoting quality and relevance in public education? Indigenous knowledge has a potential role in fostering teaching learning, innovative thinking, building a sense of self-consciousness in learners, and in addressing the challenges of the sector. The Ethiopian renaissance in educational discourse should seeks to tap indigenous knowledge/education as a foundational resource for the socio- economic transformation. Therefore, it is suggested to have policies on education and training languages and that recognize and affirm the indigenous knowledge/education as part and foundation of modern educational system of the country so that the curriculum will be inclusive at all levels, and establish centre/institute that researches and support the promotion and revitalization of indigenous knowledge for sustainable development.


Jeilu Oumer Hussien 博士(京都大学・客員教授 / アジスアベバ大学教育計画管理学部・准教授)








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