Authors: Firdissa Jebessa Aga
This study was intended to evaluate the effectiveness of the M.Ed program in curriculum studies launched in 1999 by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the Addis Ababa University through both Distance and Face-to-Face modes in addition to the already existing regular M.A/M.Ed program. The Ministry of Education, for the purpose of improving the quality and shortage of high level curriculum experts at the federal level, in regional states and zonal educational offices, teacher training institutes, colleges and universities has launched the program. Data for this study were secured from 20 graduates of the M.Ed distance and face-to-face education program in curriculum studies at AAU: (3, 5, 3, and 9 graduates of the years 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, respectively) using questionnaire. Moreover, 5 professors teaching the courses and 3 officials, one each from the Ministry of Education, Addis Ababa and Oromia education bureaus-were interviewed. Official documents and other sources pertaining to the program were also reviewed. The results of the qualitative and quantitative analyses of the data show that the M.Ed distance and face-to-face education program in curriculum studies at AAU was effective in achieving its objectives for which it had been initiated. The findings further confirmed that the decision to quit the program in 2003/4 was too early and did not have research-based evidence. The action portends a hiatus of development efforts, for the fact that introducing a program in September and deciding its success or failure in June of the same year is easy to be wise after the event. It was, therefore, highly recommended that the statutory and regulatory bodies should re-examine, re-think and re-capitulate once again to restart the prematurely quitted program supplementing technology-based multi-media and incorporate it into “pedagogical model” for the higher education expansion endeavors in the country, having its own academic and administrative division with full authority and responsibility. On top of this, all stakeholders are entrusted to think reflectively in order to make the future planning and delivery of higher education distance learning more responsive to the practical learning needs and life exigencies of adult clientele.