Today: July 15, 2024

Anecdotal Regional Data Shows Education in Oromo Worse than in Amhara

January 28, 2023

Yonas Biru, PhD

In my blog yesterday, I suggested that as dismal as it is, the 3.3 percent passing rate of the standardized college entrance tests is not the most important story. The most important stories are in the details. Producing averages conceal data points that are critical to inform policy.

The Oromo and Amhara data are particularly important because together they represent more than 50 percent of the population. In addition, since the Oromo tribal land has become the epicenter of tribal extremism, its performance compared to other tribal homelands can shed light on the vagaries of tribalism in the future generation. To make an objective assessment we need to see two separate reports by regions.

  1.  Regional test results, showing what present of the students got A, B, C, D and F before 2022 and in 2022. It will even be useful to go further and show sub regional data for each tribal homeland.
  2.  Percent of students who passed the standardized tests year by year before 2022 next to the 2022 results.


In the blog, I venture to predict two outcomes:

  1. Regions where tribal extremism ran rampant will fall near the bottom of the totem pole in the first data set.
  2. Regions where tribal extremism is normalized will register proportionally less students in the 3.3 percent passing cohort in the 2022 results.

Since my last blog, some regional results have been released. Below is my preliminary assessment. Therefore, it should be taken with circumscription. To form a conclusive assessment, we need the kind of regional details I noted above.

Before going into the regional results, we need to first address issues with population data in Ethiopia. The last credible census data was conducted in 1994. At the time, Amhara accounted for 26 percent of Ethiopia’s population and Oromo accounted for 35 percent.


The 2007 census was deliberately adulterated by TPLF to reduce the population of Amhara. I say adulterated because I was told by a UN official who was working with the Ethiopian government at the time.

The 2007 census result reduced Amhara’s figure from 25.9 to 23.3 percent of the total population of Ethiopia, while increasing the corresponding figure for Oromo from 35 to 37 percent. The official 2007 census report notes: “The percentage shares for Oromia and Southern People Regions have slightly increased since 1994, whereas the percentage share of the national population in Amhara Region has declined from 25.9 to 23.3 percent.”

Current population figures for 2022 are extrapolated from the 2007 Census results. Amhara’s representation is further reduced from 23.3 percent to 22 percent, whereas Oromo’s number is increased to 38 percent. According to the 1994 census data Oromo had 4.9 million more people than Amhara. The 2007 census data shows that Oromo had 9.8 million more people than Amhara. The extrapolated 2022 data shows Oromo has 17.2 million more people than Amhara.

Now let us see how Oromo and Amhara fare in preparing their students for the next generation.

According to the recent high school leaving standardized test results, the top 5 best performing schools in the nation were: One in Addis (Kotebe); three in Amhara (Dessie boarding, Bahirdar STEM, and Gonder Community College) and one in Oromo (Oda boarding school).

The average scores for all subjects by regions are as follows. Addis Ababa (38.46%), Harari (32.88), Dire Dawa (31.42%), Amhara (30.37%), Sidama (28.34), Southern People (28.17), and Oromo (27.96).

Areas who scored better than the national 3.3% average are: Addis (19.8%), Harari (10.5%), Dire Dawa (6.7%), and Amhara (3.6%). Oromo is below the national average (2.0%). This is below Sidama that registered (2.3%).

Another data point is that in natural science there were 263 students who scored 600 or better. Of which, 117 were from Addis, 70 from Amhara and 51 from Oromo. Though Amhara is supposed to have millions of people less than Oromo, Amhara has 35 percent more students performing better in natural science than Oromo. It is safe to assume the school age to total population ratios in the Amhara and Oromo tribal lands are reasonably similar.

Though specific data was not provided for social science, the top performing areas in terms of numbers of students scoring high marks were Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Harar, Amhara, and Oromia. Once again, Oromo is behind Amhara. In every publicly available data point Oromo performed worse than Amhara.

I do not believe the remedial program is helpful because it does not address the problem.

All the problems shown above are manifestations of the tribalization of the nation’s educational system. You cannot address 12 years of poor educational performance with a one-year college remedial program. The data shows the overall average for Oromo is 27.96%. Amhara at 30.37% is not much better. This means the average students in both tribal lands scored at the lower end of F.

Simply put, the proposed solution is to keep universities open by filling the seats with students who have no reason to be on university campuses. You cannot expect a student with 28% grade to score a passing grade in the remedial program to enter college. A small minority may be able to pull their grades up. The majority will not. This is a well-established phenomenon in international studies. The Ethiopian ministry of education has ample data to test this. How many students who scored below 30% in the first 6th and 8th grade national exams passed it in the next try after repeating the class.

Showing pity to the student victims is not the solution. The focus should be on the tens of million who are in the pipeline. The solution the Ministry of Education provided is a political solution. Time to grab the proverbial bull by the horns.




  1. This demonstrations are organised and summoned by socalled Mahibrekidusan and thosse parish church leaders who disparage and disrepect the people of Oromia and their cultural assets .

    These wicked people once said ” it is enough for an oromo to have a deacon as his/her father confessor.EOTC is full of mafia leaders in its diocese and parish churches who steal millions beyond their monthly salary. All hate speechs and propagada against our bishops are thrown by those who benefit from territorial expansion within Oromia.

    የኦሮሞን ባሕልና ቋንቋን የማያከብር ጠባብ ነፍጠኛ ሙሰኛ የኦሮሞን ቤተክርስቲያን ማስተዳደር ከእንግዲህ ወዲያ ማገልገል አይቻልም፥፥ለኦሮሞ ንስሓ አባት ዲያቆን መች አነሰዉ የሚሉ ጠባብ ሌቦችን አንቀበልም፥፥ይህንን ፀረ ኦሮሞ የሆነ የሀሰት ፕሮፓጋንዳ የሚነዙት የማህበረቅዱሳን ተብየዉ አባላትና ደጋፊዎች ሲሆኑ በዚህ ስርነቀል ለዉጥ ጥቅማቸው የተነካ በርከት ያሉ አጥቢያ ቤተክርስቲያናትን ተቆጣጥረው በአሥራት በኩት ስም ሲፉ ሲሰቁ ነበሩ ጳጳና የደብርአለቆች ናቸው፥፥ብዙዎች የቤተክርስቲያን አገልጋዮች የአራዳ ቅዱስ ጊዮጊስ ደብር ፥የፊንፊኔ ሀረ ስብከት እና ሌሎቹም ከፍተኛ ገቢ ያላቸው አድባራት ለመቀጠር በአሥር ሺዎች የሚገመት ብር እንደ መማለጃ (ጉቦ)ወይም እጅ መንሻ መሥጠት፥ይገደዳሉ፥፥ የፈለጉትን አስቀድመው ከመደቡና ካጋጁ በሗላ ለስሙላ ዉሸትማስታወያ ያወጣሉ፥፥ባጭሩ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን በታሪኳ ብልሹ አሠራር እና ሙስና እንደ ትውፊት ይዛው የመጣች የታሪኳ አንዱ አካል ነው፥ freely ye received, freely give (Mathew 10:8፥)በከንቱ ተቀበላችሁ፥ በከንቱ ስጡ::የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ለግብፅ ጳጳሳት ወርቆች፥የዝሆን ጥርሦችና ሌሎም የከበሩ ገፀ በረከቶችን ትሰጥ ነበር፥፥የኦሮሚያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ይህንን ብልሹ አሠራር ለማስቀረት እና ቅዱስ ወንጌልን ለማስፋፋት እየሠራች ነው፤፤ይህንን እየተቃወመ ያለው የሌባው ና የፖለቲካው ድርጅት ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ተብየው ማህበረ ሰይጣን ነው፥፥ፀረ የኦሮሚያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን የሚደረግ ፕሮጋንዳም ሆነ የሰላማዊ ሰልፍ ጥሪ አስተባባሪ ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ተብየው ማህበረ ሰይጣን ነው፥፥

    • NO amhara neftegna elite disrepecting Oromia and its language will be allowed to live and work Oromia.

      Mahibrekidusan well surely be dismantled. violence is propagated and incited by mahibrekidusan against our bishops. This mafia group will be removed from ethiopia

      Borkena and zehabesh are deleting messages to block voices of newly elected bishops of oromia and help neftegna control our land. You will removed from Republic of Oromia. OLa will soon occupy Finfine.
      Borkena is defender of one nefetgna governmenta nd church controlled by neftegna. Neftyegna debtersa poison innoncent people with so many voodoos. They use human dead body and caracass of hyenas to bewitch christians and praise satan. Some debetras are 666.Some debteras recite melke seytan for chrismatic and protection and their deeds are synonymous with acts of 666 followers. NO more voodoo in Oromia!

  2. የኦሮሞን ባሕልና ቋንቋን የማያከብር ጠባብ ነፍጠኛ ሙሰኛ :ምንደኛ እረኛ: (ዮሓ 10:12)የኦሮሞ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያንን ከእንግዲህ ወዲያ ማስተዳደር አይችልም፥፥አንፈቅድለትምም፥፥ለኦሮሞ ንስሓ አባት ዲያቆን መች አነሰዉ የሚሉ ምንደኖች ጦረኞች እረኞችን አንሻም አንቀበልምም ፥፥ የኦሮሚያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን አባቶች አዲስ ፓትርያርክ እንደሾሙ ፥የተለየ ሲኖዶስ እንዳቋቋሙ ና ከቤተክርስቲያኗ አሥተምህሮና ዶግማ ጋር የሚቃረን አቋም እንደሚያራምዱ አሥመሥለው በሀሰት ሕዝበ ክርስቲያኑን እያወናዱ ያሉት ፀረ ኦሮሞ የሆኑና የሀሰት ፕሮፓጋንዳ የሚነዙት የማህበረቅዱሳን ተብየዉ አባላትና ደጋፊዎች ሲሆኑ በዚህ ስርነቀል ለዉጥ ጥቅማቸው የተነካ በርከት ያሉ አጥቢያ ቤተክርስቲያናትን ተቆጣጥረው በአሥራት በኩራት ስም ሲዘርፉ ነበሩ ጳጳሳትና የደብርአለቆችም አሉበት፥፥ብዙዎች የቤተክርስቲያኗ አገልጋዮች በአራዳ ቅዱስ ጊዮጊስ ደብር ፥በፊንፊኔ ሀረ ስብከት እና በሌሎቹም ከፍተኛ ገቢ ባላቸው አድባራት ለመቀጠር በአሥር ሺዎች የሚገመት ብር እንደ መማለጃ (ጉቦ)ወይም እጅ መንሻ ለመሥጠት ይገደዳሉ፥፥ይህ ካልሆነ ግን ታዋቂ በሆኑና ተፅዕኖ ፈጣሪ ወይም ተሰሚነት አላቸው ተብለዉ በሚታመኑ የሰበካ ጉባኤ አባላት ሴት ወይዛዝርት ና ባለሀብቶች(ቱጃሮች)ታዝለው ወይም በነዚህ ሰዎች ምልጃና መማለጃ ምሁራኖቻችን ይቀጠራሉ፤፤ እነዚህ ውድ የኦሮሚያ ቅዱሳን አባቶች በአንድ ጎሣ የተወረረ ና ብልሹ አሠራር ን በማስፋፋት ቤተክርስቲያንን በቅኝ እየገዛ ያለው አካላትን እንዲታረሙ ለረጅም አመታት ሲታገሉ ቆይተዋል፥፥ዛሬ ላይ የነኚህ ቅዱሳን አባቶች ጸሎትና ኦሮሚያ ሕዝበ ክርስቲያን ጥያቄዎች የተመለሱበት ጊዜ ላይ ደርሰናል፥፥እልልልልልልልእልልልልል፦፦ የኦሮሚያ ቅዱሳን አባቶች ላይ የተፈፀመው ግዝትም የማይሠራ ከንቱ ኢወንጌላዊ ወፈ፡ገዝት ነው፥፥ 15 ወንድምህም ቢበድልህ፥ ሄደህ አንተና እርሱ ብቻ ችሁን ሆናችሁ ውቀሰው። ቢሰማህ፥ ወንድምህን ገንዘብ አደረግኸው፤ 16 ባይሰማህ ግን፥ በሁለት ወይም በሦስት ምስክር አፍ ነገር ሁሉ እንዲጸና፥ ዳግመኛ አንድ ወይም ሁለት ከአንተ ጋር ውሰድ፤ 17 እነርሱንም ባይሰማ፥ ለቤተ ክርስቲያን ንገራት፤ ደግሞም ቤተ ክርስቲያንን ባይሰማት፥ እንደ አረመኔና እንደ ቀራጭ ይሁንልህ።(Mathewos 18 :15-17) የፈለጉትን አስቀድመው ከመደቡና ካዘጋጁ በሗላ ለይስሙላ የዉሸት ማስታወቂያ ያወጣሉ፥፥ይህን ኢመጽሓፍ ቅዱሳዊ ብልሹ አሠራርን ያስፋፉት ቤተክርስቲያኗን የሚመሩ የሃይማኖት ልሂቃን ሲሆኑ ለሥም አጠራሩ ክብር እና ምስጋና ይግባውና ጌታችን እና መድሃኒታችን ኢየሱስ ክርስቶስ በተወለደ ጊዜ ወርቅ፥እጣን እና ከርቤ እንደተበረከተለት ሁሉ ለእኛም እጅ መንሻ ይገባናል ሲሉ በድፍረት ይናገራሉ፥ ከደሞዛቸው ውጭ በመቶ ሺዎች አልፎም በሚልዮን የሚቆጠር የደሀ ሀብት(ወገባቸው እስኪ ጎብጥ ድረስ እንጨት፥ተሸክመውና ሽጠው ካገኙትና መቀነታቸውን ፈትተው ከሌላቸው የሚሰጡትን ገንዘብ) ካየሆነ የቤተክርስኗ ገንዘብን ከቤተክርስኗ ይሠርቃሉ፥ ይህን አፀያፊ፥ተግባር ከሚፈፅሙት አንዱ ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ተብየው ማሕበረ ሰይጣን ነው፥፥ባጭሩ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን በታሪኳ ብልሹ አሠራር እና ሙስናን እንደ ትውፊት ይዛው የመጣች የታሪኳ አንዱ አካል ነው፥፥የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ለግብፅ ጳጳሳት ወርቆች፥የዝሆን ጥርሦችና ሌሎም የከበሩ ገፀ በረከቶችን ትሰጥ ነበር፥፥የኦሮሚያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ይህንን ብልሹ አሠራር ለማስቀረት እና ቅዱስ ወንጌልን ለማስፋፋት እየሠራች ነው፤፤ይህንን እየተቃወመ ያለው የሌባው ና የፖለቲካ ዓላማን በሥውር የሚያራምደው ድርጅት ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ተብየው ማህበረ ሰይጣን ነው፥፥ፀረ የኦሮሚያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን የሆነ ፕሮጋንዳም ሆነ የሰላማዊ ሰልፍ ጥሪ አስተባባሪ ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ተብየው ማህበረ ሰይጣን ነው፥፥ በ325 ዓ፨ም በጉባኤ ኒቅያ የተሰበሰቡት ሶስት መቶ አስራ ስምንቱ ሊቃውንት አርዮስን በ ኒቅያ ከማውገዛቸው በፊት እርሱን ጠርተው አቋሙን ጠይቀው፥እና ገምግመው የእግዚአብሔርን ፈቃድ በፆምና በጸሎት ጠይቀዉ ነበር፥፥የአሁኑ ሲኖዶስ ግን ለይሥሙላ ያወጀውን የሥስት ቀናት ፀሎት እንኳ ሳያጠናቅቅ በሀሰት ክስ ላይ የተመሠረተ ውሳኔ ነው ያስተላለፈዉ፥እነዚህ ቅዱሳን የኦሮሚያ አባቶች ፓትያርክ ሳይሾሙ ፓትያርክ እንደሾሙ በሀሰት አሥወርቶ፥ሲኖዶስ ሳያቋቁሙአዲስ ሲኖዶስ እንደደረቡ አድርጎ እና በሀሰት ከቤተክርስያኗ ውጭ የሆነ የዶግማ ትምሕርት እንደሚያስተምሩ በሀሰት አስነዝቶ በአንድጎሳ የሚመራው ዘራፊ ተስፋፊና ጦረኛ የሆነው ሲኖዶስ አዉግዟል፥፥ይህን ወፈ ግዝት ወደ ጎን ትተን ኦሮሚያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ካሁን በሗላ የራሷን ሲኖዶስና ፓትርያክ መሾም መብቷ ነው፥፥ሁላችንም ከጎናችሁ ነን፥፥

  3. Two things:
    (1) The 2007 census was blatantly manipulated, grossly underestimating the Amhara and the Gurage as well us the urban population. So, we should not cite it as authoritative.

    (2) You are conflating two distinct categorizations: the population distribution by language or ethnic self-identification, and the population distribution by regional state. The 1994 census shows that the Amhara and the Oromo ethnolinguistic groups accounted for about one-third of the population each. By regional state, Oromiya is the biggest but also contains millions of non-Oromo. We need to make sure to keep discussions about ‘territory’ and ‘ethnicity’ as distinct as possible.

  4. “Time to grab the proverbial bull by the horns.”

    YES, but how?

    Education particularly higer education given at universities needs conducive enviromnment and institutions to function properly and ensure desirable results. Conducive enviromnment includes reliable peace and security, highly qualified educators and trainers, adequate materials (such as books, computers, labs, etc.) and finacial support to students. To one degree or another, all these are lacking in our higher institutions.

    “Tribal extremism” the writer of the article mentioned falls within” peace and security”. Though “tribal extremism” is a factor, it’s not the only factor for the kind of underperformance being repported. My observation is attributing the underperformance of students to one single factor such as “tribal extremism” is misleading. In fact, the writer simply tried to explain it away by “tribal extrimism” which, I feel, is a reductionist posture. After all, Addis Abeba, Harari and Dire Dawa ( cities of high exam performers) are within or surrounded by Oromia (the region of low performers) which are threatned by violence or direct or indirect violence originating from Oromia. If so, how are these performances explained? I’ll leave this to the writer’s reflection.

    What happened this time around is “kureja” (copying answers from each other or IT assistance) was made difficult. That’s important development. At least the larger population knows how bad the absolute majority of students performed in these exams. But, was this unknown to the population? Maybe. The reason might be there are thirty or so universities and 130,000 openings to admit new students. Students who had scored 20 0r 30 out of 100 were admitted simply because there are openings. What’s different now? Students who scored under 50 are told they have failed and hence inadmissible to universities. That’s all.

    The question is why students who scored under 50 told they are inadmissible to universities now? As the writer suggested, there might be political reason. But, tt has been going on since the 30 or so universities emerged overnight some 20 years ago. All who were admitted to these unversities and graduated and staffed the public and private sector have questionable qulaifications. All these masters and Ph.Ds given out in these universities every year are also questionable. That might partly explain why the country is in a disaster of Biblical proportions. So, how is this political? Minisry of Education is saying the country is being controlled by imposters. Goos job.

    Again the question is : How to “. . . grab the proverbial bull by the horns.” to save the tens of millions in the pipeline. GIven the country’s situation, “Tribal extrimism” is to stay. Look for some real solution.

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