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Title: Identity and opportunity : the implications of using local languages in the primary education system of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), Ethiopia
Author: Cohen, Gideon P. E.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2000
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The thesis concerns the reactions of groups of people to the introduction of local languages into the primary education system in Ethiopia. The changing patterns of language use in education come in response to the language policies of the Federal Democratic Government of Ethiopia, which were first introduced in 1991. The geographical area under consideration is the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). Eight local languages, spoken by the most populous groups of people in the region, are now in use in the primary education system. Some areas of the region have, however, continued to use Amharic, the national language, in primary schools. The field-work discusses the patterns of language use in education, and attitudes towards language use, in areas where local languages have been introduced, and those where Amharic is used. The thesis considers the wider implications of the reform for the peoples of the SNNPR, and, in furtherance of this objective, an attempt is made to place the reform in its historical context. That historical context includes the development of government language policy and the historical patterns of language use in the Ethiopian state, as well as the history of the peoples of the south-west of the country. The reform raises questions which concern identity and opportunity, for the peoples of the south-west of Ethiopia, considered as whole units, and for the individuals who belong to these groups of people. The reform also has profound implications for the status of these groups of people in the Ethiopian state. Opinions about the implications of this reform vary considerably, and the questions addressed by the field-work are a subject of importance in current political debate in Ethiopia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral