The heartbreaking story of Jember


The heartbreaking story of Jember. The cost of living has been hitting citizens hard, especially those in urban areas. In Ethiopia, where the academic year regularly runs from September to July, the beginning of each school year brings stress to a guardian’s mind. Among the reasons causing stress to parents and guardians is the ever-rising cost of school supplies.


It’s stressful, expensive, and only seems to get worse with each passing year. Of course, it’s no surprise that each piece of school material has gotten severely more expensive this year, but the costs are getting way out of hand for parents.


Scholars of psychology suggest that providing authentic and attractive materials for students will increase their motivation and reflect positively on the learning process. Proper teaching materials also give students a reason to learn better because it increases their interest.


Samrawit Berhanu, a 34-year-old Accountant and mother of two boys, enrolls her kids at a private school. Her youngest is a kindergarten student while the eldest has joined the sixth grade this year. She is one who dearly cares to avail authentic and attractive school supplies to her kids. But, the price of such supplies has made her task very difficult each academic year.


The new supplementary curriculum has resulted in an almost doubling of the number of subjects, with technical skills, mother-tongue languages, and others being newly included classes.


The amendment of the curriculum requires her to accommodate more than two dozen courses. She is not happy about the supplementary classes, fearing that her kindergarten kid is going to learn 13 subjects at age five.

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