Project Details Enhancing the capacity to provide quality chemistry education at secondary and tertiary levels in Ethiopia

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 September 2010
End Date:
31 December 2011


The goal of this project is to empower Ethiopian chemists and teachers to modernize chemistry education at secondary and tertiary levels. Specifically, the project aims at:

  • introducing innovative and cost-effective laboratory instruction in chemistry education
  • empowering chemistry instructors in designing and implementing contextualized and learner-centered chemistry education
  • promoting innovative ways of training quality chemistry teacher


Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries located in the horn of Africa. It is also the only country in Africa that has not been colonized. Despite its economic constraints, it has a strong professional association–the Chemical Society of Ethiopia–that has been running various professional activities in the country for an uninterrupted 26 years. CSE also initiated the establishment of the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC), headquartered in Addis Ababa/Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has been undertaking revisions in the secondary school chemistry curricula and its implementation strategies. All these revisions have had an impact on tertiary chemistry education in one way or another. In addition, very small percentages of the secondary school students voluntarily choose chemistry as their major subject.
What is worse is that there has been a great deal of confusion about the ways in which chemistry teachers should be trained. The balance between chemistry and pedagogy, the best way of handling both areas, the length of the training period, the role of school experiences and others have been sources of differences.

In order to address these issues, this project proposes to:

1. Survey of the existing chemistry curriculum, methodology, assessment and overall context (government, industry, academia) at secondary and tertiary levels

2. Organize a conference on “Chemistry Education in Ethiopia: Today and Tomorrow”

3. Introduce new innovative teaching and learning program in chemistry education to secondary and tertiary teachers

4. Increase policy makers awareness about the importance of improving teachers and students’ literacy in chemistry that is related to our daily lives

5. Establish follow-up mechanisms to ensure sustainability

The Conference will take place in February 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the two days prior to the 27th annual congress of CSE. The target audiences are chemistry professors from different universities of Ethiopia, secondary school chemistry teachers from different parts of the country, some chemists from FASC member countries. The conference will serve as the major strategy of celebrating the IYC-2011 in Ethiopia.

The Flying Chemists Program (FCP – a program of IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education ) will contribute in bringing the following speakers: Prof. Jorge Ibanez, Prof. Peter Mahaffy, Prof. Mei-Hung Chiu, Prof. Hans-Dieter Barke, Prof. Guenter Harsch, Dr. Temechegn Engida, Dr. Sileshi Yitbarek, and PhD students chemistry education in Ethiopia.
The FCP visit will be organized by the Chemical Society of Ethiopia, with the full support and participation of FASC, PACN, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.


Nov 2010 – project announcement published in Chem. Int. Nov-Dec, p. 21

Dec 2011 – An event was held Feb 21-24, 2011 as part of the International Year of Chemistry; see details of this activity on the IYC website @

A pre-conference event for the Young Ambassadors of Chemistry program was also held Feb 18-19.

project completed