Foreign Educational Assistance
The regime's efforts to resolve the country's educational problems received considerable support from abroad. The initial cost of reorienting the education system toward national development goals through improving opportunities in remote rural areas had been estimated at US$34.7 million. Of this amount, US$23 million was received from the International Development Association (IDA). By late 1978, the European Economic Community had contributed US$2.6 million to help with the government's education development plan. The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) sent teachers, training specialists, and curriculum development experts. The Soviet Union provided hundreds of scholarships. In 1978 there were 1,200 Ethiopian children (aged nine to fifteen years) from poor families who attended two special schools in Cuba for an undetermined period. Other students followed this initial group. In 1990 the Swedish International Development Authority granted US$10.5 million for elementary education. This aid helped make possible the construction of about 300 schools. The Swedish agency already had contributed to the construction of 7,000 elementary schools.
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