Zenawi Zerihun, Abate Kassahun, Chalachew Wassie, Seid Ebrie, Mengiste Rebso


The study examines differences in students’ academic achievement in conventional and alternative schools (aka speed schools) in Tigrai, Ethiopia. Students in speed schools attended the three-year program of the conventional curriculum in ten months. A total of 372 students from conventional and speed schools were involved in the study. Ten speed school facilitators and eight conventional school teachers responded to questionnaires. Literacy and numeracy tests as well as teacher made tests were used to compare differences. Students in the speed school classes have statistically significantly higher scores on the outcome measures both in numeracy and literacy than those in conventional schools. The same students also scored higher in the teacher made tests. Furthermore, a similar comparison in grade four revealed that students from alternative schools performed relatively higher scores. Policy makers need to critically look into the experiences of speed schools and identify important lessons to apply to conventional schools.


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academic achievement, speed school, conventional school, student engagement

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