Radical student participation: lessons from an urban government primary school in Tigray, Ethiopia

08 Nov 2017

Recent policies in Ethiopia put students at the heart of school improvement through structures for peer leadership and school-level consultation, evaluation, and decision-making. This article draws on an ethnographic study of a school in Tigray, Ethiopia to explore how the participation, and influence of students, is achieved and mediated by structures and processes in school. Three key contexts of student participation are identified: positions of peer leadership (monitor, ‘one-to-five’ network leader), gim gima (public evaluation sessions), and the Parent Student Teacher Association (PSTA). Recommendations are made for sharing and strengthening democratic practices and for future research.