The purpose of this study was to investigate Practices and Challenges of preprimary school Education in Eastern Ethiopia. To this effect, the following questions were raised to be answered; what does the status of educational practice in preprimary schools of the study area look like? What are the major constraints that hinder the effective implementation of preprimary Education in Eastern Ethiopia? Based on the direction of these basic questions, descriptive survey design including quantitative and qualitative data gathering approaches were employed. Participants of the study were selected employing both probability and non-probability sampling techniques. Accordingly 245 teachers and 20 school principals and concerned bodies were recruited for the study. Data were collected via questionnaire, interview, and observation. The data collected through questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as percentile, mean and standard deviation whereas data gathered through interview and observation check lists was analyzed using narration. Accordingly the following results were obtained: Preprimary school teachers and principals didn’t get trained on concern related to preprimary care and education rather they are trained for primary schools on Teacher Training Colleges (TTC) and some of them are 10th and 12th grade complete with no prior training), despite the fact that children have full right to attend their education by their mother tongue language, except in the government owned schools, out number of children living in Harari and dire Dawa city administration have been denied to attend their preprimary school education by their mother tongue language especially in private ownership schools. However, in Eastern Hararghe zone, in both schools (government and private) blends of Afan Oromo, Amharic and English languages have been used as a medium of instruction. Although not to the level of expectation, different methods of teaching children have been practiced in the study area. Homework is one of the dominantly used assessment method for preprimary school students followed by continues observation and classwork respectively. The observed major challenges of pre-school education are teachers high turnover because of low salary, lack of competent and trained teacher, lack of instructional materials, lack of appropriate indoor and outdoor materials, lack of trained assistance teacher, and lack of conducive school environment are the common challenges reported which would seriously affects the successful implementation of the program.
Keywords: Pre-primary school; Eastern Ethiopia, Practices and challenges.