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INDIGENOUS COUNSELING SYSTEM IN ETHIOPIA: OROMIYAA REGION IN FOCUS [Abstract ID: 1209-13]
Although modern and traditional community-based approaches to counseling contrast significantly, the purpose of counseling remains the same globally. The objective of this study is to analyze the efficacy of the indigenous counseling approaches ever practiced by the Oromo community. Five districts/zones employing traditional/indigenous counseling services were covered in the study with purposeful selection of study sites. Data was gathered from interviews, structured observations, and focus group discussions based on their relevance to the situation. Qualitative research was employed to describe the data. The study finds that counseling is a tradition among the Oromo community in Ethiopia even if there was no effort made by higher institutions and the government to incorporate the cultural values of counseling into the educational curriculum of the country. That the indigenous counseling system has been neglected to be incorporated in the curriculum of the countries’ education further weakens the impact of this traditional counseling method. Moreover, cultural invasion by outside religious denominations as well as intrusion of the dominant ruling classes through the displacement of the local natives by the pseudo-urbanization has had a moribund effect on the native’s traditional counseling system's existence. The methods and techniques used by the traditional counseling systems are well organized and aided by the rules and regulations of the general assembly (Gumii Gayyoo) of Gadaa system. Integrating the traditional counseling system into the educational curriculum of the country and adapting the modern counseling methods to harmonize better with local community customs is recommended.