Universities should maintain their very objectives
By Yohannes Gebresellasie (Ph.d)
University is a source of learning, teaching and scientific and developmental research, knowledge and innovation; not a source of anarchy and lawlessness
Ethiopia is amongst those few nations that have preserved their culture, heritage, language and tradition for generations. Ethiopia is also a nation consisting of many Nations, Nationalities and Peoples with different languages, religions, traditions and ways of lives; despite differences however; they lived together in peace and harmony respecting each other for generations. Those differences not only added color and beauty to the Ethiopian people, but also showed diversities reflecting realities and acting as a united factor i.e unity in diversity rather than a divisive factor. As result, diversities became a set of unity and differences became a sub-set of the overall uniting factor i.e. Ethiopianism.
This unique factor that our nation has possessed for generations is becoming exemplary to many nations alike and Ethiopia is envied by many nations for unity in diversity and for tolerance especially religious tolerance. Within the Ethiopian context therefore, differences in language, race and religion adds color and beauty and not become causes for anarchy, destruction and lawlessness because those differences cannot take precedence to the overall Ethiopian culture and tradition which is a combination of the different Ethiopian Nations’ nationalities’ and peoples’ culture and tradition.
Trying to separate, divide and classify the Ethiopian people under the umbrella of the above differences and take advantage or use that simply to advance a hidden personal and/or group agenda is unprecedented, a mistake, a weak propaganda unethical and unacceptable. It is therefore a losing game that did not work before and it cannot work on our era of the 21st century. However, as the French saying goes: “dans toute les societie, il ya des bons and des mauvaises” meaning: in every society, there are the good and the bad ones, there are few bad ones in our society as well who make their living at the expense of other innocent part of the society especially at the expense of innocent younger part of our society.
These people have been trying to create anarchy and lawlessness on our peace loving people and nation while themselves living comfortably abroad also using few others here at home. They have been trying to create hatred and animosity amongst the Ethiopian people using weak, uncivilized and outdated propaganda in our era of the 21st century under the umbrella of tribe, race, religion and language simply to advance their hidden and sinister individual and/or group agenda.
Recent unfortunate incidences by few university students in our nation’s different universities is a clear demonstration of those few individuals and/or groups’ sinister strategy and tactics of creating anarchy and lawlessness simply to advance a hidden agenda using innocent young university students. Present day Ethiopia is a place where differences are solved and resolved through a civilized and peaceful dialogue and understanding and not through violence and destruction. Differences must always be resolved in a civilized, democratic and peaceful ways and means in our era of 21st century.
University campuses are and must be sources of knowledge, understanding, tolerance and wisdom as opposed to sources of violence, intolerance and destruction. They are and must be centers of excellence for learning, teaching and scientific and developmental research, enlightenment, creativity and innovation. University students are considered amongst those parts of enlightened, learned, informed and advanced part of the society; therefore, their actions must emanate and reflect that background. Further, university students and are expected to think and act in accordance with those civilized ways and norms.
In many nations including in many advanced nation, university students less those with scholarships are expected to pay their university tuitions, food, lodgments and other material costs by themselves and not by their respective governments. Here at home on the other hand, our nation has over thirty universities; amongst the highest number in the continent; that means, education becoming the number one priority of the government of Ethiopia because education is the base for development and development is the number one priority of our nation. On average, those universities have over 25-30 thousand students each. Further, the government has been paying university students’ food, lodgment and other material costs putting hundreds of millions. This is unprecedented and at times unbelievable by any standard for any developing nation vis-a- vis it’s university students.
Here it should also be noted that poor Ethiopian farmers and other innocent tax payers are also paying their university costs; therefore, university students owe these tax-payers and poor farmers quite a lot. They should therefore be prepared to pay back those who did them a favor. The way to pay back is to serve them by doing the right thing and the right thing is enlightening and teaching the society at large about advancing peace, tolerance, dialogue and discussion that leads to advancing developmental endeavor of the nation as opposed to destroying university buildings, university materials and resources and belongings of the society who send them to get the highest education paying their full university costs. University students should not and must not align themselves with destructive forces; instead, they must align themselves with developmental forces that are ready and willing to advance and develop our nation there by changing the lives of our people for the better once and for all.
The Ethiopian people are now more united especially with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that will lead the nation to greater developmental endeavor. People here at home and abroad cannot wait to see the end of what they have started. They are more that ever united to show the world what they can do when they are united and believe me they are united and they will finish the grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam: the largest in the continent and one of the largest in the world. University students not only must be part of history, but they must be ready to make their own history by being part of development and not part of destruction, anarchy and lawlessness.
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