By Obo Arada Shawl – April 1, 2009
It was a comedy of the King to be an investor in education
It is a tragedy for Dictator Essayas to invest in education
It is a double tragedy for Tyrant Meles to be an investor in education
ምሁራን Mhuran refers to the Professional servants
ጽንሐተ ምሁራን Tsnhate Mhuran refers to the Public servants (politicians)
49 years ago, during the coup detat by the Neway Brothers, there were less than 100 students in the University
Over 90% of the Eathiopian population were illiterate in Latin alphabets
Less than 15% of the population used to go to school
Only 5% had completed grade 12
Some 60% were made to fail the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate (ESLC)
Only a half-million students were enrolled in elementary school
There were about 170,000 students in High School.
Source: The Generation by Kiflu Tadesse
Everybody knows that people are the most important assets in any organization more so for EPRP. The struggle for Labor versus Capital was well known for EPRP member organizations and allied supporters. Contrary to many elitist elements that oppose the EPRP, the active members of EPRP have always attempt to merge politics, science and technology in their endeavor to revolutionize Eathiopia. The Eway Revolution was meant to change the Monarchy, to separate the Clergy from the state and to encourage those so-called Nobility class to join the working class. A political decision!
There is nothing more unpredictable than politics. Some Eathiopians see politics as hopeful and as essential to achieving humanitys dreams and potentials. For other Eathiopians, politics is a necessary evil, or a conspiracy of the elite. Dont we all know that both views are correct?
But what is politics? It is about people and it is about power. No one can be safe with either one. EPRP is in the business of peoples power, which is embedded in DEMOCRACIA and not in the power of the gun. This can only be done via investment in education a la Mhuran and Tsinhate Mhuran style.
EPRP leaders and members recognize both Chairman Maos dictum that politics is a war without bloodshed and in Winston Churchills words that in war you could be killed only once, but in politics you can be killed many times.
What is education after all?
Education normally is an act that refers to any experience that has a formative effect on the minds, character or physical ability of an individual. Technically, education is a process by which society, via schools, colleges and universities and other institutions transforms cultural heritage, accumulated knowledge, values and skills from generation to generation. That was the aim of the Student Movement.
The right to education is a basic human right. Civil and political rights, life, liberty, freedom of expression, equality for social and economic rights, rights to participate in culture, to work and so on, are all Human Rights Issues.
Modern education was introduced into Ethiopia with the full support of Haile Sellasie I. No doubt modern education was due to him. In fact, he became a patron of the University. He had eleven colleges named after him.
Was he wrong to be a patron? Was it symbolic or substantive should be the right question? What about now? Can we say the same of the prime minister of Ethiopia and president of Eritrea?
To be a patron of Education, one has to be aware in the relationship of concept-theory-and practice in Educational Investment. Haile Sellasie was appointing ministers who were armed only with theories and at that – merely acquired from colleges books. In other words, there were almost no ጽንሐተ ምሁራን አካል involved in Haile Sellasie government.
As I recall Ato Mandefro was an officer in the Central Personnel Agency (CPA). As part of his task he used to ask the graduates who came to apply for a job whether they have done some research/study about their country – Eathiopia. If the applicants did not possess thesis or dissertation papers written on Eathiopia, Ato Mandefro will hand them plain papers and ask them to write what they know about their country-Eathiopia. It was a good device for the recruiter man to distinguish the educated class namely ምሁር እና ጽንሃተ ምሁር አካል.
However, during the DERG era, most graduate applicants were from the Socialist countries and as they were caught off guard, they had no clue what he was demanding of them and as retribution the disgruntled candidates labeled Ato Mandefro as anti-revolution and as a result he was sent into prison. What a tragedy it was for Eathiopia!
In todays Eathiopia, we are all Mandefros. We want to know about Eathiopia. Thousands are attacking the educated or disrespecting them. Why? Because many of them are unable to write about Eathiopias core problems, though most of them can discuss, analyze and suggest solutions for other countries.
Most of the educated class gives two main reasons for not writing about their country:
No data on Eathiopia
No access or freedom to write
As to the first reason, unless they initiate to write, how could there be any data. The population is the data. The Eathiopian population is the primary source of data. Those who have written about Eathiopia and for Eathiopians are called ጽንሃተ ምሁራን አካሎች .
As to the second reason, it is good enough to fight for their political rights and focus on their respective change of government. Nobody will do it for them; they have to take the lead. They ought to lead and not to follow the illiterate body.
MAIN REASON FOR NOT LEADING
Governance is a craft (secret power), not merely a talent (genius). It involves careful sorting of ideas and priorities. The Eway Revolution entailed knowing the foundations upon which the Monarchy, the Clergy and the Nobility (MCN) were based. EPRPs first priority was to install a Political Institution i.e. a system of governance of the Eathiopians, by the Eathiopians and for the Eathiopians firmly stamping an idea and a trademark known as DEMOCRACIA. From the start, it was very clear for EPRP to believe in that
The Monarchy was outdated and was destined to be replaced
The Clergy had become subservient to the Monarchy and that the Church should distance itself from the Patriarch
The Nobility would be transformed into working class or Bureaucrats i.e. progressive ones.
For this EPRP was and is being isolated politically and sanctioned economically by the so-called Nobility who are still confusing the working class and the peasantry.
Long before EPRP was formally formed, there were many graduates who had undermined the crucial role of alumni associations. A would have been a vibrant function of alumni association was curtailed due to elites like Samuel Alemayehu who was the president of the Alumni Association during the reign of Haile Sellasie. The other culprits were the president of the university, the academia and some professors. The Tsinhate Mhuran Akal were barred subtly from running institutions and research centers that could have contributed to the over all development of Eathiopia
The Tsinhate Mhuran Akal including Debteraw had faced multi-faced obstacles. Though in general, the college student body were opposing the administration of the University along with the lecturers mode of operand, the would be EPRP leaders and members were mainly agitating against the subject matter that was being taught in the university college of Haile Sellasie. The struggle was not targeted against the administration or the professors per se; it was rather to bring a new understanding of the Eathiopian reality show.
Today, The main reason why DEBTERAW is in prison is simply because he is the leader in Tsinhate Muhur Akal. His usual rhetorical question is to ask questions of WHY and HOW? If any individual asks such questions, he/she would have to succeed not only personally but also professionally. That was DEBTERAWs belief.
Its time to believe in it
Its time to absorb it
Its time to translate it
And its time to abandon titles
But to embrace Tsinhate Muhur titles
Let us heed
President B. Obamas call
The future belongs to the nation that best educates its citizens.
In order to save our children and our people
TRUTH WILL PREVAIL
For comments and questions