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WHAT ARE UNIVERSITIES FOR?

WHAT ARE UNIVERSITIES FOR?

Yohannes Gebresellasie (Ph.d) ADDIS ABABA

Nov 20, 2019

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Ethiopia has been envied by many nations for unity in diversity and for tolerance. Within the Ethiopian context therefore, differences in language, race and religion add 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 Nationsí Nationalitiesí and Peoplesí 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 weak propaganda unethical, and unacceptable.† It is a losing game. It did not work before and it cannot work on our era of the 21st century. Recent unfortunate incidences by few university students in our nationís different universities is a clear demonstration of† few individuals and/or groupsí sinister strategy and tactics of creating anarchy and lawlessness simply to advance a hidden agenda using innocent young university students. Present day Ethiopia must be a place where differences are solved through dialogue and understanding and not through violence and destruction.

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 from that background and therefore, they are expected to think and act accordingly.† Here at home, 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 as education is the base for development. On average, those universities have over 25-30 thousand students each.

It should also be noted that poor Ethiopian farmers and other innocent tax payers are paying university costs; therefore, university students owe these tax payers and poor farmers 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 full university costs. University students should not and must not align themselves with destruction forces, they must align themselves with developmental forces that are ready and willing to advance and develop our nation by changing the lives of our people for the better once and for all University students must be part of history, part of development and not part of destruction, part of anarchy and lawlessness. Hard work and perseverance coupled with the prevalence of peace and stability is the answer; not anarchy.

Here at home, we have a very healthy, very favorable and very advantageous weather and climatic conditions day in and day out almost every year. That is why Ethiopia is called a country of Thirteen Months of Sunshine. We donít have to face harsh and unbearable weather or temperature that can be an obstacle to our day to day activities; neither do we have to face snow or ice accumulation that may hinder our day to day activities; but then, do we make the best out of that natural gift? Do we really take advantage of this beautiful weather given to us for free to perform not even to the best we can but simply to do a regular activity? Do we use this beautiful weather to wake up early in the morning to do business, to be at work, to be in schools, in universities on time without delay to learn and not to create problems, to teach nice things, to do voluntarism as those living in countries do, because we do not have a weather excuse or do we simply sleep or do nothing or create problems, havoc and destruction even under this beautiful weather? Most importantly, do our young generations comprehend the gift of nature bestowed to them and make the best out of it through hard work within the fields they are in?

Our ancestors defended our nation with whatever rudimentary facilities they had and kept our nation free from external aggressors. They also built this nation using whatever skill they had. Our young generation must be proud of their ancestors when they see living examples such as the oblique of Axum, about Lalibela, about Gondar etc. Our ancestors kept our nation free from colonial aggression and among others that is their gift to this generation. Those are achievements of the past. All that sacrifice was in order to build a nation where all Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia can live together respecting each other as equals. This new generation has to do its part to change this nation to prosperity using modern scientific and technological devises. It is the responsibility of this generation to fight against poverty and backwardness: the number one enemies of this nation. Those who reside in hazardous climatic conditions fought poverty, backwardness etc. through hard work and perseverance even under perilous climatic conditions. This generation lives in a country endowed with one of the best weather conditions on earth. What is needed is simply to take advantage of such a beautiful weather, work hard and long, sleep-less and transform this country and put it amongst the most prosperous nations on earth. The main agenda, main homework and main responsibility of this generation must therefore be fighting poverty and backwardness and pass a prosperous nation to the next generation. All that will be realized if the young generation fulfils its citizenship and democratic right in a manner ethical and responsible while conducting its responsibilities. The young generation must give a deaf ear to those who would like to disrupt and disturb our nationís economic and political progress and focus on the real value and the real price and that real value and price is peace, stability and socio-economic and political progress of our nation.

 

 


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