An Urgent need of Changing the Education Medium in Tigrai.
Gebre Selema 10-14-20
I know most of our people may not get this message. I have raised this issue almost every day. But there is not any awareness among our people. The education medium in Ethiopia was introduced by a British advisor to Emperor Haileslassie. The rationale for making English as medium of education in Ethiopia was because the British advisor believed Ethiopian language cannot be used for science and Technology. This is colonial ideology that only western language was considered language of civilization. Before Colonialism, the Jews believed Hellenic language was the language of civilization and they looked down on Hebrew and tried to learn and use Greek language instead of Hebrew. Also, British people looked down on English and emulate Latin as language of civilization.
The Jews who adopted Hellenic language or Greek language become slaves of Greek and Israel was colonized by Greek. The British did not fare with Latin and Shakespeare changed their mentality on their language. It is Shakespeare who made English popular language and taught the Britons English was as good as Latin.
All colonies who used colonial language and were under colony has never fared. It is scientifically wrong to make foreign language as medium of education. It is not only wrong, but it is 100% wrong. This is the main root problem that our people are not benefiting from science and Technology. It is impractical to realize the benefit of education using foreign language as medium. Our people have been blacked out from the benefit of Technology since Haileslassie time. This is the only reason our people cannot make drones, planes, and other Technology products.
If you build a house, you must have a solid foundation and then you can build the house. If you do not have the right foundation to build the house, if the foundation is wrong? It does not matter how you build the house; the house will not stand. The education system we have at home is with the wrong foundation. It does not matter how you teach if the foundation is wrong, nothing will change.
All humans think in their mother tongue. When we think we form ideas, concepts, and form of ideas pictures. To form pictures of our ideas and concepts, we use our mother tongue. If we are denied our mother tongue, we cannot form ideas and pictures. Creating idea and forming pictures is creativity, innovation. If one does not use his or her language, one cannot be innovative or creative because when one is denied native language to think and form pictures, one is denied progress, development, knowledge, understanding, innovation and prosperity. This is the main reason our people are fighting locust with their hands. I know this is okay in our society, but this is not okay. This is shame because we are not using especially important modern tools available in this age.
I hope people wake up and do something about this now because the locust will come after 5 or 10 years. This locust was with us in 1996 and is back with us now and we are still ill prepared or not prepared to deal with it. Using modern technology this can be avoided earlier by remote sensing and killing the locust in their original place without causing any damage to anyone. There is enough Technology to control locust now. There is even laser weapon that can kill locust on the spot without using chemicals. But our people are blacked out from Technology. Mekelle University cannot even write their website in Tigrignea? How are they going to translate Technology into Tigrignea? If our people cannot even translate simple language like civil society and command post into Tigrignea words which everyone can understand, how are they going to understand Technology? Almost most Tegarus cannot translate what civil society means into Tigrignea and they write it in English as civil society. How are most of our people going to understand what civil society is meant to be?
The solution I recommend is the following:
1. The medium of education in Tigrai must be in Tigrignea and Geez. Geez is now global and offered across Europe and America and Geez = Tigrignea and easy to make Tigrignea a global language like Arabic, and English and others.
2. Technology and Science books must translate into Tigrignea language. People says this is difficult thing to do. Nope, you can do this now using computers. I have seen some Tigreans collecting books from American and shipping to Tigrai last month. This is wrong. You can now download millions of books for free if you have internet. You do not need to collect English books that you do not understand and translate into your language. There is no point if you do understand the concept and ideas in the book. Translating Technology and Science books into Tigrignea is on the way creating jobs and understanding the Technology. If I can translate a Technology book into Tigrignea, it will be easy to understand and use. One must make products and write user manual and service manuals to use the product. Therefore, manufacturers write user and service manual in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian, etc. If I buy a product with English user and service manual, how can ordinary Tigreans use it and repair it or service it?
3. Wireless internet access to everyone, invest in wireless internet
4. Stop urbanization and start rural modernization housing program.
5. Choose a lifestyle that is natural and healthy.
6. People can choose to learn second language-based career guidance if they will choose a career that enables them to work as international civil servant and wanted to learn more language based on their career choice. Foreign language must not be forced on everybody as if that language is divine language.
There is no short cut to prosperity without developing and using your language. Your language is the key to your prosperity. Speaking English Tigrignea will not get you anywhere.
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