AAU and MoE Discuss on National Education System Revitalization Directions

Addis Ababa University (AAU) and the FDRE Ministry of Education (MoE) discussed to revitalize the national education system which has been affected over the last decades and to amend it in the coming five years at AAU on the 18th of November 2021.

Professor Birhanu Nega, Minister for the MoE, said, Ethiopian education system has failed, calling it a fundamental drop down system. “However, if we all have the same view of the problem, it will help us to solve it quickly,” he added.

According to the Minister, we cannot continue this way as a nation, to repair this broken system, especially those who believe the problem is real, must at least work together to bring about changes.

“University educators cover their subjects in a way that suits them, not according to the program, and forget to do research. As a result, graduating students have very limited language skills and general abilities,” Prof. Birhanu mentioned.

As stated by Prof. Birhanu, University Exit Exams are to be administered for both public and private educational institutions in the near future; there will be no more degree awards as usual without passing the Exit Exam.

“One of the things we are determined to do in the coming years is to ensure that education has nothing to do with politics or race; people should be judged on their merits, not by the networks they have,” Prof. Birhanu stressed.

Both MoE and the government acknowledged, said Prof. Birhanu, that the AAU’s Revitalization Project Recommendation to allow autonomy to the University, but there are things that need to be done first.

According to Prof. Birhanu, members of a committee, who are with well understanding of the problems of the University and interested in bringing a change are to be selected online to work on the structure of the autonomous system of AAU.

As stated by Professor Tassew Weldehanna, President of AAU, there are two main reasons for the decline in the quality of education, i.e. institutional expansion without considering capacity and political interference; higher education institutions do not have basic freedoms.

“The quality of education in AAU has been declining because there was deliberately oppressing of the institution. Nothing has been done on human resources reform. Changes were needed over time, but no one else has focused on this part,” Prof. Tassew said.

AAU introduced and applied GAT, Urkund software and publication requirements for postgraduates when quality issues come at risk due to individuals trying to force the University with written letters to host their needs without fulfilling placement ethics, Prof. Tassew revealed.

Expansion of buildings alone will not get us anywhere without human attention; even in constructing buildings, the focus given to AAU is at a lowest stage; since most buildings of the University were built in the 1960’s, almost all of them need to be repaired, Prof. Tassew said.

“As it is an international practice that autonomous right is principally provided to higher education institutions following their establishment, this right should also be applied on Ethiopian universities so as to make them able to decide what to do for quality in terms of student placement and staff organization,” Prof. Tassew stressed.

Participants of the discussion also viewed to improve the quality of education; it is necessary to solve research quality problems, complete ongoing projects, improve teacher development, ensure institutional independence and improve the functioning of the Ministry.

Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating the examinations by the students.

Patients die at the hands of such doctors.

Buildings collapse at the hands of such engineers.

Money is lost at the hands of such economists & accountants.

Humanity dies at the hands of such religious scholars.

Justice is lost at the hands of such judges…

           The collapse of education is the collapse of the nation.”

     (Nelson Mandela)

By: Abraham Girmay

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene