At its 63rd anniversary AAU graduates over 8,142 students in all categories; it takes more to get qualtiy & more

13 Jul

By Keffyalew Geberemedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Addis Abeba University (AAU)

Addis Abeba University (AAU)

Addis Abeba University, formerly Haileselassie I University, Saturday graduated 8,142 students in the nation’s capital with first and second degrees and 142 in PhDs.

In his remark, AAU President Dr. Admasu Tsegaye lauded the university’s contributions in training over 200,000 students in its 63 years and dispatching them to be teachers, physicians, innovators, managers, etc. to the world it has prepared them for. In terms of the numbers, this makes an average of about 3,175 graduates each year, although size increased mostly in these latter years.

Be it known that, it is not an interesting topic of conversation to raise whether Ethiopia could retain even 50 percent of these graduates for the next three years!

The question that is never publicly articulated – obviously because of the fear that has enveloped our nation – is how many of these fresh graduates the country has now gained would stay home and contribute to the country’s development – three years from now, in the next five or ten years.

Cleary, those in power – who see and treat the educated citizen as subversive and the mortal enemy – are allergic to such conversations. Nor would they raise it by themselves, at least, to show consistency between their continuing pleas to everyone to chip in their share to the country’s transformation – i.e., politically, socially, economically, institutionally, human dignity wise and in the quality of life of all our citizens should enjoy – and the environment and conditions this in turn requires.

Here comes in our prime minister

Predictably, in presiding over the graduation ceremony, Prime Minister Hailemariam reminded the new graduates of what is expected of them. He never uttered a word to them what they should expect from his regime to improve the human rights situation in the country and the ethnic politics, where nepotism and corruption have become the major criteria in the allocation of jobs or for promotions – in short that becoming the source of fear of the new graduates, as they face the world of worst Ethiopian despiriters.

As a person in denial, as the business community in Addis Abeba dubbed him lately, he is did not consider the role of human dignity, freedom of opinion, the right to be free from fear and insecurity in our country’s ability to break the cycles of poverty, to be able to retain and make use of these fresh harvest of trained and qualified manpower.

To the prime minister, words come free and without any consequences. He, therefore, went ahead and instructed the young graduates:

    “የአገሪቱን ገጽታ መቀየር የሚቻለው ይበልጥ ጠንክሮ በመስራትና ሥራ ፈጣሪ ዜጎች ሲኖሩ በመሆኑ ሁሉም ተመራቂዎች አገሪቱ የነደፈችውን የዕድገትና ትራንስፎርሜሽን ዕቅድ ተግባራዊ በማድረግ ድህነትን ለማሸነፍ ጠንክረው መሥራት ይጠበቅባቸዋል” (The country’s image can change only through diligence and hard work that creative and innovative manpower can make possible. It is in line with that, it is expected of this year’s graduates to make their contributions and realize the development and transformation goals the nation has charted to overcome poverty are.”

Addis Abeba University may have done all it could within its limited possibilities and under difficult circumstances. I understand that the history department has been closed down. This is because his administration is working on the new history book for schools, as sanctioned by the TPLF. I see this cycle repeating again and again, since the people have long spitted on the TPLF’s reversionism of history already more than two decades ago.

Why is “አደይ አበባ” written and said as “አደይ አባባ”?

Let me seize this opportunity to propose something to my alma mater. I have heard of the tragic death of the history department. Before the language department falls on the chopping block, I would like to earnestly plead with the AAU president and academic dean to set in motion the process for standardizing names and spellings of streets and institutions in our country. I agree it would take time, resources, the right people, institution and money.

For instance, Addis Abeba University is written as Addis Ababa University; our nation’s capital city is Addis Abeba is written and pronounced in English as as Addis Ababa. Since my young days, I have always rebelled these things, including how we set time on our clocks.

To me, it we are misnaming ourselves swallowing from the books foreign experts wrote it to us, when our country did not have its experts for these things. I think it must be because of this Habesha mentality that sleeps with something that it does not truly embrace!

Who refers to daisy, our New Year flower, (አደይ አበባ) as ‘Adey Ababa’, which bequeathed its name to Addis Ababa thanks to Itege Taitu., the first feminist empress of Ethiopia? It is essential that the Addis Abeba University takes the lead this year, at least, to begin the process of righting the wrongs in its name!

How has AAU performed in 2013/2014 relative to foreign institutions?

In terms of its performance, AAU seems to make slight improvements in the relative inter-university comparisons. In the 2013 African and global universities’ relative performance measures, we reported AAU being placed at 30th place from the ranks of 974 African universities and 2600th amongst its 11,994 global peers.

In the first 2014 ranking, published in January 2014, AAU ranked 22nd amongst 1,325 African universities; it stood 2,136th at the international level. While the details are not sufficient to clearly determine what improvements led to what, we would revisit those data along with the fresh data on excellence ranking, its relative impact amongst African universities and relative openness when they come out in the 2014 second report late this month or in August. Stay tuned, we would share our findings with everyone on this blog.

AAU has under it 10 colleges, 12 research centers and 22 institutes, where over 50 thousand students pursue their education. To be frank, we are not comfortable with what we saw about performances of some of our institutes. This blog would also provide analysis on that by September 2014.

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