Addis Ababa August 19/ 2019 Ministry of Science and Higher Education announced that it is going to sign binding agreements with stakeholders in the education sector in order to prevent the recurrent violence in public universities.
This was disclosed at a one-day consultation on reform initiatives to be implemented in the upcoming Ethiopian academic year in the education sector.
Advisor at Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Alemayehu Kebede said some Ethiopian universities has been facing recurrent ethnic-based conflicts, following the political polarization across the country since 2016.
He stated that the last academic year was particularly a difficult period in which a number of university students lost their lives and properties were damaged due to in-campus violence.
Defining the concept of a university which promotes universalism, the advisor said Ethiopian students have been undermining the very critical notion of education by escalating ethnicity and regionalism as sources of conflicts.
One of the major challenges and the source of the conflict is the placement of students and lecturers only from the regions in which the universities are located, according to Alemayehu.
As a result, signing this agreement has become imperative to involve the whole stakeholders from students to higher education officials and members of local administration as well as parents.
“For the coming academic year, we are going to pursue a system which would enable us to nurture accountability and responsibility, starting from students to the higher levels of the education system,” he pointed out.
The advisor added that the government has given due attention to ensuring that universities reflect the value of federal institutions.
In an academic year, Ethiopia allots 23 billion birr to higher education, which Alemayehu underscored is almost 80 percent of the budget allocated to the education sector.
As the internal and external factors have become very dynamic, the advisor pointed out that the country has been reshaping the training approach through a 15-year roadmap that would be implemented this coming academic year.
Accordingly, Ethiopia is going to extend the minimum university graduation years from three to four; and students will pass through freshman program starting the stated academic year.