[EAJN] An Educated People Can Save the Nation of Ethiopia
I read an article this morning that really shook the journalist inside of me. I often wonder and shake my head at the short sighted decisions put forth by rulers these days. The article found HERE talks about a group of activists that tried in vain to postpone the national Ethiopian college entrance exam.
You see, According to Jawar Mohammed, an ardent Oromo activist and Director of the Oromo Media Network (OMN), the decision to sabotage the national University entrance exam was taken after the government deliberately ignored the repeated call for the postponement of the exam so that Oromo students would have enough time to study. Their high schools were closed for more than six months because of a widespread series of protests that engulfed their region last year.
To the casual reader it may not seem very important to stop the tests, after all it is just a test, right? Let us take a deeper look at the long term effects if the students were forced to take the exam so soon.
The first benefit to the Ethiopian Government, although it may seem irrelevant in the scheme of things, is that more students taking the exam shows the international audience that Ethiopia is becoming more educated and the government is doing such an amazing job uplifting its people, etc. International aid organizations and other governments love to read such facts and often are negligent in looking past the headlines into the facts and real numbers.
A far more horrific fact is that if fewer Oromo students succeed at the test and go to University, becoming educated people and better able to decide their future, the better for the ruling ethnic minority.
Face it, the current regime in Ethiopia rules the country like a dictatorship. They miraculously achieved the impossible by capturing virtually every seat in parliamentary elections even though they are very much a minority faction. It was so bad that Human Rights Watch had condemned the election as “multi-party theatre staged by a single party state”.
I am reminded of the past in South Africa when a certain minority ruled…
The ruling party is very much in the minority when considered there are over 5 times as many Oromo citizens in the country as the ruling faction. So the benefit for keeping more Oromo students from becoming educated, rational and logical members of society is obvious. Keeping the majority uneducated, poor, and unable to guide their own destiny allows despots to rule.
Governing one’s people is not about ruling. Governing one’s people is about guiding everyone to a greater future. Only as a chorus of many voices with many experiences can Ethiopia join the world and enjoy the prosperity they have been deprived of for so long. To rule is to be short sided and make stupid decisions.
Ruling by Fear creates enemies and more fear. Governing an educated people with hope and the drive to improve the well being of everyone – Now That is the way out of darkness and into a real democracy. The benefits are staggering and start with a better life for all.