Where Is Ethiopia’s Education Heading?
Ethiopia’s highly controversial education policy is once again proving to be debatable, as the Ministry of Education refuses about a dozen students from the Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State entry into higher learning institutions in the country, even though they have obtained the minimum grades that grant them entry.
The students were bluntly told by an official of the Ministry that they are not entitled to the government scholarship that enables them to pursue their studies, for the simple reason that they were not natives of certain ethnic groups in the Regional State, who are entitled to special entry privileges.
Those students have earned their place. Like their Gumuz and Benishangul brethren, they had surmounted the difficulties of being students in decrepit and poorly staffed schools that have no or very few books and other educational materials.
The action of the Ministry effectively makes useless the years of hard work they have invested in their studies. This is farcical, and a violation of the rights of the students as citizens of this country.
While one highly appreciates the “affirmative action,” which gives students from the less privileged, fringe communities a better opportunity to pursue their studies in higher learning institutions, the remark recently made by an official of the Ministry, is extreme, and borders on outright racism.