Meles Says Universities Lack Democratization, Admits Gap Of Communication With

 Meles Says Universities Lack Democratization, Admits Gap Of Communication With



Addis Ababa, August 13, 2002 (WIC)-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi urged the country'suniversities in general and the Addis Ababa University (AAU) in particular to democratize theirdaily operation and work towards producing professionals capable of seeking solutions to the prevailing country's problems.   Meles said at the on going discussion between the staff of higher learning institutions and senior government officials that the country's universities should be transformed to contribute towards the development of the country by changing their old statuesquo.


According to Meles A.A.U that had been established in undemocratic environment is still serving undemocratic cultures.


He said because of its non transparent culture and negligence on the part of the government to give the necessary support, the university had failed to produce capable manpower that seek solutions to problems through empirical researches.

 According to Meles the absence of democratic nature has hampered academic freedom.   "Academic freedom in a university functioning undemocratically is an illusion," Meles said.


According to him, university graduates of any profession need to know the governing law of the land to promote democracy.


He argued that the University has become dumping ground for intolerance and promoting ethnic difference over the last decade than ever.


"The University is the furthest place from democratic ideals compared to any peripheral locations of the country," he said.


Participants of the discussion forum expressed divergent views, with some of them indicating that the University's failure is much attributed to the failure of overall socio-economic transformation of the country.


They said the failure of the universities was attributed to lack of material and human resource capable of transforming the University.


Some others however stood with the Prime Minister's ideas when they indicated that the university of Addis Ababa lacks clear vision and objectives to maximize its contribution to the development of the country.


Proponents of the latter idea indicated that the undemocratic nature of AAU emanates from its formation in undemocratic culture and students enrolment.