National University entrance examination cancelled after exam booklets stolen in Oromia region of Ethiopia

May 30,2016

Ministry of Education, Ethiopia. Credit: diretube
Ministry of Education, Ethiopia. Credit: diretube

Ethiopian government announced that National Ethiopian School Leaving Examination is cancelled after exams were stolen before being administered and posted on Facebook page.

Initially, ethnic Oromo activist group broke the news on facebook updates when one of the ethnic Oromo activists,Jawar Mohammod, who is based in the United States updated his followers that Ethiopian High school leaving examination is stolen. Among others, mathematics exam questions with answers were being circulated in social media.

Soon after the news of stolen exam, Ethiopian government news outlet reported denying that no exam is stolen and exam will be administered as scheduled only to report today that exams are stolen and the national exam is cancelled and is postponed to a later time. One of the ruling party’s mouthpiece, Fana Broadcasting Corporation, reported earlier today that exam is stolen and will not be administered this week.

If the initial schedule was successful, the exam would have been administered in the week of May 30, 2016.

In the Ethiopian school system, students take national exam after completing grade which is the senior year of high school. Students’ result in grade 12 exam determines eligibility to join institutions of higher learning.

Oromo activist groups are hailing the incident of stolen exam booklets and the consequent cancellation of national examination as an important success of their activism.

The ruling party configured ethnic based federalism about two years after the fall of the military government. One clear political calculation of ethnic federalism as far as the ruling Tigray People’s liberation Front is concerened( which is in fact ruling under the guise of EPRDF) was that ethnic federalism is useful to maintain a hold in power for a longer period of time.

As things turn out, the administration is in fact being choked by the very ethnic structure it aggressively promoted and institutionalized. In recent time, much of the resistance to the regime came from Oromo language speaking parts of Ethiopia.

In a movement started as opposition to the master plan of Addis Ababa, ethnic Oromo activists stretched the reach and dynamism of pressure against the aspiring ethnic supremacist regime of Tigray People’s Liberation Front – a movement which caused loss of well over 400 lives by moderate estimates.

The activists’ position before the examination was stolen, apparently, was that students in Oromo speaking parts of Ethiopia spent much of their time in the past several months by participating in the “movement against the master plan” and that students need compensatory time to prepare for the exam.

In a blunt arrogant move, the regime in power decided not to allow students time to prepare and go ahead with scheduled exam. The result? The exam got cancelled after the exam was sabotaged just a day before being administered.

Statement from Ministry of Education stated that investigation is underway to held responsible persons “accountable.”

Apparently, ethnic Oromo activists based in the diaspora exploited ethnic government structure to steal exam booklets.

Corruption has become very rampant in Ethiopia. Two or so weeks ago, report made to Ethiopian parliament revealed that over 77 building blocks that are supposedly to be constructed with allocated fund “went missing” although the funding is already spent.

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