As Prime minister hold a meeting today with more than 3000 university lecturers from across the country, he announced his intent to reinstate those professors and lecturers who were terminated by Meles Zenawi’s decision in 1993.
Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed decided to reinstate about 42 Addis Ababa University lecturers who were dismissed from their tenure sometime in 1993.
Dr. Tilaye Gete, who is the minister for education, initiated reinstatement of dismissed University lecturers. Based on a report from the state media, EBC, Tilaye’s intention was to secure “pardon” for the lecturers who were dismissed due to an inappropriate decision.
Abiy Ahmed’s decision was unexpected as he seems to put the blame rather on government; “It is for us to beg pardon. They should be reinstated if they wish to.”
The lectures including the late professor Asrat Woldeyes, who was also a prominent Ethiopian surgeon, were dismissed with a direct order from the then prime minister, Meles Zenawi, on alleged grounds of lack of competence. It was, however, widely belived that the dismissal of the lecturers was a politically motivated decision as the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was engaged with an ideological war against anything reminiscent of Ethiopia.
The current prime minister of Ethiopia is clearly apologetic about the decision back then.
And he disclosed his intent to reinstate lecturers today during a meeting with more than 3000 university lecturers and instructors from across all universities in Ethiopia.
The practicality of the decision is however questionable. Some of the lecturers are deceased ( for example, Professor Asrat Woldeyes, Dr. Mekonen Bishaw, Fekade Shewakena, just to name few). Others are in their retirement age by now.
Prime minister’s consensus and consultation based leadership style are keeping him busy. He is having one consultative meeting after another in a with leaders and stakeholders from a range of areas.
Although Ethiopia has been able to open dozens of new universities in the past two decades, the quality of education has abeen a major concern which is what seems to have necessitated a meeting with lecturers from across Ethiopian universities. For Ethiopia’s popular prime minister, bad governance and sporadic conflicts and violence across the country are somewhat manifestations of challenges in the education system.
He emphasized that knowledge and academic freedom are preconditions for free thinking in institutions of higher learning in the country. He also stressed that competent faculty and quality education are the keys to achieve goals in the education sector.
Prime minister Abiy Ahmed is expected to take reform measures in the education sector.
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