Special Issue on the Problems, Challenges and Future of Ethiopian Education New Year Greetings!
Ee-JRIF wishes all Ethiopians a happy, healthy and successful European New Year and urge all to use 2011 to become first twice (1 and 1) by learning to agree humbly on the key priorities to remake and re-establish Ethiopia as a dignified and proud civilization that it has always been through the records of the sacrifice of its long history, by adding in t he 21st century a learning, innovation, education, science, enterprising, venturesome, research and a skills comprehensive culture!
By Mammmo Muchie oon behalf of all Ee-JRIF editorial team!
It is wit h pride and happiness thee editors bring out another issue of Ee -JRIF to the public. Vol .2, No. 2 is devoted as a special issue on education. Last year Vo l. 1, No.1 o f Ee-JRIf wa s devoted mainly to agriculture. Vol.2, No.1 was devoted to health. The selection of agriculture as a priority topic for soliciting research papers, research notes and reviews is predicated on the fact that the country Ethiopiaa has not come ouut of the foodd insecurity ssyndrome ye t. This has been continu ing year in a nd year out since the 1973 fammine. The maain challenge remains solvving the foodd problem in Ethiopia andd the focus off choice agricultuure for the f irst issue sennds a compeelling messagge how impoortant it is too undertake scientific reflection that addreesses a recurrrent and reaal problem uuntil Ethiopia enters a neew path by c reating a comprehhensive greenn revolution to make foo d aid historyy. It looks in 2011 world ccommodity pprices will rise and there is a preediction therre will be a deeepening of tthe world foood crisis. Foo d vulnerable societies like Ethi opia will conntinue to sufffer unless s erious resea rch is underttaken on foood and agriculture to create a sustainable green revolu tion.
We plaan in 2011 too devote and encourage mmore contribuutions on agricultuure. Along witth food securrity comes also health security. Health comes with a well-fed peeople and society. They are interlinked. Wee were deligghted hundreds of reade rs download ed the PDF from the health isssue. It make s it really woorthwhile to ddo this work when we seee more and mmore people are using the workk we put togeether on heal th for their reesearch or in formation. Educatioon is critical in Ethiopia.
A nation like Japan has one critical advantage over the rest–a highly skilled and educated population, not just a resource rich economy. Ethiopia must create the conditions for a multi-skilled and highly quality trained and literate population and society. Equally important is how the country is able too conceptualize, develop,, manage and embed a strong, sustainable and all inclusive educational system where Ethiop ia emerges aas a knowledgge, learning, innovation a nd competennt society with abi lity not only tto look after its own citizeens with its oown problemm-solving skillss and capabi lities, but also conttributes activvely by using its accumulatted knowledgge to the restt of Africa. In this is sue the scienntific papers bby Tekste Neegash, Hassann Ahmed, Ammare Desta, LLemlem and Mammo, and Asssefa Endeshaaw have brouught togetherr the challen ges Ethiopia is facing in building a su stainable and national education system in Ethiopia.
In the research notes Tewbatch Bishaw wrote on brain gain,and Richard Pankhurst has brought out very interesting historical information on how young people went abroad first to study (Pankhurst). In the earlier times those that went abroad returned. Today, it has become difficult to attract them back into the country in the form of brain gain rather than the prevailing brain loss (Tewabatch). The book review by Mammo Muchie shows how the current expansion in the number of higher education is not matched by an equal expansion of the quality of higher education. This mirrors the bifurcated and contradictory development of the country between the apparently growing economy (it is not clear whose welfare this growth builds) and growing poverty amongst the ordinary people. In the higher education sphere, this unusual development of increasing numbers and lack of quality connected to the rise in numbers is a worrying trend that the book review captures. Education is ranked as first among all human activities. It is not just that education is an engine of social and economic development. It can be a means of advancing civilisation, culture and balanced relation between nature and human ends. Education is thus critically important.
Nations that have little or no resources like Japan managed to be the second biggest economy in the world through the sheer effort of creating a highly educated society. Countries in Africa that have huge resources suffer from the poverty and growing number of poor people and all these countries continue to suffer from poor education infrastructure. This special issue is therefore devoted to the problem of how to get education right. It brings together a number of voices that criticised the way the education evolved in Ethiopia. It appears that because of the imitative nature of building the education system in Ethiopia, the creation of strong patriotic organic intellectuals in Ethiopia has not been as successful as it should have been.
This is all the more alarming since Ethiopia is one of the few countries that have its own intellectual system that could have been nurtured in order to make the country stand out as an educated nation based on its own original written numbering and writing systems. We have added in this issue a review of a PhD thesis that has already been defended. The dissertation review by Bruck Tadesse highlights the critical importance of organising systematically technical and vocational education in Ethiopia. We have an inspiring profile section which we hope will motivate the younger generation to be successful without harbouring hubris and other temptations. The recently promoted UNECO Deputy Director General Getachew Engda’s brief profile is worth reading to see how a young Ethiopian from Shiromeda can reach the deputy director general of UNESCO narrated by his own university graduate daughter, Hanna. There is an acute need to train the active and venturesome graduates that seek to create, innovate and invent rather than be passive and job-consuming, risk-averting, timid and uncourageous learners and creators.
In today’s learning and knowledge economy, there is an acute challenge that Ethiopians around the world face to respond with research, inventive and innovative foresight to deal with the manifold problems the country is lumbered with both inherited from history and on account of the myopia of the current generation. We hope and trust by devoting ourselves to science by using and building this open access journal to get rating we can bring together the intellect of the homeland with all those who are now currently scattered around the world. This new journal should bring those at home and abroad to create active networks through sharing knowledge, research and innovation.
Together, they should join to foster problem-solving culture and foresight. The journal should create a platform whereby all generations old and young come together to bond and communicate through knowledge, in order to avoid past failures of miscommunication, which usually led to locking out the potential paths for networking by piling problems rather than expanding opportunities. It is with pleasure we send you this new issue and we trust you will be involved and join us by volunteering to be active supporters, contributors and even members of the editorial team. We hope you will encourage Ethiopians both inside and outside to be involved to sustain Ee-JRIF for the long – term.
. Mammo Muchie on behalf of the Ee-JRIf Editorial Team!