A committee to investigate challenges in Ethiopian higher education institutions reported that more than 35 thousand students had drawn back from school. The committee had investigated 22 universities in the country. Political, social, and economic situations of students and the school communities were part of the investigation.
Violence, destruction of properties, and the death of students are becoming common issues in the universities all over Ethiopia. In the past six months alone, most universities experienced some violence. Universities of Diredawa, Wolega, Dembi Dolo, Debre Berhan, Debre Markos, and more had to face abuses ranging from simple quarrels to dispute resulted in the death of students.
Additionally, class schedules have been interrupted multiple times, and universities keep on calling their students to get back to class.
According to the investigation committee, political leaders played a significant role in the current situation of universities. Regional authorities had been releasing statements that could inspire conflict. And others were giving violent missions for students outside the school compound.
Lack of coordination and administrative capacity among the university administration also identified as a cause during the investigation. The administration failed to make a critical decision because of the influence of the ‘power’ outside the compound.
Furthermore, most if not all of the violence happened in the universities were ethnic. The committee said that some students intentionally or unintentionally joined ethnic-based groups, and the groups tend to have extreme attitudes.
The committee finally suggested measures that should be taken to settle down the situation. Consistently implementing rules and regulations, university allocation to have a balanced composition, implementing a technology-based security system, and making universities get close to the local community were suggested solutions.
Minister of Science and Higher Education Prof. Hirut Wolde Mariam said that the government took measures on 640 students, 40 teachers, and 240 administration staff. The minister also notified that the ministry is working hard for the return of violently expelled students.