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Ethiopia: Corruption and the "miseducation" of Ethiopian youth



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Categories: Alemayehu G. Mariam

Ethiopia: Corruption and the "miseducation" of Ethiopian youth

Ethiopia: Corruption and the "miseducation" of Ethiopian youth

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela. For the late Meles Zenawi and his apostles (the Melesistas) in Ethiopia, the reverse is true: Ignorance is the most powerful weapon you can use to prevent change and cling to power. They have long adopted the motto of George Orwell’s Oceania: “Ignorance is Strength”. Indeed, ignorance is a powerful weapon to manipulate, emasculate and subjugate the masses. Keep ‘em ignorant and impoverished and they won’t give you any trouble.

For the Melesistas education is indoctrination. They feed the youth a propaganda diet rich in misinformation, disinformation, distortions, misguided opinions, worn out slogans and sterile dogmas from a bygone era. Long ago, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, “Father of African-American History”, warned against such indoctrination and miseducation of the oppressed: “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his proper place and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.” The rulers in Ethiopia continue to use higher educational institutions not as places of learning, inquiry and research but as diploma mills for a new breed of party hacks and zombie ideologues doomed to blind and unquestioning servility. “Zombie go… zombie stop… zombie turn… zombie think…,” sang the great African musician Fela Kuti. I’d say, “zombie teach… zombie learn… zombie read… zombie dumb… zombie dumber.”
For over two decades, Meles and his gang have tried to keep Ethiopians in a state of blissful ignorance where the people are forced at gunpoint to speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil. Meles and his posse have spent a king’s ransom to jam international radio and satellite transmissions to prevent the free flow of information to the people. They have blocked internet access to alternative and critical sources of information and views. According to a 2012 report of Freedom House, the highly respected nongovernmental research and advocacy organization established in 1941, “Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates of internet and mobile telephone penetration on the continent. Despite low access, the government maintains a strict system of controls and is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement nationwide internet filtering.” They have shuttered independent newspapers, jailed reporters, editors and bloggers and exiled dozens of journalists in a futile attempt to conceal their horrific crimes against humanity and vampiric corruption. They have succeeded in transforming Ethiopia from the “Land of 13 Months of Sunshine” to the

“Land of Perpetual Darkness”.

But my commentary here is not about the Benighted Kingdom of Ethiopia where ignoramuses are kings, queens, princes and princesses. I am concerned about the systemic and rampant corruption in Ethiopia's "education sector”. The most destructive and pernicious form of corruption occurs in education. Educorruption steals the future of youth. It permanently cripples them intellectually by denying them opportunities to acquire knowledge and transform their lives and take control of the destiny of their nation. As Malcom X perceptively observed, “Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world.” Could Ethiopia’s youth go anywhere in this world trapped and chained deep in the belly of a corrupt educational system?

I will admit that in the hundreds of weekly commentaries I have written over the last half dozen or so years, I have not given education in Ethiopia the critical attention it deserved. I have no excuse for not engaging the issue more intensely. In my own defense, I can only say that when an entire generation of Ethiopian scholars, academics, professors and learned elites stands silent as a bronze statute witnessing the tyranny of ignorance in action, the burden on the few who try to become the voices of the voiceless on every issue is enormous.
I have previously commented on the lack of academic freedom in Ethiopian higher education and the politicization of education in Ethiopia. In my February 2008 commentary “Tyranny in the Academy”, I called attention to the lack of academic freedom at Mekelle Law School. I defended Abigail Salisbury who was a visiting professor at that law school when she was summarily fired by Meles after she published an academic commentary on her experiences at that law school:

…I was absolutely shocked, then, when I started reading my students’ work. Out of the hundred third-year students I teach, probably forty of them had inserted a special section, right after the cover page, warning me of what might happen to them were their paper to leave my hands. A number of students wrote that they would never give their real opinions to an Ethiopian professor because they fear being turned in to the government and punished. Others begged me to take their work back to America with me so that people would know what was going on…

In my September 2010 commentary, “Indoctri-Nation”, I criticized the Meles regime for politicizing education. The “Ministry of Education” (reminds one of Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” (Ignorance)) at the time had issued a “directive” effectively outlawing distance learning (education programs that are not delivered in the traditional university classroom or campus) throughout the country. The regime had also sought to corner the disciplines of law and teaching for state-controlled universities, creating a monopoly and pipeline for the training of party hacks to swarm the teaching and legal professions. I demonstrated that "directive” was in flagrant violation and in willful disregard of the procedural safeguards of the Higher Education Proclamation No. 650/2009. It did not faze them. (It was time to mint a new legal maxim: “The ignorant are entitled to ignore their own law and invoke ignorance of their own law as a defense.”)

The “directive” was at odds with the recommendations of the World Bank (which has been assisting the regime in improving education administration and delivery of services) for increased emphasis on the creation of a network of “tertiary educational” institutions (e.g. distance learning centers, private colleges, vocational training services, etc.,) to help support the “production of the higher-order capacity” necessary for Ethiopia’s development. In its 2003 sector study “Higher Education Development for Ethiopia", the World Bank had recommended “a near term goal [of] doubl[ing] the share of private enrollments from the current 21% to 40% by 2010.” By 2010, the Meles regime had decided to reduce private tertiary institutions, particularly the burgeoning distance learning sector, to zero!
In my October 2010 commentary, “Ethiopia: Education Unbanned!”, I was pleasantly surprised but unconvinced by the Meles regime’s apparent change of strategy to abandon its decision to impose a blanket ban on distance learning and reach a negotiated resolution of instructional quality issues with distance learning providers. I pointed out a few lessons Meles and his crew could learn from the bureaucratic fiasco. (Is it really possible for the closed- and narrow-minded to learn?)

I focus on educational corruption in Ethiopia in this commentary for four reasons: 1) I was appalled by the corruption findings in the recent World Bank 448-page report “Diagnosing Corruption in Ethiopia”. That report, with bureaucratic delicacy and hesitancy, demonstrates the cancer of corruption which afflicts the Ethiopian body politic has metastasized into the educational sector putting the nation’s youth at grave risk. 2) There is widespread acknowledgement that education in Ethiopia at all levels is in a pitiful condition. For instance, a 2010 Newsweek “study of health, education, economy, and politics” showed Ethiopia with a population of 88 million had a literacy rate of 43.3 percent, and ranked 98 out of 100 countries on education. 3) Few Ethiopian educators and scholars are examining the issue of educational corruption and its implications for the future of the country and its youth. Hopefully, this commentary could spur some of them to investigate corruption in education (and other areas) and conduct related policy research and analysis. 4) I had promised in my first weekly commentary of 2013 to pay special attention to youth issues in Ethiopia during the year. Nothing is more important to Ethiopia’s youth than education. Youth without education are youth without a future and without hope. Youth without education are emblematic of a nation in despair.

World Bank findings on corruption in the Ethiopian education sector

The WB report on the education sector alludes to an Ethiopian proverb in assessing the culture of corruption and impunity: “Sishom Yalbela Sishar Ykochewal” -- roughly translates into English as follows: “One who does not exploit to the full his position when he is promoted will lament when he no longer has the opportunity.”
Ethiopia’s education sector has become a haven and a refuge for prebendalist (where those affiliated with the ruling regime feel entitled to receive a share of the loot) party hacks and a bottomless barrel of patronage. The Meles regime has used jobs, procurement and other opportunities in the education sector to reward and sustain loyalty in its support base. They have been handing out teaching jobs to their supporters like candy and procurement opportunities to their cronies like cake. “In Ethiopia’s decentralized yet authoritarian system,considerable powers exist among senior officials at the federal, regional, and woreda levels. Of particular relevance to this study is the discretion exercised by politically appointed officials at the woreda level, directly affecting the management of teachers.”

In “mapping corruption in the education sector in Ethiopia”, “the World Bank report cautions that “corruption in education can be multifaceted, ranging from large distortions in resource allocation and significant procurement-related fraud to smaller amounts garnered through daily opportunities for petty corruption and nontransparent financial management.” Corruption in the education sector is quadri-dimensional “affecting the selection of teachers for training, recruitment, skills upgrading, or promotion; falsification of documents to obtain qualifications, jobs, or promotions and fraud and related bribery in examinations and conflict of interest in procurement.”

The “selection of candidates for technical training colleges (TTCs)” is the fountainhead of educational corruption in Ethiopia. According to the WB report, “students do not generally choose to become teachers but are centrally selected from a pool of those who have failed to achieve high grades.” In other words, the regime’s policy is to populate the teaching profession with, for lack of a better word, the “dumber” students. Such students also make the most servile party hacks. But it is a spectacular revelation that the future of Ethiopia’s youth -- the future of Ethiopia itself -- is in the hands of “those who have failed to achieve high grades”. Ignorant teachers and ignorant students= Ignorance is strength. Could a greater crime be committed against Ethiopia’s youth and Ethiopia?

To add insult to injury, the selection of underachieving students to pursue teacher training institutes is itself infected by “bribery, favoritism and nepotism.” The most flagrant corrupt practices include “manipulation of the points system for selection of students to higher education.” The “allocate[on] of higher percentage points for results from transcripts and national exams than for entrance exams” has “enabled a large number of inadequately qualified students to join the affected institutes, sometimes with forged transcripts. This practice has affected the quality of students gaining entry to higher education and eroded the quality of the training program.” In other words, even among underachievers seeking to become teachers, it is the washouts, the duds and flops that are likely to become teachers!

Fraud and related corrupt practices in matriculation are commonplace. According to the WB report, there is
a significant risk of corruption in examinations…The types of fraudulent practices in examinations include forged admission cards enable students to pay other students to sit exams for them, collusion allowing both individual and group cheating in examinations, assistance from invigilators (exam monitors) and school and local officials (during exams), higher-level interference [in which] regional officials overturned the disqualification of cheaters, fraudulent overscoring of examination papers [by] teachers are bribed by parents and students, fraudulent certification of transcripts and certificates to help students graduate.

Although there are public officials who have considered reporting corrupt practices, they have refrained from doing so because there was “a strong sense that there is no protection to guard against possible reprisals directed at those who report malpractice.” There is no place for whistle blowers in Ethiopia's edu-corruptocracy.
Recruitment and management of teachers is a separate universe of corrupt practices. “In Ethiopia, the overwhelming bulk of expenditure in education is taken up by salaries of teachers” and there is a “high risk of bribery, extortion, favoritism, or nepotism in selecting teachers for promotion, upgrading, or grants.” The WB report found “nepotism and favoritism in recruitment were broad and frequent—namely that, in some woredas, the recruitment of teachers (and other community-based workers) is based on political affiliation, including paid-up membership of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).”

What is shocking is not only the culture of corruption in education but also the culture of impunity -- the belief that there are no consequences for practicing corruption. The WB report shows not only the “prevalence of fraud and falsification of teaching qualifications and other documents, reflecting weak controls, poor-quality documents (that are easily falsified), [but also] the widespread belief that such a practice would not be detected… For such falsification to go unnoticed, there is a related risk of the officials supporting or approving the application being implicated in the corrupt practice.”

The types of corrupt practices that occur at the management level are stunning. Managers manipulate access to “program of enhancing teacher qualifications through in-service training during holiday periods by using their positions to influence the selection of candidates. Hidden relationships are used in teacher upgrading, with officials at the zonal or woreda level taking the first option on upgradation programs.” The appointment of local education officials is not “competitive” but “politically assigned”. Collusion between local managers and teachers over noncompliance with curriculum, academic calendar, and similar practices is a relatively common practice and “reduces the provision of educational services.” This situation is made worse by “teacher absenteeism [which] is tolerated by head teachers, within the context of staff perceiving a need to supplement their income through private tutoring or other forms of income generation.” Poorly paid teachers supplement their incomes by “private tutoring [which] is widespread, with 40 percent of school officials reporting it as a practice.” Corruption also extends to “teachers paying bribes or kickbacks to management, mostly school directors, to allocate shorter work hours in schools so that they can use the freed-up time to earn fees as teachers in private schools.” The payola is hierarchically distributed: “Bribes received are likely to be shared first with superiors, then with a political party, and then with colleagues, in that order.”

Falsification of documents including forged transcripts and certificates occurs on an “industrial” scale and is “most prevalent in the provision of certification for completing the primary or secondary school cycles” and in generating bogus “documents in support of applications for promotion”.

Procurement (official purchases of goods and services from private sources) is the low hanging fruit. “In the education sector, a number of public actors maybe involved [in procurement], depending on the size and type of the task. These include national and local government politicians and managers.” Some people have a lock on the procurement system. Successful “tendering companies” are likely to have “family or other connections with officials responsible for procurement”. Procurement corruption also takes the forms of “uncompetitive practices” “including the formation of a cartel, obstruction of potential new entrants to the market, or other forms of uncompetitive practices that may or may not include a conspiratorial role on the part of those responsible for procurement.” Other procurement related corruption includes “favoritism, nepotism, or bribery in the short-listing of consultants or contractors or the provision of tender information.” There are some “favored contractors and consultants” who have a “dominant market position” and are “awarded contracts for which they were not eligible to bid.” Corruption also occurs in the form of defective construction, substandard materials and overclaims of quantities.

Construction quality issues are considered a significant problem in the construction of educational facilities, particularly in the case of small, remote facilities where high standards of construction supervision can be difficult to achieve. For example, a toilet block in a school collapsed a month after completion. The contractor responsible for building the facility was not required to make the work good or repay the amount paid, nor was the contractor sanctioned. The matter was not investigated. Such problems are a significant indicator of corrupt practices, particularly when the contractor is not ultimately held to account for its failures…

There is corruption in the “purchase of substandard or defective supplies or equipment. For this to go unchallenged by those responsible for procurement strongly suggests either a lack of capacity, corrupt practices, or both.” According to an example cited in the WB report, “a large fleet of buses purchased by the MOE [“Ministry of Education”] using Teacher Development Program funds and distributed to TTCs were found to be defective. The TTCs complained that the MOE had dumped the buses on them. The MOE subsequently sent auditors to determine whether the complaint was genuine.”

The amazing fact is that the regime reflexively decided to investigate those who filed the complaint, and not the reported crooks. They automatically assumed the technical training colleges were lying and sent their auditors to investigate them for possible false reporting of defective buses!! (Orwelliana: The criminals are the victims and the victims are the criminals.) There is evidence of theft and resale of school supplies or equipment. “One such indication relates to the alleged illegal sale of education facilities, with related allegations of nepotism. A city education office is alleged to have sold valuable heritage buildings in a secondary school to a private developer and then to have requested land to rebuild the school facilities.”

Changing the culture of corruption and impunity

The culture of corruption and impunity in Ethiopia must be changed. The WB report observes,
In Ethiopia, the pattern of perception suggests that outright bribery is perceived to be more corrupt than, for example, favoritism or the falsification of documentation. There is also a sense that some practices, such as expressing gratitude to a client through the giving of a small gift, are normal business practice and not necessarily corrupt. Finally, there is an underlying acceptance among many that the state has the right to intervene in the market if that is considered to be in the national interest, and there is little sense that such interventions could be at variance with ongoing efforts to promote the level playing field needed for effective privatization of service provision, including in the education sector.

It is unlikely that a corrupt regime has the will, capacity or interest to change its own modus operandi. As I have argued elsewhere, having the “Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission” (FEAC) investigate the architects and beneficiaries of corruption in Ethiopia is like having Tweedle Dee investigate Tweedle Dum. It is an exercise in futility and an absurdity. FEAC is a toothless, clawless and feckless make-believe do-nothing bureaucratic shell incapable of investigating corruption in its own offices let alone systemic corruption in the country.

Pressures for accountability and transparency could come from domestic civil society institutions, but as the WB report points out, a 2009 “civil societies law” has decimated such institutions. The only practical and effective mechanism for accountability and transparency in the education sector is the institutionalization of an independent and energetic teachers’ union. But the regime has destroyed the real teachers’ union. According to the WB report,
Teachers in Ethiopia have historically been represented by the Ethiopian Teachers’ Association (ETA), founded in 1949. Following a long legal battle, a 2008 court ruling took away the right of the ETA to its name and all of its assets, creating a different organization with an identical name. Most teachers are now members of this replacement organization, for which dues are deducted from teachers’ salaries. The original ETA, now reorganized as the National Teachers Association (NTA), considers the new ETA to be unduly influenced by the government and has complained of discrimination against its members. Such concerns have in turn been expressed internationally through a range of bodies including the International Labour Organization (ILO 2009).

The mis-edcuation of Ethiopia’s youth and stolen futures

Education of Ethiopia’s youth is a human rights issue for me and not just a matter of professional concern as an educator. Corruption in the education sector is so severe that the future of Ethiopia’s youth is at grave risk. As Transparency International admonishes,

Stolen resources from education budgets mean overcrowded classrooms and crumbling schools, or no schools at all. Books and supplies are sometimes sold instead of being given out freely. Schools and universities also ‘sell’ school places or charge unauthorised fees, forcing students (usually girls) to drop out. Teachers and lecturers are appointed through family connections, without qualifications. Grades can be bought, while teachers force students to pay for tuition outside of class. In higher education, undue government and private sector influence can skew research agendas.

It is true “ignorance is strength”. The Meles regime seeks to create an army of ignorant youth zombie clones who will march lockstep and follow their orders: “Zombie go, zombie stop, zombie think… zombie learn... zombie dumb... zombie dumber...” If ignorance is strength, then knowledge is power. When “ignorant” youth gain knowledge, they become an unstoppable force.

It may not be manifest to many but Ethiopia’s mis-educated youth are on the rise. A quiet riot is raging among the youth debilitated by overwhelming despair and anguish. The youth look at themselves and their lost futures under a corrupt tyranny. They know things are not going to get better. For now the despair simmers but it will reach a boiling point. Mohamed Bouazizi was a 26 year old Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire in December 2010. Dictator Ben Ali did not see it coming, but the fire that consumed Bouazizi also consumed and transformed not only Tunisia but also led to an Arab Spring. Moamar Gadhafi, the great “Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya” died at the hands of youth he miseducated for 42 years. Informed, enlightened and interconnected Egyptian youth brought down the Mubarak regime in less than two weeks!

Ethiopia's youth will rise because there is no force that can keep them down. The only question is when not if. That is the immutable of law of history. In the end, I believe Ethiopia’s youth will remember not the deeds and misdeeds of those who miseducated them and robbed them of their futures, but the silence of the scholars, intellectuals, academics, professors and learned men and women who watched the tyranny of ignorance like bronze statutes. I am confident in my conviction that there will come a time when Ethiopia’s youth will stand up collectively, and each one pointing an index finger, shout out, “J’accuse!”

Ignorance is strength but knowledge is power! Fight the tyranny of ignorance. Educate yourself!

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino and is a practicing defense lawyer.


Comment from: [Member]

The doom and gloom preacher,the impudent snob so called professor almaria has gone wild, to the point of no repair.
Forget ethics of professionalism, he seems to think like his illiterate followers the likes of TEDDY the loony etc..
What is the term “ignorant teachers and ignorant students” anyway? Is it the snob’s way of OXYMORON definition of people who don’t approve his idea of “to hate anything Ethiopian?”
He is starved for attention so badly, he doesn’t anymore care about his reputation what so ever.
“elihe milach yaswital” endemibalew, he picks his own self contradictory quotes from the past and trys to justify his own nonsense. What a fiasco!
Is their any doubt about Ethiopia’s successful education improvement?
He knows quite well that our govt EPRDF, has given priority to education and doing very well in that sector.
But almaria has made it his weekly ritual to pick all the success stories in Ethiopia and antagonise the govt by negative remarks for just the sake of being opposite and to show his hatred for modern day Ethiopia. By that he is so far successful. Because if anyone noticed and answer to his nonsense article, it is considerd as validation of his idea, no matter how crazed and senile he sounds.
Most of all, The only way almaria and the rest of diaspora vocal FOOLS & IDIOTS Ethioplan enemies will be joyful and victorious will be, when and if Ethiopia becomes chaotic and disintegrated.
Isn’t that ironic when good news from Ethiopia becomes bad news for people who claim to be Ethiopians????

05/13/13 @ 23:37
Comment from: [Member]


After high school there was a big change for me. Apart from academic difference, it was my first encounter to face ethnic grouped students separated by language. Even though student councils are dominated by the regime’s crony party affiliates, they don’t even dare to speak up against bad cafe food, let alone politics.
During my stay University students were greatly divided by party members. The main ones being OPDO, ANDM, TPLF, OPPOSITION, and those from SNNPR. Not official but OLF!….

I don’t think higher education students are able to break this system of division, unless a systematic approach is engaged, to voice academic freedom.
We expect from the prof. a strategy and a scholar method of approach to break this knot.


05/14/13 @ 02:02
Comment from: zeru [Visitor]

This person is insane. While contributing nothing to Education in Ethiopia(though i doubt that anything meaningless comes out of him) now he start insulting those who give back to the next generation with a fraction of salary he might getting. Just a shamless person.
@Nazret:entertaining his private blog on your popular site week after week is immoral and unforgivable.Ignoring the comments of your reader week after week over years is truely arrogant. This is not about giving everyone a platform. This is about giving harmful and exterm ideas a big platform which they do not deserv. I am sure if this person would host his blog on his own site,only very few dare to go there.Thank you.

05/14/13 @ 02:23
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

When the military deposed the Emperor and in the midst of the uncertainty that followed not knowing how to go about forming a government, “Ethiopia Tikdem", an amorphous kind of political agenda became the order of the day. Taking advantage of this power gap that was created, what the educated Ethiopians in the diaspora like Dr Haile Fida, Dr Senay Like, Dr Negede Gobezie and others did was infiltrate the Ethiopian youth by socialist indoctrination and anarchy to achieve their political ends. When they realized that the military officers were not to be moved about easily, the youth were given arms to kill each other or others who did not belong to their political groups.
A whole generation of youths were murdered simply to satisfy the needs of these highly educated Phd holders with high academic qualifications. The socialist government they created did nothing but leave that country in total poverty and economical rubble.
When Alemayehu’s agitation to mobilize the youth, who he called the Chittahs, to rise in the kind of Arab Spring revolt against the Ethiopian government failed, he tried to reach the youth through the “freedom of religion! slogan which again fell on deaf ears.
In a desperate last attempt Alemayehu believes he can very easily manipulate the Ethiopian youth by coming up with this slogan,"the mis-education of the youth” for his anti Ethiopia political agenda.
Ethiopia which had one University when the Derg was ousted is now a country with over 30 Universities and many other educational institutions where the Ethiopian youth have, more than ever, got the opportunity to study in any field they wish. It is this reality Alemayehu has difficulty to accept. Even worse, what he fails to understand is the Ethiopian youth are at a different wave lengths than the Hippo generation like him and have no time to waste on his nonsensical blabbers.
Wake up Professor! The consequences of your repeated failures to agitate the Ethiopian youth will eventually come home to roost and you will be left with total embarrassment.

Ethiopia is prospering and shall continue to prosper!!

05/14/13 @ 08:59
Comment from: Nenewe [Visitor]


The relentless prof is giving you & your types enough ropes to hang yourselves. Think about it.

You probably had a better education, whatever level you had achieved, when the educational system was less paralyzed & despite the odds the system produced world class graduates.

Certificates are forged, exams are stolen and sold for those who can pay. Tutorial services are offered to as high as university level. can you imagine that.

Students graduate from various colleges, which are mushroomed all over the country, (not a sign of success by any measure) with diplomas not worth the paper their are written on.

The appalling educational system in Ethiopia is a serious issue which must be given high priority.

The educational system is so politicized there is no way students debate the pro and cons of any issues without offending their cadre/profs. The teachers are largely recruited based on their political affiliation. Teachers are implicitly required to demonstrate their commitment to the governing parties. Their merits and qualification come a distant second.

They don’t have the required qualification anyway as they themselves are product of a dysfunctional system. This the truth not the fiction you are being fed till you go numb.

05/14/13 @ 10:58
Comment from: Bitew Markos [Visitor]
Bitew Markos

I must admit I have never finished reading any of his articles. It is boring after four or five paragraphs.

My observation: Second rate professor, second rate writing. Where does he get the time to write such voluminous material week after week? Uses statistics wrongly to arrive at generalizations. Most assertions are not supported by facts. Who reads all this garbage? Such a waste of his time. Instead of sitting in a far away land and throwing out insults, why not do scholarly research and writing, supported by facts that will result in progress? Weekley tirades will not help Ethiopia lift itself out of poverty.

05/14/13 @ 11:43
Comment from: [Member]

I stopped reading this fellow a long time ago. Makes you think what a bore his pitiful life must be. And he thinks he is the only voice out there who says the right thing. A self-worshipping wrethced soul. Starts and finishes with the first person in what can only be a classic expression of self importance. I feel sorry for those who socialise with a cheap snob like Almariam never mind those who hold him in awe for nothing other than his endless rant.
A self-exiled critique who hasn’t seen the country in decades , and cannot name a single thing in positive contribution , Almariam is but the last person to cast aspersion on anyone in Ethiopia. NOT even the ruling elite. Total crap !

05/14/13 @ 11:45
Comment from: Aberaham [Visitor]

This time is in fact the only time in Ethiopian history when an Ethiopian of typical family has an opportunity to teach their children. Thousands of primary schools, perhaps hundreds of high schools and more than thirty universities are built throughout the country. Equally, important is the case of older and younger generations of Ethiopians who are selflessly devoted their individual and professional lives to teach so that Ethiopia becomes a better country for its citizens. They do so under very challenging conditions in several respects. Many of these true Heroes and Heroines chose to stay home and make a difference in the lives of younger Ethiopians. Al Mariam who is working with the enemies of Ethiopia so openly and shameless to harm its progress, continues to enjoy a venue to do so because he can do it as long as the extremist Diaspora survives. It is not enough that he is willing to stand with the Egyptians against our country including by tacitly approving the bombing of the Abay Dam by our arch enemy. No wonder that he has the audacity to criminalize the educational system that for the first time made it possible for the majority of Ethiopians to be able to teach their children and denigrate the work of Ethiopian teachers, professors, researchers, school and university administrators! Al Mariam, an intellectual imposter, who pretends to be what he is not, is allowed to rant not because he has ability to comment on Ethiopian issues but does so because that is what the hate-mongering Diaspora members wants to hear. What a shame!

05/14/13 @ 13:39
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

FidabAdgi it’s not a secret to anyone, first of all to the Agazi Donkeys like you ,that Degrees and Diplomats are distributed not for the skill of the student but for being member of the Ruling Parti .Today EPRDF membership card suffice to obtain Batchelor ,Mastrate even PHD into Agazi Fake Universities .What is laughable is that Agazi Bandits dare
to send their underqualified Fake Scholars for Scholarship in Famous World Universities and Institutions .
Most of the Times sent back home for
lack of capacities of following even
at the level of Fresh Course .I invite you to ask your goat herder fake officers that how many of them
did have a chance to graduate from
well known Military Academies like
Sandhurst ,Saint Cyr ,West Point .For
your Information ,plenty during the Eras of Haile Selassie ,but very few
and worst even none actually . The greatest Joke is the fake Minister of education ,Deneze Mekonen was in Washington DC to defend the Gordon Brown ’s proposal appealing the World Bank to make more investment on the Field of Edication . A moron
unable to watch with his own eyes that Ethiopian Kids are more and more surviving on cities streets or farming works even victims of SLAVERY than attending Schools .And the future of those having the chance
to graduate from Universities and Higher Education Institutions ,is no more as “COBLESTONE” worker or risking their lives in Exile .By the way tomorrow May 15 th “GINBOT 7″ is the day we commomerate into which a Free and Democratic Election was for the first time held in the country .Unfortunatly sabotage by the Bandit Agazis ,the Aderby Bandas and Tigre Mafiosis . A Missed Opportunity to the Dead Crime Minister actually remenbered as the Butcher of May and November 2005 .A missed historical Occasion to the Ethiopian Peoples for National Reconciliation and the establishement
of a Democratical Process .This day shall remember for ever ,and we will
not forget all the heros who had fallen for the rise of a Free and Democratic Society and for the Dawn of a New Era .May almighty God bless

05/14/13 @ 14:29
Comment from: [Member]

Thank you professor Alemayehu.

It might as well be the Misadminstration of our homeland by the Dictators!!
The misappropriation of all the funds from the tax-paying poor Ethiopian citizen is the right way of showing the “true but sad” reality in our Ethiopia.
1- Aid in the name of nation stolen by the TPLF members.
2-Loan in the name of our nation diverted to the TPLF thugs account.
3-The poor citizen’s tax money misappropriated in the name of budget for various government sectors(The ministry of education is one example)
4-The selling of land to a foreign entity and taking the money

05/14/13 @ 14:30
Comment from: Tutu [Visitor]

Mr. Professor, Where are you getting all these informations? you are living in the United States, you are teaching in California State University and practicing Law in California. who is your source of informations? You are writing this garbage as if you have a first hand knowledge. How dare you look down on the teachers in Ethiopia who are working so hard to make a difference in the life of Ethiopian youth. So many of these professors earned their educations in Ethiopia, some of them retuned back after receiving their educations abroad. These teachers had the opportunity to remain abroad but they chose to go back because they know Ethiopia and the people of Ethiopia are counting on them. How dare you start telling us these teachers falsified documentations? You have been writhing a lot of nonsense in the past. Now you turned your pen to criticize the teachers. Wow Mr. Professor. Mr. Educated man. It is one thing to oppose the current government. But spreading such outrageous acquisitions about Ethiopian Educators is very low even for you.
By the way what about you? why are you practicing law while lecturing in California State university? Do you need extra money? If so What is unethical with the teachers in Ethiopia wanting to make extra money by doing tutoring on the side?

05/14/13 @ 14:32
Comment from: Awaki Sew [Visitor]  
Awaki Sew

I feel sorry for those students who fork >$20K/Year student loan to listen to this man’s lectures’. Anyway, UC San Bernadino ? I did not even know they have a UC campus there.

05/14/13 @ 14:37
Comment from: john Katama [Visitor]
john Katama

Almanyehu lives and thinks 200 years
back at the time.
He still thinks that all Ethiopia is Amhara.

05/14/13 @ 16:47
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Kena Keb and co. Moron FIDABs ,here are then your so called Great Achievements from your Great Leader on the Field of the Education Systems .

05/14/13 @ 18:19
Comment from: [Member]

ፕሮፌሰር አለማየሁ የ አገራችን ወጣቱ ትውልድ የ ሃሰት ትምህርት እያሰተማሩት መሆኑን ስትጽፍ ይህ እርምጃ የ ወደፊቱን ተተኪ ትውልድ የተሳሳተ እውቀት እንደሚመግቡት ጥርጥር የለውም:: እንደሰማሁት ከሆነ ልጆቹ መምህርን አለማክበር , አስተማሪውም የተማሪዎቹን ደህንነት አለመጠበቅ ባጠቃላይ ትጉህ ተማሪ እና አሳቢ መምህር በ አገራችን የጠፉ ነገሮች እንደሆኑ በዚህም ምክንያት ፈተናዎች እየተሰረቁ የዋና ፈተና መልሶች እየተሸጡ አጥጋቢ እውቀት ይዘው ሳይሆን ተማሪዎች የሚመረቁት ለይስሙላ ነው::
ታድያ ይህንን አጥንቶ እናም መረጃዎችን ሰብስቦ ለ እኛ ባካፈለ የ ወያኔ አጨብጫቢዎች ዘለፋቸውን በዚህ ድረ ገጽ ላይ ያሰፍራሉ!!!
ይህንን ስመለከት ምናልባት እነኚህ ካድሬዎች ከላይ በተጠቀሰው የትምህርት ስራት ያለፉ ይመስላል ማለትም
እውቀት ይዘው ሳይሆን ጭቃ ዐምሮ ብቻ ነው ያላቸው

05/14/13 @ 18:59
Comment from: misrak [Visitor]


I don’t have a lot to say,I just want to say thank you and proud of having people like you.In order to understand the feature we have to learn from the past,and that is why I said thank you. Our beloved country and proud people happy to hear that.

05/14/13 @ 20:42
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb


You are most welcome. I do want to thank you too for raising your voice with me and all other Ethiopians who wish all the good for our country.

05/15/13 @ 09:41
Comment from: Abbaa Biyyaa [Visitor]
Abbaa Biyyaa

İs this man still writing? Plz Nazret, don’t late readers stop reading your site. Nobody reads his so called ‘article’ because of the following reasons:
1. Too long and boring to read all.
2. Full of hates and false propogandas. İs he really professional? İf so,.have you read any positive things he wrote other than the false criticisms
3. Now most readers can guess what his ‘article’ is about and they jump it without reading…
4. Plz don’t make us bored!!!

05/15/13 @ 10:14
Comment from: janny [Visitor]

For whom is he actually writing? For himself as a therapy from some kind of trauma??
Nazret must we read this? From the majority of the comments I see that this writer has only few followers and most reader feel just abused by the unmannered
writting of this person. It is neither educational nor entertaining nor brings new solutions or analyses to some problems. Critisisim just for the sake of it, is just worthless. Nazret please stop abusing your readers!!

05/15/13 @ 16:01
Comment from: Bethihu [Visitor]

Alemayoh G. Mariam is one of those bulling individuals that they would do all kind of barking to intimidate people, but most of the time they failed to release that their actions or behaviors are perceived in the the society as mad dogs that would barks nonstop to disturb peace of the sociaty…LOL. Shame on this man that he claims to be an educated, but his weekly trashy acrtcles indicated as been written by an ignorant man…

God bless the world!

05/15/13 @ 17:26
Comment from: TK [Visitor]

The writer has a point but from a different perspective. It’s true that the education system is bad and must be changed, but I would still send my children to somalia, ethiopia or even south sudan rather than to any college in the US where, technically speaking, a student and adminstration, not the teacher, assign a grade for themselves, and nearly every second graduate claims GPA of 4 but doesnt qualify for even a D in Europe or Africa. I do hope “customer service” has not hit ethiopia. Not, yet.

The writer missed to take into account the more troubling issue of wayane’s Ethnic Education policy that they borrowed from past regimes, namely, systematically and disproportiontely dismissing or filtering students from ethnic groups they have trouble with, in particular oromos, from Science, Medical, Engineering and law schools, under various pretexts. Unless they are claiming that the “jegna” tigres are also more intelligent than everyone else or others didn’t want to go colleges, no amount of logic justifies why 50% of AAU students are Tigres and 10% oromos 15%. Counting universities has meaning only for wayanes when they educate on policy of ethnic cleasing of oromos, and possibly others, even in those ,suposedly, acadamic facilities.

05/15/13 @ 21:55
Comment from: Ewnetu [Visitor]

Bitew Marcos:
You said right when you said “Most assertions are not supported by facts. Who reads all this garbage? Such a waste of his time. Instead of sitting in a far away land and throwing out insults, why not do scholarly research and writing, supported by facts that will result in progress?". Bingo!!! If is done scholarly, it should be supported with facts and evidence not with hearsay. As a lawyer, Al Mariam knows hearsay is not admitted to court as evidence. I rest my case.

This does not mean there is corruption in Ethiopia, but it existed even during Haile Selassie’s regime. The nation has to raise the level of conscious to eradicate corruption. Corruption is less in industrialized nations. Corruption is prevalent in developing nations and nations who are transitioning to democracy such as east block nations. Of course, it is big struggle to eradicate corruptions.

I want also to mention about World Bank report which I wrote to refute Al Mariam’s assertion. This document is about 450 pages and some corruptions WB reported is not as if it happened. WB details the conditions various subjects and it says that the situation might create corruption. It does not mean WB detected or saw corruption. It can go either way. Read the WB report for yourself and it is not limited for scholars only!

Al Mariam, can you give us a detail report about the corruption among expats? They are also Ethiopians. Your eyes will water, when nose is hit.

At last, Nazret has a right to publish Al Mariam’s blog. This is democracy at work otherwise banning his article is a democratic journalism.

05/16/13 @ 01:09
Comment from: [Member]

People who hate Prof. AlMariam and the diaspora are TIGRE’S. Nothing more to say! They are either diaspora Tigre, dumb cadre or some KERSAM EPRDF supporter. All they want us is watch ETV and listen to the propaganda of TPLF. It won’t be upsetting if these toxic minorities support this government based on work and performance. No wonder why many of my people(OROMO) never care about their divide and rule policy and compaign against Amharas. At least during the past administration, there were more Oromos, and Gurages, in the Army command and leadership. The DEAD HYENA Meles’s system created where ethnic Tigre’s head almost all the federal offices, dominate the military, dominate the trade and dominate the CORRUPTION. They call anyone who oppose government Amhara even if the person is a muslim Oromo from Arsi. “Mognena woreket yeyazewun aylekim newu yemibalew"? This AMHARA BLAME GAME is one way of keeping Oromos and other groups calm and forget about TPLF atrocities against 95% other Ethiopians. Today, we have countless Oromo political prisoners and no single outstanding Oromo official. Haha yegermal eko…I see why many of my Oromo friends prefer not to be called Ethiopian. Koy who is ZEREGNA? We all know that the day it TPLF collapse those woyanes will be excuted publicly.

05/17/13 @ 06:43
Comment from: sam [Visitor]

Nazret is the only medrek where weane buchloch talk about personality rather than opinions. Nazret shall discard any comment which is not about the article rather about the writer. They are not educable. They are really in illusion they have no idea what is going on. They are still stuck in the 80’s and 90’s mentality. Even OLF has taken its lesson and changed its course. Come on guys be updated, watch ESAT and be informed..ETHIOPIAWINET IS COMING BACK, UNITY IS COMING BACK..WE ARE SAYING HUMANITY BEFORE ETHNICITY…NO ONE IS FREE UNLESS WE ALL ARE FREE..Do u know what Obang Metho is doing? Do you know what Meaza Biru is doing? Do u know what Balageru idol is doing? do u know what ODF(Oromo Democratic front) is doing? Do u know what Daniel Kibret is doing? what Tamagn beyene is doing? What Sisay Agena is doing? they all are reviving UNITY and ETHIOPIAWINET….EXPOSING WEYANE’S EVIL PLAN FOR eTHIOPIANS LESS TIGRAY..You guys don’t have their caliber. Even non-weyane EPRDF parties have seen it….stay tuned. Ask urself this :’How ESAT got all those information before ETV?"..

05/19/13 @ 15:07
Comment from: MY MISEDUCATION [Visitor]

I had a so called professor at one of the government’s higher learning institutions who promised all the students in his class grades according to our like if we keep quiet about his absence from class. Sure enough the semester went by while he showed up maybe once every 10 or 15 classes missing the rest because he holds three or more governmental jobs at the same time. When he shows up rather than teaching he was talking about how he was forced without his will by the so powerful governmental officials to work for some Minstry , teach at Addis Ababa University , teach at Addis Ababa Commercial College and so on at the same time and for that reason how our only choice to survive through this task imposed on him is to hussh up , read and try to learn on our on. By the end of the semester sure enough he asked every student what grade they desired and we ended up geting it according to our request. I am guessing he didnot even bother to go through the exam papers to grade us. At the same time I had another Muslim professor who missed his class every friday because it was Jumma day and he had to go to Mosque.The list goes on. That was how I was thought How to lie , How to cheat and above all how to not be accountable for my actions. I am still in the process of changing because for quiet sometime I thought to cheat , deceive , lie and so on was a thing everybody does thanks to my miseducation. I was a product of Woyane’s evil people’s factory. when I got to this side of the world and went to college I found out that kind of thing happened in Ethiopia only and the more I open my mouth about it to other Ethiopians without fearing it will catch up to me, I started realizing it only happened in Woyane’s-Ethiopia only. kelij lij tewelije endalew I am starting to find out more that I should forgive myself and put the blame where it belongs. If I stayed there longer I would have been one of those corrupt hodams by now due to my miseducation.

05/21/13 @ 05:53
Comment from: Happy [Visitor]

This is west of time. Why are you not coming to help your mother-Land? How many students sponsered with your money? How many times you Visit Ethiopia? See your self before you write this paper. We want to live in peace not fight?

05/22/13 @ 17:34



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