The expansion of relevant and quality higher education is an important ingredient for the overal development of a country. It is the place where capable and responsible citizens that shoulder the nation now and in the future are created.
No doubt higher educational institutions in our country have also been contributing their share so far. In addition to their primary mission, they have also been melting pot of the diversity of the people, tolerance, exchange of cultural religious and social values. This role should have been further upheld and kept to last to the future generation.
But recent incidents in some of the Universities of the country are likely to thwart their mission if left unabated. Conflicts , chaos and any inclination that resonate with the machination of anti peace elements should never be tolerated.
It is undeniable that Ethiopia has achieved impressive progress in economic, social and human development during the past two decades. And it is among the countries that have made the greatest progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals among which the education sector is one.
Education sector is the highest priority area of the FDRE government in that it is the second highest budgeted public sector. The focus the government gave to the sector has enabled it achieve remarkable success in both general and higher education in the past two decades. Currently there are totally 46 universities and over eight hundred thousand students enrolled.
Education is not an isolated activity; the actions, attitudes and behaviors of all members of communities affect its realization. Therefore, the active support and engagement of stakeholders including teachers, students, parents, extended family members, unions, teachers, religious communities, civil society organizations, private sectors and local politicians is critical.
The government has done well on curriculum development and revision, quality achievement strategies, quality improvement package, quality teachers' training, facilitating peaceful, secured and conducive learning environment, stakeholders' mobilization and fair budgeting.
Teacher policies and regulations were revised and put in place to ensure that teachers and educators are empowered; adequately recruited and rewarded; well trained; professionally qualified; motivated; equitably and efficiently deployed across the whole education system.
However, some deteriorating selfish and irresponsible bodies have been disturbing the system. Every responsible and visionary leaders, teachers, students and stakeholders have to dream about peaceful and conducive environment to the learning and teaching processes.
The enlightened university stakeholders think about their dream and inevitably come up with different versions of action framework of policy level initiatives. However, a few have taken narrow thinking that they can focus purely on teaching the contents.
Visionaries develop and use the required support to policies such as research, intellectual property policy and others that guide a research oriented university. And implement systems that enable peaceful and favorable environment for the management of the system to administrators' and researchers' perspective.
The 21st century university student must be radically different from the 20th century. They must think about and for the institutions they are in and should be tempered with modernity. The university students, teachers and leaders have to think as a modern global university member.
All the stakeholders should be able to monitor, recognize, perceive, reason about, assess, understand and manage their own and others emotions to use them to guide actions, solve problems, enhance thought and promote growth. They have to be intelligent enough to comprehend, regulate, sympathize and integrate emotions into cognitions to impact intuition, integrity and motivation.
The leaders must communicate and empower the relationship of students and teachers to impact the perception and recognition of emotionality that is aggravated by their ages and the outsiders.
They don't have to be emotional in their acts and thinking but have to be intellectual in their acts and thoughts. As emotions are transmissible, they must be managed timely to be controlled.
The university students must control their emotions and understand what matters to them in guarding their lives and peaceful learning process. They have to be reasonable, wise and intellectual in their thinking and actions. They are required to be emotionally stable to be flexible and creative.
Students must interweave the selfish politically affiliated individuals' wrong fabrication of conflict igniting cases. They don't have to corrupt themselves to those who deviously try to push their own divisive agenda forward.
They must be aware of the rhetoric emotions and strategies that produce division instead of unity, and chaos instead of peace. They have to filter the ignition of religious intolerance, violence and division but connect themselves with the government bodies to augment the culture of truthfulness, unity, mutual benefit and tolerance.
The higher education leaders, teachers and student families must council students not to be poisoned by the anti peace, divisive and evil minds. As well all the stakeholders are required to interweave intellect and emotions to enhance peaceful learning environment and create a positive atmosphere, mutual trust and manage conflicts through persistent communication.