Addis Abeba – Hundreds of lecturers from various government universities in the Amhara region, who were assigned to oversee the recently concluded grade 12 exams, are currently facing a predicament. According to educators contacted by Addis Standard, most of these lecturers are now stranded in Addis Abeba and unable to return home.
Endalemaw Wale, a lecturer at University of Gondar who has been assigned to Dambi Dollo University, shared with Addis Standard that upon his arrival in Addis Abeba last night, coordinators from the National Educational Assessment and Examination Agency informed him and other fellow lecturers that temporary accommodations would be provided until they could return to their respective destinations.
Endalemaw further added that those lecturers who arrived in Addis Abeba yesterday are currently being accommodated at the Civil Service University. However, he mentioned that some of them were informed that the university is presently at full capacity and that they are awaiting the preparation of accommodations for them.
Assistant Professor Sisay Asamire, a lecturer at University of Gondar who has been assigned to Assosa University, is also facing significant challenges as a result of the ongoing conflict and instability in the Amhara region. He, along with other university educators, is unable to return home or resume their jobs. “Most have been forced to reside in temporary shelters provided by the government,” said Sisay.
Despite the government’s efforts, Sisay highlights that the daily per diem allocated to them, which amounts to 420 birr, is insufficient to cover their daily expenses. “It is nearly impossible to survive in Addis Abeba with this amount.” Moreover, Sisay reveals that university lecturers have not received their salaries for the month of July due to the ongoing conflicts in the region. This adds to the financial pressures they are already facing, exacerbating their already challenging situation.
The number of lecturers stranded in the capital isn’t clear as of yet but according to the lecturers Addis Standard interviewed, close to 1,000 university teachers from the Amhara region participated in the exam.
On August 4, 2023, the Council of Ministers passed a unanimous decision to declare a state of emergency in the restive Amhara regional state, where months-long militarized engagement between government forces and the non-state Fano militia is escalating. “The armed illegal activities” in the Amhara regional state “have become impossible to control through the regular law enforcement mechanism,” the council said, adding that the armed activities have “greatly disrupted the overall economic and social activities of the residents of the region and threatened the constitutional order.”
The council has made a decision in response to a letter sent on 3 August, 2023, by Yelikal Kefale, the President of Amhara Regional State. The letter urged the federal government to step in and address the escalating security crisis in the region by implementing the necessary legal measures.
Last week, the Ministry of Education made an announcement stating that Assistant Professor Tadesse Abebe, a lecturer at Wolkite University, along with two members of the Federal Police Commission, were tragically killed by armed group in the Amhara region. Professor Tadesse had been assigned to oversee the grade 12 exam at the University of Gondar.
Close to 840,000 students took part in the grade 12 exams held nationwide from 19 to 28 July, 2023. The exam was conducted at a network of 12,785 designated exam centers throughout the country. Public universities took on the role of exam centers starting last year, a strategic move aimed at curbing cheating by enforcing stringent rules and regulations during the exams. AS