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News: Students raise concern over prolonged university closure in Amhara Region

Wisdom tower of Bahir Dar University (Photo: Amhara Universities Forum)

Addis Abeba – Students enrolled at universities in the restive Amhara region have expressed concerns over the prolonged closure and lack of communication from their institutions regarding plans for the continuation of studies.

Alemu, a third-year economics student at  Bahir Dar University residing in Hawassa, expressed feeling neglected by the prolonged silence from his institution. “It feels as if we’ve been forgotten,” said Alemu. “While other universities announce resumption of classes, we’re in the dark about returning to campus,” Alemu told Addis Standard.

He fears these extended delays could jeopardize students’ academic progress if alternative solutions aren’t sought. Anxious to continue his studies, Alemu hopes for prompt communication and guidance.

Similarly, Fistum, a final-year history student waiting at home in Addis Abeba for updates from Woldiya University, emphasized the immense personal sacrifices required to earn a degree. He explained that the prolonged uncertainty has taken a serious mental toll on him and thousands of other students facing similar uncertainty across the region.

This is despite reports of improvements to the security situation since emergency measures were declared months ago. Dr Mengesha Bantawu, regional spokesperson and member of state of emergency command post, disclosed on 22 October that curfews in Bahir Dar, Debre Birhan and Gonder were eased, demonstrating progressive regional peace and stability. He also signaled additional cities may see curfew modifications based on security reviews.

It’s not clear whether the security situation in the region has impacted the reopening of universities. Addis Standard’s attempts to contact the universities’ officials have been unsuccessful.

The students are appealing to the Ministry of Education for urgent assistance and official guidance. They hope to receive clarity on timelines for resuming courses and management of the disrupted academic year. AS

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