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Laying foundation stone - haile selassie i university silver jubilee IMPERIAL GUARD CADET TRAINING SCHOOLMAY 25, 1950 WHY EDUCATION? NOVEMBER 3, 1951
education: an investment other schools...april 27, 1950 U.C.A.A. OPENS... FEBRUARY 27, 1951  



Excerpt Speeches From "Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty", available @

*** Full Text Will Soon Be Available ***


. . . In the field of education, we take great pleasure in the fact that the opening of Ethiopia's first university is near at hand. Henceforth, students who have demonstrated their capacity and ability will no longer leave their homeland to pursue higher education. The University's faculty is being recruited and its physical plant is being established. We ourselves have presented our Guennete Leul Palace and its grounds, inherited from Our beloved father, as a free gift to the nation to serve as the nucleus of the University's physical facilities and a formal ceremony for the handing over of the Palace will be held in the near future . . 

The population of our Capital, Addis Ababa, have expressed through their Mayor their desire to erect a monument to our honor hat they on their own initiative, have started raising funds, and have requested that we lay the foundation stone of this memorial today. IT has also been confirmed that the whole people of Ethiopia have joined hands with people of Addis Ababa in this effort. As was indicated on the occasion of our birthday Anniversary on July 23rd last, we shall now make known to you our intentions in reference to this monument. We wish first of all to state that our heart was touched with our beloved people's desire to erect in our honor a statute in recognition of services which we have rendered to them and to our country. There can be no better way for a people to show their deep gratitude to their Sovereign. By what means can mans achievements in this world be best remembered? Many people believe that this could be done by the erection  of physical and material structures: others believe that their works are in themselves lasting monuments. We, for our part, think that mans contributions which live to influence the life and progress of posterity, are the most permanent monuments that can ever be erected. It is now 32 years since we assumed the high service of aiding and guiding the destinies of our people, counting from our regency, when we were destined to the Imperial Throne of Ethiopia. During this period of our reign, a series of problems and trials have had to be faced. There can be no better testimony to the recognition of our devotion to the cause of our country and to the welfare of our people, entrusted to our care, from the day when we were chosen with the Grace of the Almighty the annoited Emperor of Ethiopia, than this expression of noble sentiments from our beloved and loyal people. We have abiding faith the Almighty, who has vouchsafed us the privilige to reach this present stage, will grant to Ethiopia a bright future and an enduring destiny. Now, when our peopl are willing to erect a statue in our image, we feel it a duty on our part to consider what would be the most appropriate means of incorporating in a cocnrete and lasting manner the sentiments of our people. 


The immediate and practical aim of this institution obviously is to educate the Ithiopian youth and to prepare them to serve their country. Although such education may be technical, it must nonetheless be founded on Ithiopia's cultural heritage when it is to bear fruit and when the student is to be well adapted to his environment and the effective use of his skills facilitated. Time was when strength and endurance, courage and faith, were sufficient to make leadership equal to the task. Times have changed and these spiritual qualities are no longer enough. Today, knowledge and training, as provided largely in the universities of the world, have become essential, and today leadership and advancement, both national and international, rely heavily upon the products of universities. Even as Mr. Tubman, Mr. U-Nu, Madame Bandaranaika and Mr. U. Thant were each educated in their own land, InI trust that this University will produce leaders of comparable stature. In all countries of the modern world, special competence is required to deal with the advancement of agriculture, industry, commerce, and the civil service. That competence can be secured only through facilities which are provided in modern universities. InI have often pointed out that the future of Ithiopia is largely conditioned upon accelerated agricultural development, upon mineral exploitation and upon industrial expansion. Her survival depends on these, and they, in turn, depend upon the competence of those who have received and who will receive the essential education and training. It is InI confident hope that this institution, which has been planned for many years will provide here, in InI own land, for InI own youth, the higher education and the specialized training required for such development. That which man dreams of and to which he aspires, unless fulfilled in his own lifetime, can produce no actual satisfaction to him. As for InI, thanks be unto God that in the founding of this University InI have realized a lifelong aspiration.



Education is costly, and higher education is the most costly of all. It is also an investment, a very profitable investment, and the money spent in coordinating, strengthening, and expanding higher education in Ithiopia is well invested. InI are proud of InI people's recognition of the value of education. Their concerted effort in the building of schools and other social activities is most gratifying. Educational institutions, unlike business enterprises, do not exist and operate for profits in dollars and cents. They exist to perform public services, and they are judged by the effectiveness and economy with which they perform these services. To the Board of Governors, to the administrators, InI recommend economy, so that the benefits of the University can be enjoyed by as many of InI young men and women as possible. Not a dollar should be wasted of the money so hardly earned and so generously contributed by InI own Government and by the Governments of other nations. Plan thoughtfully, supervise closely, and manage economically, to the end that the greatest possible return may be realized in the preparation of competent manpower, in useful research and in training both technical and moral leadership. An immediate gain of the consolidation and coordination, the centralization of resources and operations, should be a saving in costs, and InI urge all to co-operate fully in the attempt to realize this objective. Diligence is demanded in developing this University as rapidly as possible to meet the compelling needs of InI Empire. InI would ask that extraordinary emphasis be placed on the training of teachers for InI primary and secondary schools. The educational process cannot be a narrow column; it must be in the shape of a pyramid and broadly based. To provide this broad base, large numbers of teachers are required, and InI have a duty to provide Ithiopian teachers for these schools. This is why InI have established teacher training centres in Harar and other places.



.....To be able to say that there are one hundred thousand students, one has to start with one. It is over twenty-five years ago that InI had conceived the idea of building this School, and as everything is bound to be accomplished with man as initiator and God as executor, it was built in its destined time and formally opened twenty-five years ago.

On this occasion when InI celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Teferi Makonnen School and recall the struggle InI made to overcome the opposing internal political forces that InI encountered at the time when, having the building completed, InI were recruiting teachers and gathering students in order to get the work started, InI thank InI God who helped InI to achieve InI aim. Ever since the day InI were elected by God to be the leader of InI beloved Nation, InI wholehearted desire has been to expand education with which InI people will develop and guarantee their independence, and since InI accession to the power of leadership, InI have put on this cause InI utmost efforts as much as events permitted. And this school the Silver Jubilee of which InI are celebrating today, has rendered evident InI desire and effort. Among those who, in support of InI idea, have helped InI to found this School, InI thank all who are alive and remember those like the late Blattenguetta Hiruy. There have been gentlemen and ladies who, sharing InI conviction that there is no instrument better than education for the development of Ithiopia and the welfare of InI Nation, helped InI in different ways. Some of them have done so by inspiring their children to go to school and others by contributing financially to this cause, to an extent that proved their realization of the benefit of education. In this connection, InI do not pass without remembering those, for instance, like the late Dej. Habtemariam Gabregziabier, who sent to the school wenty-three boys together with the school fees. The names of the persons who had shown their goodwill to support InI idea and expressed the love for education were written at the school hall in golden letters on the roll of honour which was removed by the enemy, and has now been renewed and restituted. The Teferi Makonnen School started working guided by the internal regulations InI had provided to it, with Dr. Workneh as Principal and a Frenchman called Monsieur Jean Guillon, as Director and concurrently teacher. Under them, there were both foreign and Ithiopian teachers for French and English languages and the number of students increased from day to day.


After a few years when it was arranged for the pupils of Teferi Makonnen School to receive examinations sent from schools in Europe, there were many who passed the examinations and obtained elementary school certificates. When InI were then satisfied with the intelligence of the Ithiopian pupils and the diligence of the teachers, InI were encouraged to double Our efforts. As InI used to see for Ourselves, whenever InI visited the School, their diligence which was resulting in the advancement of the pupils, InI still remember the teachers who were here at that time. Then InI had only these students who proved progressive and diligent in their studies sent abroad for pursuing their education. Whereas most of these flowers of youth grown in this School were destroyed by Italy's massacre, some have been spared by God and are now serving their country. When InI thought of sending them abroad for education, there was a great obstacle between orientation abroad and preparation at home, and the struggle InI faced was worse.

Convinced that a nation is seen highly possessed of works of civilization due to its heritage of refinement from past generations and not as a result of work accomplished in one generation, and realizing that such heritage demands countless sacrifices, InI exerted a great effort in order to remove current

difficulties and to pave the way for the coming generations, and by faith passed the trial. Moreover, as it was InI desire to improve all possible ways of distributing education to all the Ithiopian population, there has never been one InI have not helped whenever an individual or a society wished to preach education to the Ithiopians or to open a school.



To InI Programme aimed at enabling the youth of Ithiopia to be prepared for the help of their country in different professions acquired by education and training, InI had reinforced the establishment of modern systems capable of maintaining law and order, as well as of safeguarding the security of the country,

such as the Regular Army, Police and Air Force, and in general InI had done all to have all systems of public education go hand in hand. Even though work and time have a limited scope to human capacity, InI were convinced that by working with faith, perseverance, firmness and foresight, it was possible to accomplish much. And InI efforts have been aided by avoiding areas of work pending for the coming generations so that there might emerge a generation up to date with modern civilization to pursue its current life ,and when InI were organizing such a peaceful life for Our Nation, InI had secured for it the international guarantee of peace by joining the League of Nations and signing the Kellog Convention.

There came an enemy who interrupted Our peaceful work of leading Ithiopia to a high civilization and by invading InI country, destroyed all the products of InI work. Had it not been for all the various obstacles which InI encountered and which hindered InI work, it is obvious that the result of InI initiative for the purpose of having Ithiopia combine her ancient civilization with the modern world progress would have appeared much earlier. Nevertheless, InI thank God for the kindness InI have never missed. Although it had, following the invasion of the enemy, fallen sick for some time, the Teferi Makonnen School which InI see today as a young school of twenty-five years has, in accordance with its age, served a generation and is therefore, seen with its head upright. When InI inaugurated this school twenty-five years ago, InI extolled the merciful Lord and said: "To be able to say that there are one hundred thousand students, one has to start with one." Today in Ithiopia, there are more than 100,000 students. Hence, InI feel very happy at the celebration of the 25th year of Teferi Makonnen School, where InI have expressed InI wishes and see that the mercy of God is limitless. InI feel deeply sorry when InI recall the memory of the youngsters who were educated at this school and who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their Emperor and country. When InI turn to those who are alive and rendering valuable service to their country, including those who are attending this inauguration as well as those who are on duty in distant places, InI sorrow changes into happiness.

And you, students, should realize that for the benefit of Ithiopia and for Our Nation, InI most important work at present is the preparation of educated generations for Ithiopia, and InI fervently hope that you will prove worthy of Our efforts for this purpose. InI thank those who have been supporting InI in this cause and InI strongly ask them to continue their support.



InI have reminded you repeatedly in the past that bravery is the natural characteristic of the Ithiopian people, which they need borrow from nowhere, and that the possession by Ithiopian people of such a sterling quality is widely known. The fact that InI have already explained to you InI consideration about you makes it unnecessary to dwell on it at length today. The harmonious blending of military training with inherent valour not only spares vain bloodshed, it also assures victory without undue effort. A few well-disciplined and trained troops, history bears witness, can win a battle against an out-numbering force, even ten times larger. History records that military science enabled Alexander the Great to conquer a large part of the world, often engaging his 30,000 soldiers against the adversary's 600,000. Education and training, as in every walk of life, offers limitless benefits in the military field as well. Born to struggle in this world, man gradually realizes the miracles of "light" and harnesses this knowledge to be his first instrument of defence against the trials of life, never thereafter preferring to travel in darkness. You boys, to whom InI have handed the powerful weapon on "light" must exert your utmost to carry the torch of light, sternly refusing to be returned to darkness. The results of your training, which have been demonstrated just now, are a matter of pride for your Emperor and a source of strength to your country. Whenever InI witness such progressive achievement, InI feel extremely happy, looking forward to the dawn of the day that will usher in the fulfiment of InI plan for InI people's well-being.

There is no person in this world who is free from life's responsibility. This responsibility enjoins one to discharge the duty towards the country, serving and dying for it. No one, whether he is a soldier or a civilian, can afford to be a coward and can escape this responsibility. Fortunately, there is no need at present for the employment of InI armed forces, either here in InI territory or abroad. When your services are called for, the military force InI referred to now will be a guarantee for liberty and independence. May God help you to fulfil the pledge you have given to your Emperor and to your country. InI view with satisfaction the services of the Commander of the Imperial Body Guard, Brigadier General Mulugueta Bully, in efficiently carrying out InI directives, and of the instructors for their devotion to the task of training.



InI am very happy to be able to send a few words of greeting to you on the occasion of this reunion of the Ithiopian students who are studying in America. It is good that it has been possible to arrange such a meeting so that you may relax and enjoy yourselves together for a time. InI pray that it will also be a period for renewing friendships with your fellow countrymen and thus strengthening the ties which bind you to your homeland, Ithiopia. It should also be a time when you may take stock of yourself and may consider what return you owe for the opportunity you have been given. Great and wise men from all countries have told InI through the centuries that the most worthwhile sort of life is one of service---'Working for the benefit of others.' The Divine Teacher by word and example taught InI that the only worthy way of living is to give rather than to receive. In the dark days of the occupation InI own patriots did not consider personal advantages as they strove to realize their ideal. As you prepare yourselves to

return to Ithiopia InI commend to you a life which gives to others who are less privileged than we and who have not had InI opportunities. Each of you is old enough and mature enough to know that in the United States and Canada education has seldom been prized only on account of its usefulness to individuals but to society. It is seldom intended to be merely an ornament to the person who obtains it. This conception of education is equally important for InI in Ithiopia, where only education can lead the way to higher standards of living for all people. It is in expectation of a rich return that the Ithiopian Government has spent freely to send you abroad, praying that upon your return you will make a generous contribution to the betterment of your country.

InI do not want you to return to Ithiopia, Americans or Canadians; American techniques in their entirety may be good only in America and Canadian training will be especially applicable to conditions in that country. InI pray thay you will be wise in choosing those elements from foreign education which are applicable to conditions in Ithiopia and which can be used in InI own country. There is a third thought which InI would like you to keep always before you. In a world which becomes smaller and smaller as communication improves, nations must live as neighbours with other nations. Just as your impressions of an

American are formed from the individual Americans you meet, so a foreigner’s ideas about Ithiopia depend upon the Ithiopians he encounters and knows. Each of you is an Ambassador-at-large of your country. When you are kind and tolerant and courteous you make people think well of InI---when you are arrogant and proud and unfriendly you discredit InI in the eyes of others. It is

InI earnest hope that you may be at all times worthy representatives of Ithiopia.


.....Knowledge paves the way to love, and love in its turn fosters overstanding, and leads one along the path of great common achievements..... When today is being opened this University College, InI feeling of joy has two motivations, InI happiness is of two kinds. These are private and common. Happiness shared with many creates a source of permanent affection and overstanding. Private happiness is a temporary matter. InI endeavour to expand schools has passed from planning to achievement. InI satisfaction in the field of education is in InI days being shared by the Ithiopian people, and particularly by those who have and are profiting by it. Thus, InI saying that this would benefit Ithiopia is now being increased greatly. As has been pointed out by InI Vice-Minister, work on the University is progressing rapidly. To make successful the work of those educational institutions of higher education, aid of the students and teachers is needed. InI pray that the preparation of students and teachers is nearing completion.

InI are proud to see Ithiopian youth thirsting for learning. Although the fruits of education can be applied to evil as well as to good things, you Ithiopian students should avoid having a bad reputation and be eager and energetic in your studies, be loyal to your country and obedient to your teachers, eschew lies and follow truth, respect good and be heirs of good work.....


.....From truth alone is born liberty and only an educated people can consider itself as really free and master of its fate. It is only with an educated people that representative and democratic organs of government can exercise their influence for national progress. ...However, InI programmes undertaken in the economic field for augmenting the material welfare of InI subjects, has not made InI forget that, according to the words of the Bible, "man does not live by bread alone." InI know that the spiritual and moral welfare of Our people is as important as their material well-being. Thus, it is that following the liberation of Ithiopia from the yoke of the enemy, InI have devoted a very large part of InI budget and national revenues for the establishment and development of schools. During this short period of ten years no less than fifteen secondary schools, of which the last, the General Wingate School, was opened by Ourselves this year, have been established directly as a result of InI initiative and direction. The number of students enrolled in schools in Ithiopia has nearly tripled during that same period. Shortly, the University, the foundation stone of which InI have laid, will be opened under InI direction. InI face with confidence the future of public instruction in Ithiopia.

When InI have made so many sacrifices for the education of InI youth, it is because InI are convinced that only through intellectual progress and universal education can Ithiopia come into its own and make its just contribution to the history of the peoples of the Middle East. InI know that from truth alone is born liberty and that only an educated people can consider itself as really free and master of its fate. It is only with an educated people that representative and

democratic organs of government can exercise their influence for national progress. InI Address from the Throne therefore testifies to the importance which InI attach to education and, at the same time, to your role as representatives, in the development and progress of Our people....



By establishing for InI people educational institutions ranging from the elementary level to that of a University College, InI have enabled their natural intelligence to be reinforced by acquired knowledge. In this InI object has been to raise their standard of living, for in so far as they profit from the education they receive, so may they improve their material resources. InI efforts in this sense are being fulfilled as far as the children and young people are concerned. InI feel it incumbent upon us to take thought also for those other folk who, by reason of their age, or of their occupation or position, are unable to receive the advantage derived from modern education. It was to give practical expression to this thought that InI previously issued instructions indicating that all InI people should acquire fundamental education; that they should read and write Amharic, the official language of the country, and when possible learn additional subjects in foreign fields. Since these instructions were issued, basic education is progressing satisfactorily, and people are requesting schools assiduously and in large numbers.

The products of learning and knowledge, then benefit the life of mankind; and these fruits of education to the cultivation of which InI ever devote InI energies should be shared by all InI people throughout InI Empire. However, to obtain this objective, capable teachers must be secured; it was in the pursuit of this aim, that InI directed this building to be constructed as a special Teachers Training Centre. Now that the work of construction has begun, InI give thanks to the Almighty, who has granted to InI to preside today over the ceremony of its inauguration.


So far, through the existing education facilities, not only have many children and adults been spared from being branded as illiterates, and many too are they who have reached the University level and completed their studies there. Folks crowd the doors of centres of learning, and a number of them pass in and out of them; and that is not enough. What InI desire for InI people in future consists of three main objectives: First, that every Ithiopian may be spared from illiteracy; second, that through the development of his own inborn capabilities he may become not a liability and an asset to his nation, and a benefit to himself, to his neighborhood, and to this country; third, that he must ripen and mature in knowledge and education, and pass them on to posterity. In addition, in this day and age, he must keep far from his mind the belief that he knows quite enough. The educated person will consider and weigh the welfare of the individual and the community, and will form critical judgments, while retaining the fear of his Creator.

For the higher educational institutions, which, with much effort, InI have established---such as the Agricultural College, the Building College and the University College---enough students have not been found. In several countries of the world InI see persons who do work of various kinds during the day, in order to get the necessary money to live by, in the evening they devote their time to study, and to reach a sufficient level of education to qualify as doctors or engineers. Such men, who have the love of learning in their hearts, show InI how age need not prove a hindrance. Therefore you should strive assiduously to make yourselves, by education, worthy men; and for this it matters not whether it be by day or by night, nor whether you be child or adult, man or woman. As the Gospel tells us, a house built upon strong foundations can never be overthrown by storms. Similarly, when people are built up with minds well formed by education and knowledge, no trial of whatever kind can conquer them. Therefore, as regards the teachers who go forth from this Centre, prepared for the tasks ahead, it is InI hope that they will advise, help and teach their brothers living in the country districts, in matters of health, of husbandry, of handicraft, and in other useful spheres, placing the knowledge they have gained from new cultural methods at the service of each and every Ithiopian.


As for Ourselves, in every task wherein InI labour, InI chief aim is that InI beloved people shall, during InI reign, proceed apace along the path of culture, improving their individual condition and living a life of peace, prosperity and happiness. And when InI say that, it is essential that InI people should fully overstand the following point. Unless each beam be sound, the whole structure of a house cannot be firm; and so, unless each Ithiopian citizen improves his own individual lot by culture, educating himself and his children, and making his family healthy and prosperous, capable and industrious, he cannot benefit his beloved land and the realm of Ithiopia. Similarly, when a man is sick, in one part of his body, his whole constitution is upset. It is the same with a people. Unless each man's life be complete, displaying education and prosperity, the people as a whole cannot share in common a flourishing existence, nor can it give its government cause for pride. It is for this reason that InI place our full hope in the teachers who go forth from this Centre---that through them, InI people may receive, in respect of their individual lives, the help which InI wish to be extended to them. In the planning of this Community Education Teachers Training Centre InI have received assistance from persons who have experience in this field, and to them---the experts of Point Four and of UNESCO---InI express InI thanks. InI are convinced that the work wherein they have collaborated with InI will prosper. InI sincerely thank the U.S. Government for its assistance in the establishment of this school. InI also appreciate the good words expressed by H.E. the U.S. Ambassador and for the spirit of co-operation he has shown. It is, therefore, with deep satisfaction that InI inaugurate and declare open, the Community Education Teachers Training Centre at Debre Berhan.