Farewell and Thank you! By Professor Hirut W/Mariam

Posted 2020-08-29
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Farewell and Thank you!

By Professor Hirut W/Mariam


What an exciting journey of 22 months! As a founding Minister, it was a joy for me to work tirelessly with you to build the Ministry of Science and Higher Education from the ground up.

Together we have reformed the higher education sector as never before. I am grateful for all the love, respect, and support you provided me throughout these couple years. I consider it a privilege

to have had the opportunity to work with you – state ministers, director generals, heads of Agencies/Centers/Institutes, university presidents, boards, senior advisors, and members of the

Advisory Council! Thank you also for the touchy messages of appreciation, recognition, and gratefulness that you have been showering me with since the handover day. We have achieved not

only laying the new ministry on a strong foundation, but also putting in place new reform initiatives, policies and strategies.

Establishing the vibrant Advisory Council that involves prominent global scholars from the diaspora who supported MOSHE with its reform initiatives was a great privilege. To be able to enhance the quality of education through the curricular reform that produced a package of common

courses on skills development and basic knowledge enhancement to meet the foundational requirements of the 21st century job market was heart-warming. The curricular reform is designed

to adapt and enhance critical thinking, emerging technologies, entrepreneurship, inclusiveness, history of Ethiopia and the horn, global trends etc. By incorporating such cutting-edge global concepts into the curriculum, it is possible to ensure quality and relevance and meet the demands

of industry. I must admit that introducing the course on History of Ethiopia and the Horn was an audacious move. There is no doubt we will reap bountiful dividends in the near future.

For the first time in the history of Ethiopian higher education, the 46 public universities are designated into three categories: Research, Applied Sciences, and Comprehensive Universities.

Conditions are now ripe for each university to build centers of excellence and blossom using its human resource and leadership capabilities, and comparative local advantages.

My considered efforts to bring women to top leadership positions and make them succeed have shown some promise. At Addis Ababa University, in which I was the first and last woman Vice

President for years, has two women vice presidents now in key positions. Other key success areas under my leadership include the introduction of: Science Policy, Higher Education Internationalization Policy, Differentiation Study Report and Policy Directives, Public-Private Partnership in Higher Education, and University-TVET-Industry Linkage. Following these, it is my hope that the required regulations, directives and guidelines will be formulated and

implemented. Challenging and removing from the system illegitimately operating private higher education institutions is a necessary step to move forward. This is how we can protect the integrity of our higher education system.

I have personally enjoyed the high-level intellectual discourse and webinars on important national issues that incorporated our international scholars, as televised on ETV. The new student Volunteer Service Program - “ONE SATURDAY FOR MY COMMUNITY” - that encompasses

motivational speeches and educational seminars must continue to help students chart their life’s paths. The joint and collaborative effort we exerted at various public universities was indeed challenging. Nevertheless, we know we have averted a more serious damage and loss of life.

You all deserve much appreciation for collaboratively accomplishing all these and much more.

I am incredibly honored and grateful for getting the opportunity to lead MOSHE as its founding minister! But most of all, I am thankful for having the privilege of working with admirable colleagues as you. As I bid you farewell, I wish to summon your allegiance once again and ask you to please build your own lasting legacy for the higher education system and our beloved Ethiopia whatever your post may be.

Thank you for everything.


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