~HIM HAILE I SELASSIE I SPEAKS ON EDUCATION~
A strong nation and a free nation can only base itself upon education.
In order to make life worthwhile it is also necessary to acquire other things that can only
come about after the acquisition of learning. Learning and technical training must be nurtured
by faith in God, reverence for the human soul, and respect for the reasoning mind.
There is no safer anchorage for our learning, our lives and our actions than that provided by
divine teachings coupled with the best in human understanding. The leaders developed here
should be guided by the fundamental values and the moral power which have for centuries constituted the essence of our religious teachings.
These are crucial times when nations rise against nations, tensions increase and disaster is
possible at any moment. Distances are shrinking. Peace and life itself are threatened by
misunderstanding and conflict. Now is the time when man's relationship to God must be the
foundation for all his efforts toward enlightenment, and learning the basis for understanding cooperation and peace.
The existence of a skilled and trained manpower is an absolute necessity for the progress and
development of any country. Therefore, it is the sacred duty and responsibility of students and
parents to see to it that the mistakes of the past are not repeated and that time which should
be devoted to the pursuit of learning is not wasted by students heedlessly, following the
instigation of a few misguided troublemakers who have yet to understand the value and the true
meaning of education.
The salvation of our country Ethiopia, we have repeatedly stated to you, lies primarily in
education. As Ethiopia is one, all Ethiopians are also one and education is the only way to
maintain the condition.
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 the facilities provided in modern universities.
We believe that the universities today stand as the most promising hope for constructive
solutions to the problems that beset the modern world, problems which prevent the peaceful
cooperation of nations and which threaten the world and humanity with death and disaster.
From universities must come men, ideas, knowledge, experience, technical skills and the deep human understanding vital to fruitful relations among nations. Without these, world order for which we have so long strived, cannot be established.
A well informed public opinion is essential to the growth of political and social awareness.
Only he who is informed can comment intelligently on his nation's development and only by such
comments can errors be corrected and progress stimulated.
We must draw on what is valuable and meaningful in our history and tradition, merging this
with the best in modern learning.
We expect from you, to whom we have given the opportunity of education in your chosen field
great and productive service to our country.
If women develop in education, they can overcome the natural weakness and serve their country
as men do.
It is our wish to assure the spread of education among all African People as much as among our
A father should bequeath not only wealth but also provide proper education. Education has value
when it is established in individuals of good character with respect to God. We wish that your
destiny shall be embraced in an education firmly based in good character before men and respect
Any who may wish to profit himself alone from the knowledge given him, rather than serve
others through the knowledge he has gained from learning, is betraying knowledge and rendering
A man's happiness is to make his brother happy, and to serve his country. Thus it is possible
to justify for knowledge its high and deserved place. For knowledge is power. If it is not
applied to its proper purpose, to create, let there be no doubt, it will destroy.
If we have made so many sacrifices for the education of our youth, it is because we are
convinced that only through intellectual progress and education can Ethiopia come into its own
and make it's just contribution to the history of the Middle East.
We believe that 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.
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