Favoring the Disfavored
"Success is not a windfall. It is a reward that attends hard work!" Dr.Hilemicheal Abera president of ECSU made this remark on 7 May 2012 addressing 62 female students drawn from four emerging regional states that joined the university to study public management, taking an entrance examination.
Utilizing the golden opportunity ECSU and the Ministry of Federal Affairs facilitated for them in line with the constitution of the land, which eyes at empowering the less privileged with special emphasis on members of the fair sex that suffered double oppression, he urged them to prove diligent and competent during their stay in the university.He said though the government, via different strategies has done a lot towards this end, still there is a lot to be desired in bolstering the capacity of the civil service of emerging states. It is heartening to know students are drawn from different sectors: Agriculture, Education, Youth, Women and Children Affair bureaus among others, he added.
He further noted when Director of the Women, Youth and Children Affair Directorate under the Ministry of Federal Affairs W/ro Hirut Delebo brought the splendid idea of educating women from the civil service of emerging states to my attention, I wasn't surprised, for the idea that falls in line with the ECSU's objective was at the back of my mind. It was immediately I seconded it.
He at last called up on students that are supposed to take preparatory courses till august in Mathematics, English and Skill Development to pick in the meantime the skill of interacting with students and teachers. He told them as a student they should know how to use the library and browse internet. Gradually you will develop self confidence and self-expression, he encouraged them.
ECSU he noted doesn't only aim at upgrading the knowledge and skill of public servants of the country but also molding their attitude. He wrapped up his speech congratulating W/ro Hirut who reportedly waged a year long fight for the realization of her cherished dream of getting women educated in the public sector of emerging states.
Addressing participants W/ro Hirut Delebo, who was also one of ECSU's distinction students, said one could get support for a while but one stands on one's feet only if imbued with conviction. Though the enriching opportunity of a university education you got is a landmark by itself such a program could be shiny when you turn graduates and serve your respective regional states, she advised students. Such a program could bear fruit if complimented by a hard work, she added.
Relating the trying circumstance she faced as a woman from an emerging state Coordinator of Human Rights Commission W/ro Euba Mohammed said cognizant of the fact that it is a chance women are deprived but not caliber, armed with appropriate education and developing self-esteem women could emerge triumphant standing firm in the face of discriminatory attitude. The success women score helps in rooting out the chauvinistic outlook deeply entrenched in the psyche of the society, she further noted.
Apart from the two former ECSU's students W/ro Hirut and W/ro Euba who got high up on the political and administrative ladder, a civil servant turned former ECSU's student from Gambela and a graduating class student from Benishangul regional state shared to the 62 students the ups and downs they passed through as university students.
Motherhood on top of a red hot academic competition, distancing oneself from one's spouse were raised as haunting nightmares that were upsetting them while studying for B.A and M.A. When students face such setbacks they mustn't fight shy but look ahead they gave advice. They advised students not to yield to homesickness, frustration and the feeling of dropping out.They also capitalized on the need of working in groups with a sprit of cooperation till to the days of graduation.
They drew student's attention to the fact that their success surely puts across the message "Nothing is Impossible!" to their children, women and respective regional states. According to them when women say "I can't!" men echo "Women can't!" Therefore it is women who allow this outmoded outlook to go unchecked. Women must learn to say "I can!" they stressed.
A representative from the Ministry of Federal Affairs noted as combatant women heralded democracy to the disadvantaged waging a fierce fight against dictators, you have to repeat the victory with academic competence.
In a speech she made a representative of the students said "Today I have come to realize the presence of people, who worry about women hailing from regions marginalized by the previous regimes and I have also realized such women if educated could shoot up to the ministerial level!" What a strong message for me and fellow students!" she added. On behalf of fellow students and on my behalf I would like to express my heart felt gratitude to all parties that played a role in turning the program of educating women hailing from emerging states a reality, she added. At last she called on students to respect others rights while asking theirs, for it is normal to get super active and passive students in a campus life.
Teacher's representative on his part said from the meeting he has learnt issues that teachers need give attention to apart from academic matters.
ECSU's Gender and Development head W/ro Abay Akemachew noted that various activities are being undertaken towards the realization of the 5 years growth and development agenda. Building the capacity of the disfavored is one such activity, she remarked. She further noted ECSU'S admittance of the 62 students is the aggregate effect of the effort of ECSU's management, Ministry of Federal Affairs, Gender and Development Section of the university and that of the visionary.
For the successful implementation of the capacitating program all stakeholders have to be vigilant, she said, adding there is a need to meet occasionally to assess the sustenance of the program.