Selassie's first undated speech on Education
by , translated by Haile Selassie I Press
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 own subjects.
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 before God.
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 it worthless.
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.
|This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.|