Education develops the intellect; and the intellect distinguishes man from other creatures. It is education that enables man to harness nature and utilise her resources for the well-being and improvement of his life. The key for the betterment and completeness of modern living is education.
Taken from Important Utterances of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I – page 24 – September 14, 1963
But, “Man cannot live by bread alone.” Man, after all, is also composed of intellect and soul. Therefore, education in general, and higher education in particular, must aim to provide, beyond the physical food for the intellect and soul. That education which ignores man’s intrinsic nature and neglects his intellect and reasoning power cannot be considered true education.
A well organized education should not be one which prepares students for good remuneration alone. It shold be one that can help and guide them towards acquiring clear thinking, a fruitful mind, and an elevated spirit.
The educated person that Ethiopia and countries of her level need is not one who has stuffed bits of knowledge into his mind. The needed educated individual is one who uses the ideas he obtained from his lectures, books, and discussions to the best advantage of his own country and his own people. It is he who disseminates new ideas in harmony with the economic and social aspects of his own community so that fruitful results will be realised. This is the person who can show segments of knowledge he accumulated in his learning, inventiveness in a new situation.
Ethiopia is a country with her own cultures and mores. These, our cultures and customs, more than being the legacy of our historical past, are characteristics of our Ethiopianness. We do not want our legacies and traditions to be lost. Our wish and desire is that education develop, enrich, and modify them.
You all know the continuous effort that Ethiopia is exerting for the development of profound and high standard education. We need educated and trained persons for research, for the study and development of our country’s resources, for technology, for medicine, for the law, and the administration of our people according to their customs. These are the needs that constrain Us to provide, at all levels, education free of charge. And students, ever mindful of this privilege, should endeavour to recompense their country and nation.
The opportunity for education, afforded to the few in our country, is not given to them for a fashion or mode. It is given for a purpose, for a task, for a high responsibility, for full and exhaustive use, for the benefit of our country, and the coming generation.
We have just explained to you the type of result and responsibility that we expect from you students. It is on you, the members of the Faculty, that We msut rely for this result. We realise the heavy responsibility We have entrusted to you. We hope that you too, while believing and accepting your responsibilities as your sacred duties, will produce for Ethiopia persons who take pride in you and their education and are ready for the call of service.
It is you who must mould the minds of your students – that they may be wise, farsighted, intelligent, profound in their thinking, devoted to their country and government and fruitful in their work. It is you who must serve as the example. On their part also, they will have to learn not only formal education but also self-discipline that should be worthy to be inherited. May the Almighty God be with you in the fulfillment of your duties.
September 14, 1963