by Girma Gutema, Oslo
One: There are some pseudo-moralists & rough dudes who accuse the Oromo activists for leaking & disqualifying this exam process that was meant to kill a generation of Oromo students. Ignoring regime apologists for the obvious reasons, we have learned that some Ethiopianists are also on this accusatory bandwagon. Well, what these pseudo-moralists say in a nutshell is that Oromo students who didn’t attend classes for over 18 weeks (the academic year has 32 effective weeks) had to sit for a national exam that’s administered at the country level (and graded as such) with literally no preparation for the exams. For them in effect, it would have been morally okey if regime retaliates for the protests by making the whole students from Oromia region fail to get pass marks or attain “bad grades” to be placed in any of the “not-good” streams of University studies. That’s the bottom-line of their morality. It ain’t only unjust & immoral thought, though, but a genocidal one indeed, if looked at its root.
Two: It’s has to be recalled that students, teachers, student families, Oromo elders etc filed their formal requests for the extension of the examination period, compensatory tutors for lost classes to cover all remaining subjects. The Oromia Education Department consented at the beginning. But because of the arrogance & ignorance of the TPLF oligarchic bosses who out-rightly rejected this public request thereby forcing the process go ahead, Oromo activists motivated by the mere sense of justice leaked the exam booklets first for Maths, English & Physics; then followed the rest, thereby effectively disqualifying the whole process that would be valid ONLY if secured.
Three: The exams were leaked days before, but the idea of dumping it on social media just a day before the exam date was a well-thought-out-strategy meant to minimize the psychological trauma it may carry onto students, esp on those from other regional states in Ethiopia (hence damage minimization measures taken :) ). By releasing it at night just before the exam date, we believe that most well to do students didn’t have to endure the stress that might have been entailed in the exam leaking news circulating for long.
Four: Once again, the regime is forced to cancel another thing after having refused to do so via a formally filed public requests in a peaceful & reasonable way. This is again a victory for the #OromoProtests. And we believe that the psychological damages entailed, resources wasted & feelings hurt are due all the responsibility of the regime that is addicted to doing everything by force.
Five: Making the exam cancelled ain’t the ultimate goal. Students in Oromia state should be compensated for the time they lost of their studies, tutors prepared for students to make up for lost classes, appropriate technical & psychological supports extended for students to help them get ready for the national exams. The students need to be normalized. They were being terrorized & brutalized by the Agazi killing squad throughout the academic year; they also lost some of their intimate friends & families. With all these, forcing them sit for the country-wide/national exam is an inexcusable crime.
MUCH LOVE & RESPECT to the ground activists who made this happen!