Ethiopia`s Multicultural Education: A Negation to the Past and Champion of the New Beginning in Nation Building

By Mahari Yohans (email: )

1. Introduction
In world history it is uncommon to find a modern state formed peacefully, except in most cases of colonial fabricated state experiences. Regardless of varied theoretical foundation of state formation, today`s modern states (both those formed from within and externally imposed) have passed contentious nation building process. Validly speaking, thus, failure and success stories of national unity, peace, democracy, and economic development of many states trace back to their path of nation building process.

At the core process of nation building, education has irreplaceable role in shaping citizens mind and equipping them with knowledge and skills to their contribution for political, economic, and social affairs of their respective states. This is true for France, USA, Russia, Germany, Japan, China, India etc. In these states and all other modern states education has central role throughout the endless process of nation building swaying equally to their failed
and successful experiences.

The focus of this paper is, thus, to assess the role of education in promoting national unity and democracy in multicultural Ethiopia. The paper will be presented in four main parts. First it will deal with the role of education in nation building from convention experiences of other countries. Second, in Ethiopian context it will assess the role education as instrument of the assimilation policy of nation building approach throughout the imperial Ethiopian state and under the Derg`s “Garrison of Socialism.” Third, it will examine the role of education in promoting national unity and democracy vis-à-vis Multicultural nation building approach of FDRE. To the end concluding remarks will be presented.

2. The Role of Education in Nation-Building: Conventional Experiences
Modern states whether emerged from war and conquest through imposition of rule of the powerful over the weak and subjugated societies surrounding the main stream of state formation process or appeared as independent states with varied groups of societies as a legacy of arbitrary political unit consequent to de-colonization process, they have …

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