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BDU honors Obasanjo, graduates 6600

BDU: Bahir Dar University has awarded degrees to 6600 graduates at colorful ceremony witnessed by ambassadors, ministers and families of the graduates.

During the function, the University also conferred an honorary doctorate degree in Laws (Honoris causa) to former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo for his outstanding contributions towards good governance, peace and conflict resolution and development in Africa.

Speaking during the graduation, Saturday July 5, 2014, the University’s President Dr. Baylie Damtie affirmed the need for graduands to contextualize knowledge and skills gained during their study by relating it to real life Ethiopian situations as most available books and paradigms were of other countries context. He asserted the University’s commitment to be responsive to societal needs and aspirations.

Dr. Baylie advised graduates to exert their utmost effort in an attempt to create wealth which could benefit themselves and their country.

“The University is committed to enable the nation bring the desired economic structural change to make sure that job creation and sustainable development is achieved at national level.’’

The chief guest Kassa Tekle Berhan, who is also the Speaker of the House of Federation called on graduates to work hard in an endeavor to enable the nation propel to greater heights. He pointed out that the nation was in dire need for human power than any other time in its history.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Tedros Adhanom stressed on the need for graduates to be visionary in order to transform Ethiopia.

“This is the day you promise to serve this great nation,” said Dr. Tedros in his message to the graduates.

In his acceptance speech, Hon. Obasanjo advised African universities to focus on studying African challenges and find suitable and lasting solutions to them.

He urged African University’s to focus on: African leadership practices and deficit to show the way forward, structural change of the African economy and, the preparation for students to handle diversity in Africa.

In its effort to promote innovation and research, the university gave special recognition to students who carried out consummate research projects.

BDU:Bahir Dar University held colorful graduation ceremony on July 5, 2014.The University awarded degrees to 6600 graduates in the presence of Ministers, Ambassadors and families of graduates.

During the function, The University also conferred Honorary Doctorate Degree in Laws to former President of Nigeria Honorable Olusegun Obasanjo for his outstanding contributions in the areas of Good Governance, Peace and Conflict resolution and Development in Africa.

Bahir Dar University awarded the degree as part of its strategy to transform the university in to one of best research hub on African soil.

Bahir Dar University is currently operating under the guidance of vision 2025 in which it set a destiny of becoming one of the top ten premier research institutions in Africa by 2025. It is plain that the university would achieve its goal if it can create skilled individual researchers.

The Blue Nile Book Club of the Faculty of Social Sciences has recently conducted a cross-faculty and multi-disciplinary discourse on research paradigms and methodologies. The objective of the program was to create a dialogue among faculty staff on issues pertaining to research paradigms and methodologies.

Various philosophical paradigms focusing on the ontological and epistemological foundations of human understanding of the world with particular focus on their implications in social science research have been discussed.

Specific issues related to positivism, structuralism, empiricism, ethnography, postmodernism, social constructivism etc. were presented and lively discussions were made. The discourse was so Socratic that a lot of critical questions were raised from the audience and thorough discussions were made.

The philosophical paradigms were discussed with particular relation to research methods and methodologies. Both qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods and methodologies were discussed in light of the grand research paradigms.

The program was unique in its kind since it is for the first time that a seminar with such a specific focus on research paradigms and methodologies has taken place in Bahir Dar University.

The Faculty of Social Sciences has a vision of continuously hosting such a methodology seminar on annual basis at university scale, inviting outstanding scholars with a rich knowledge and expertise in the area.

Faculty staff and students as well as instructors from other faculties have attended and enjoyed the seminar.Since such an intellectual venture is apparently at the heart of the true business of scholarship, it seems quite essential for other academic units of Bahir Dar University to draw on this necessary experience.

BDU: Bahir Dar University has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nyala University of the Republic of Sudan to work together in teaching-learning and research.

The cooperation will particularly gear toward staff-student exchange, research and cultural relations.

The President of Bahir Dar University, Dr. Baylie Damtie, said during the event that the collaboration will be based on mutual benefit. “Bahir Dar University will strive to work toward the realization of the agreement.”

Signing on behalf of Nyala University, Professor Ibrahim Mohammed Sherif, Vice President for Finance and Administration, has expressed that Nyala University would be committed to working with Bahir Dar University to assure the sister countries benefit from the cooperation.

Dr. Mohammud Adam, Director of External, Cultural and Scientific Relations, and Mr. Molla Ababu, Vice President for Information and Strategic Communications of Bahir Dar University have taken part in the function.

BDU:One might wonder what an Ethiopian intellectual would contemplate when he/she sees a young Ethiopian rural student walking to school barefoot wearing torn out clothes and holding an exercise book.

What would education be for such a child who leads uneasy life in desperate conditions? And what can intellectuals and higher education institutions do to give this child an opportunity of a better future?

Needless to say that education is a foundation of development. Humankind had been introduced to different revolutionary ideas that have been hatched at the heart of education at different junctions of history.

Science has put plane in the air, train on rail road and cars on streets. Millions of people around the world have been brought to the shining light of science. The ever-increasing pace of information exchange kept connecting people in this 21st century.

Education gave birth to numerous cutting-edge scientific researchers that kept on perfecting human’s quality of life. High speed internet currently revolutionizing humanity’s communication in an unprecedented height is the work of education.

Some nations around the world enjoy the blessing of extraordinary prosperity because of education. High skilled and visionary leaders guide their people to a better future through the light of education.

Education keeps on revolutionizing how we understand ourselves and our own very world. This happens, actually, only if science is meaningfully and contextually connected to the lives of people in a society.

Bahir Dar University has celebrated a foundation stone laying program to set up a research and community service centre at Milach Ber, found at Yilmana Densa Woreda of the Amhara National regional state (ANRS).

The project was intended to help the community through providing them with contextualized scientific knowledge in relation to education, health, agriculture, etc. The university aspires to link the institution to the people.

The people were very excited about what the university is planning to do, and the people, including women and children, moved in a big rally singing their traditional songs and performing their traditional folk practices.

The president of Bahir Dar University, Dr. Baylie Damtie, spoke to the crowd giving them a promise that the university has now moved to their world to extend its hand to help the people in their fight against poverty.

Thanking Bahir Dar University for its passionate aim of helping the community, the Chief Administrator of the Yilamna Densa Woreda has expressed his hope that Bahir Dar University would realize its vision and bring the people to the light of education.

The torch that seemed to have metaphorically represented the coming of the people to the light of education was lit, and was received by the people with an incredible ululation. The people have enthusiastically expressed their happiness.

Some elders representing the community have expressed their joy, for Bahir Dar University came to their very community to extend its hands. The people were definitely in a state of euphoria.

There seems nothing as pleasant to intellectuals as extending their hands to help those people who are in a desperate need of improvements. Connecting education to society is one the sacred missions of higher institutions.

Bahir Dar University has courageously began its vision of connecting people and science through establishing research and community service to build a platform where rural people enjoy the blessings of education.

BDU:The Faculty of Social Sciences at Bahir Dar University has recently conducted curriculum validation workshop aimed at commencing Masters of Arts (MA) programs in Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies and Heritage and Museum Management Studies by 2014/2015.

Professor Habtamu Wondimu, from Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) and Dr. Kasshaun Birhanu, Associate Professor of Political Science, both from Addis Ababa University, contributed invaluable input to the curricula. The scholars have noted that the programs are timely and important.

Mr. Yonas Adaye, lecturer at IPSS, Addis Ababa University, and other individuals from Culture and Tourism Bureau of the Amhara National Regional States (ANRS) were also on the curriculum validation program.

BDU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Firew Tegegne, suggested the program focus on delivering relevant and contextual education that would help to generate knowledge with apparent institutional identity.

BDU:Bahir Dar University has inaugurated the founding of community-based research and community service centre at Milach Ber found in Yilmana Densa Woreda of the Amhara National Regional State (ANRS).

The centre was intended to contribute in the betterment of the lives of the people of the area through research and community services in different aspects like health, education, agriculture and in other crucial areas through concrete, contextualized and sustained scientific means.

The President of Bahir Dar University, Dr. Baylie Damtie, has outlined to the community, on the occasion, that Bahir Dar University has a vision of realizing multidirectional changes in the lives of people, connecting science to society.

“Bahir Dar University is yours; it is a place where many of your own children have been trained. Now, the university is here with you to be by your side in your endeavor of fighting poverty.” Dr. Baylie remarked.

Bahir Dar University’s researchers will closely cooperate with the people harnessing their productivity through scientific means and develop and utilizing indigenous knowledge, Dr. Baylie said.

Dr. Baylie also said that the centre would help the community in answering their diverse practical questions and handing down contextualized scientific knowledge that can help them improve their productivity and better their living conditions.

“We are here to answer your questions, to live with you, to work with you, to help you improve the education of you children, your agricultural produces and your health. Poverty can be defeated with knowledge.” Dr. Baylie underlined.

High ranking regional government officials, guests, university leaders and community, journalists and local musicians, elders and representatives of the community have colored the occasion.

BDU: The Faculty of Social Sciences at Bahir Dar University has a plan of launching African Studies Centre by 2014/2015.

The centre is meant to build an institution of cross-cutting interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary issues pertaining to Africa.

During the event, the centre establishment proposal was presented by Dr. Dagmawie Mengistu, Assistant Professor of History in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Bahir Dar University.

Participants of the workshop were drawn from Government, Non-government and education institutions.

BDU:Ethiopia celebrated the first world fish migration day in mass rally in the streets of Bahir Dar Town. The theme of the celebration was “Protect the Unique Fish Species Flock of Lake Tana”.

The main objective of the celebration was to increase public awareness about the situation of fish of Lake Tana. A Television panel discussion organized by Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) has been held on the occasion.

More than 500 people from various institutions, staff and students from Bahir Dar University participated on the event. The mass street rally was headed by Amhara Regional State Police Marsh Band.

At the end of the rally, there were presentations and discussions about the status and core threats of Lake Tana’s fish resources, especially focusing on the only endemic Labeobarbus species flock left in the world. BDU’s Vice Prsident for Academic Affairs, Dr. Firew Tegegne, has indicated that immediate coordination is needed among various institution.

Abay Basin Authority, Tana Sub-Basin Organization and Bureau of Environmental Protection, Land Administration and Use (BoEPLAU) shall take greater responsibility in the conservation and sustainable utilizations of the aquatic resources of Lake Tana. Universities, research institutions and other concerning organizations need to make Lake Tana their focus.

BDU:The Faculty of Educational and Behavioral Sciences at Bahir Dar University has recently held its 32nd Annual International Conference with the theme: “Education for All (EFA) Goals: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects in Ethiopia.”

The program began with an inspiring dramatized education-related song performed by group choir of Bahir Dar University’s cultural centre. The audience was deeply moved by the students’ performance.

A total of 32 research papers focusing on different contemporary topics related to the underlying theme were presented in three parallel sessions and lively discussions were made. Plenary sessions were also conducted.

Critical discussions and reflections were made on the third day, and general concluding remarks in relation to the conference has been made. In addition, direction for continuous future discourses and actions has been set.

Research shows that though there is improvement in gender parity across primary and secondary schools in Ethiopia, female students’ drop outs, repetition and inability to proceed to higher levels are still big challenges. School facilities are observed to be non gender sensitive.

Holistic approach to education sector, national commitment to transparency and accountability in education expenditure, good governance and sound monitoring and evaluation system have been recommended to realize Universal Primary Education (UPE) in Ethiopia.

In connection to EFA’s goal of Increasing Adult Literacy, research shows that adult literacy facilitators are found to be lacking proper training and payment.

Researches on universalizing primary education in Ethiopia, alternative basic education program, in which flexible programs were recommended, rural girl’s participation in education in East Gojjam, where cultural practices, early marriage, workload and rape are found to be affecting girl’s participations in education were presented and discussions were made.

Scattered and mobile nature of the community, poor utilization of alternative schooling, lack of suitable schools, slow construction of schools, lack of awareness and role model and many other factors that affect UPE in pastoralist areas.

Challenges like lack of support, commitment, incentives and understanding and weak collaboration of stakeholders have prevented school principals from implementing General Quality Education Improvement Program (GEQIP) in Ethiopia.

Research works on parent-school communications, early childhood care and education, internal efficiency vis-à-vis quality education in government and private schools of Addis Ababa were presented and discussed.

It has been pointed out in research on Education for All (EFA) that without clearly stipulated policy education, making education accessible might be pretty much challenging.

With regard to parents’ engagement in private schools in Addis Ababa, parents have not been given a space they deserve to have in school-parent partnership.

Papers on instructional leadership, inclusive education, and constructivist approach to teaching-learning process, female students in cooperative learning, students with disabilities and their access to education, child sexual abuse, re-conceptualizing instructional processes, geo-information system and equity to education in Amhara region have all been presented and discussed. Other papers dealt with included automatic promotion practices, educational policy reforms, instructional materials and inquiry learning.

Plenary sessions focusing particularly on the status of general education and EFA Goals in Ethiopia, international perspective to quality education for all, building a model of educational leadership for sustainability, UPE and educational policy review have been conducted and enlightening discussions were made.

In the end, general discussions and reflections were made. Critical lessons were drawn from the conference. Having conceptual clarity on policies, making policy dialogue, helping implementers have a clear understanding of the polices, avoiding silent exclusion in education, having varieties of policy options, maintaining effective link with Ministry of Education, engaging grassroots level stakeholders and critical needs assessments were recommended.