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Successful 5th Reunion of Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association

It was five years ago around this time that the Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association was established.

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High Schools are flourishing in Tigray PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 00:17

It is in our recent memory that high schools in Tigray were very few in number. They were limited to only one high school per Awraja. In fact, there were some Awraja’s such as Kilte Awlaelo that even never had one until 1969 E.C.

I remember when many of us went to the streets of Wuqro to cheer the students who were the first ones to finish high school in Wuqro in 1972 E.C. We even went to the high school during the exam time to provide them with water and sharpened pencils. It was a big deal. The people in the town of Wuqro were also pleased at the time when their own children finished high school in their own town. Prior to the opening of the high school, many students were forced to go either to Adigrat or Mekelle to attend high school. That dark time was over by the concerted effort of the citizens of Awlaelo. Each and every one in the Awraja had pledged money, time, labor and other equipment necessary to construct Wuqro High School. That was then. What about now?

Nowadays, there are six or more high schools in Kilte Awlaelo. High schools are flourishing. Students are not leaving their district or Awraja to enroll in high school. This is a great achievement by the government and the people. Those of us who are lucky enough to be in The United States of America and who know the challenges that our brothers and sisters back home are facing did not sit idle. We Tigreans in particular and Ethiopians in general are trying to make a difference in the academic arena. Most Tigreans belong to some sort of association or alma mater meant to support education, health care and cultural heritage. The alumni associations have accomplished a great achievement in mobilizing money to support schools and needy students. They have done and still are doing a great job in transferring science and technology to the high schools through many different ways. Alumni associations are building additional classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and computer and information centers in the cities and within the high schools.

We, Tigreans in the Diaspora, are committed to investing in the children of Tigray. We want our brothers and sisters to be competitive and even better than anybody in academia and future careers. We know that our land was tilled for hundreds if not thousands of years. As a result, it does not help to produce much needed grains. Thus it is in every one’s mind and interest to invest in the children who will change Tigray for the better through science and technology. We would like to create young children who would make Tigray the hub of industries. That is why we are dedicated more than ever before and more than others who waste their time and money supporting failed political organizations. Our money, time and materials are well spent in the young generation. And we are proud of such an accomplishment.

There is a new challenge that we Diaspora Tigreans and our associations are facing. This is a new reality that needs to be addressed carefully. If we do not respond to such new challenges in time, our unity and synergy will be in jeopardy. As you all may know, the alumni associations were established to support the high school in the principal town of each awraja, because in most cases that was the only high school at the time. However, things have changed in recent years and the fact of the matter is that there are now many high schools in Tigray. Almost every district (wereda) is getting one or two high schools. Do the alumni associations support all of these high schools? I am not sure about it. But I know it is creating a conflict between those who claim to be from the principal towns and those who claim to be from the weredas. If the associations failed to support all high schools equitably based on student population, they would lose their members since those from the weredas would be inclined to establish their own associations to support their local areas. Such a move will make the associations even weaker; hence a need to address such problems and come up with plausible solutions. As they say unity is strength; we are already weakened being divided by Awrajas and we do not need further divisions.

How does Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association address this problem? You may or may not know but currently there are six or perhaps more high schools in Kilte Awlaelo. Wuqro High School being the biggest with more than five thousand students, there are five more that are not yet at a preparatory level that I know of. Do we support them all? Yes, we do. As a principle, Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association donates $2,000.00 for every new high school for computer and printer purchase. In addition, funds are given based on student population for end of year incentives for academic excellence. We sponsor the “MEALTI WELDI”. Hence, Wuqro High School gets $1,000.00 every year. Last year, we granted Atsbi and Freweini with $600.00 each. This year, we will add Agulae & Negash to our support list. By so doing, we avoid division amongst us. We have been aspiring and working hand in glove for the betterment of education in Awlaelo.

There are some that argue against supporting each and every high school except the preparatory high schools in the principal cities. The reason they state to support only the preparatory one is because students from the other high schools will come to the principal high schools to attend grades 11 and 12 anyway. I believe this is a weak argument and reasoning. The students who are in the weredas need support in supplies such as books, computers, lab equipment and other materials that are needed for the teaching-learning process. If they do not get good education at each level, they may not even pass the grade ten national examination, which qualifies them to attend at the preparatory schools to begin with. Thus, we should clearly be able to see things in all directions. Let us support all with love and care, as they all are our brothers and sisters no matter from which area of town, village, or city they are coming.

Abraha WK.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 July 2010 03:52