Ethiopia, where Indian teachers have long been revered, is again looking at Indian teachers and trainers in various fields as the ancient East African nation, where one of the earliest traces of human existence has been found, shifts its economy from an agrarian to an industrial one. "In 1950-60 when we were expanding our education system, India came to our rescue because we did not have any teacher training colleges. Later, when our capacity grew, we started training elementary and high school teachers. Today, we are expanding our higher education and have close to 500 Indian professors in our colleges and universities," Ethiopian Ambassador Gennet Zewide, who completed eight years in India this month, told IANS in an interview.
"Our tryst with education has further diversified. Not only we take teachers from here but also we bring our Ethiopian students to India. The Ethiopian government consciously gives scholarships to train its would-be professors and instructors at universities in India. So we have close to 500 Ethiopian instructors studying in India," said the amiable envoy who, before her stint in New Delhi, served as the country's education minister 1992-2005. She is an academic who taught business education courses and designed administration programmes. Ethiopia has already tied up with institutes like the South Indian Textile Research Association (SITRA), the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the Footwear Design and Development Institute.
"These institutes train people for the industry in our country," the envoy said. "They give technical assistance as well. They travel to give short-term training to our people and we also bring our students here," she added. "A team from the Metal and Metallurgy Institute of Ethiopia will be coming in a month's time to talk with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). This tie-up will help in knowledge and technology sharing," she said. The team will be visiting the three CSIR institutes - the National Metallurgical Laboratory, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute and the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute.