The Italian Invasion of Ethiopia and Its Impact on Education

3464 Words Oct 13th, 2010 14 Pages
Ethiopia, is one of the very few African nations that was never a European colony, nonetheless it was still a victim of colonial greed: as it endured five oppressive years of Italian fascist occupation between the years of 1936 and 1941. The Invasion of Ethiopia by the fascist leader Benito Mussolini was one of “the greatest colonial wars ever fought on the African continent,” paving the way for this five year occupation a “turning point in the country’s millennium-old history”. In fact it could even be considered the dark ages of Ethiopian education as all existing attempts to modern education came to a complete standstill, in short it was a negative period in the history of Ethiopian education. Overall the educational policies that were …show more content…
They first took over Adwa, Enticcho and Addigrat with little to no opposition and in less than a month had situated in the main Tigray town of Mekele. The Ethiopian counter-offensive in January 1936 was a complete failure due to its disorganization and Ethiopian technical inferiority. Actually, it backfired leading to a major Italian offensive, known as the Second Battle of Tamben on February 1936.
By this stage Ethiopia had lost all hope of success, they were not only at a technical disadvantage but they were also highly outnumbered. However, the final battle that set the Italian landslide victory was the Battle of Maychaw, the Ethiopian army was completely exhausted and the imperial guard was no match to the highly trained and equipped Italian Army.
This paved the road for the Italians; they first entered Desse on the fourth of April 1936 and then Addis Ababa on the fifth of May, beginning the five-year Italian occupation. Almost instantly Ethiopian culture and education was gravelly affected especially the nation’s education system
Ethiopian education before the Italian occupation was primarily organized and conducted by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church run a number of small schools that provided primary education throughout the country. These schools were usually taught in Ge’ez, (a traditional church dialect) and teachers were usually priest or the deacons themselves. Parallel to the Orthodox Church Emperor Menelik had
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