Since the problem now faced not only by Ethiopia but by the entire world as well as a result of the shortage of teachers looms large, We feel especial satisfaction in opening teachers’ training schools. The setting up of training schools for teachers is one of the things that enable a country to stand on its own feet.
An increase in the number of teachers’ training schools as well as the attainment of a stage of self-sufficiency as regards teachers is a task which We constantly endeavour to achieve and one in which We have pinned Our hope with respect to Our country’s march to improvement and progress.
It is the duty of teachers to direct the thought and out-look as well as mould the character of their students. For this reason, the responsibility of teachers in training student-teachers aimed at the future progress and development of Our country and the proper upbringing of students could hardly be underestimated.
In the age in which we are living especially when different philosophies of life are competing against one another, the responsibility of teachers has been found to be even more exacting.
Your guide should therefore be the apostolic saying: study and examine all but choose and follow the good. Our forefathers have succeeded in passing down a free and independent people determined to safeguard its liberty by shedding its blood. Ethiopia is the country in Africa which has kept Ge’ez and Amharic with an alphabet of its own. We have also laid a firm foundation for the freedom, prestige and happiness of the present generation in the fields of education and development in accordance with the conditions now existing.
Those who will be serving the people in future should follow this same path in endeavoring to develop their country and maintain her freedom. This is one of the main responsibilities of teacher.
As it is Our constant concern to produce teachers in abundance and thereby speed up the educational advancement and progress of Our beloved people, We are very happy to see so many students in this school being trained as future teachers.
We express Our heartfelt thanks to the United States Government which, having realized Our great concern for the spread of education, rendered a financial help in the construction of this school. Ethiopia and America have a long-standing friendship and this building is one of the many manifestations of this feeling of friendship, mutual help and co-operation.
We have earlier explained the extent to which the responsibility of teachers go. You should always bear in mind that it is your duty to see to it that your country solves the current problem of a shortage of teachers. A teacher is no mere instructor of letters; he should be one who has properly ordered and controlled his manner and character and be an exemplary and who shoulders a heavy responsibility. May God the Almighty make you leaders as well as followers.
Oct. 15, 1962.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 79 -