OPENS LIBRARY AND NIGHT SCHOOL
..... Loyalty inspires understanding, and understanding co-operation; these are the clearest evidence of strength. But the solid basis for all lies in education. It is education which allows people to live together, and makes them avoid the pitfalls of immorality, and induces respect for the law. Truly the attainment of these high aims is based on education, the helping of people to live together, to avoid indulgence, immorality and lawlessness .....
When We founded the Ethiopian National Library Our wish was that the Library should have many branches in the provinces and districts. As it is necessary to increase libraries in order to increase the number of readers, today We inaugurate this one so that it may be an accommodation for those advanced in their education and the night school with it for those who wish to continue further studies.
This Library and Night School is designed to serve those who fall at the present time outside of the reach of the National Board of Education which is devoting its efforts in the education of the youth. We should like to assure them that using these facilities, with hard work, they can improve their education and catch up to a great extent the time lost by the unavoidable interruption of their education.
With hard work and ambition human beings can achieve any goal. As it is essential that the youth should begin their schooling before seven, adults might find it essential to attend school before they are fifty, and derive benefit from so doing. The mastery of the art of learning is never denied to those who will devote themselves to study. You must realize that one’s education is also for the benefit of one’s country. It does not lead to the neglect of your country’s custom nor to the neglect of your faith in God. These can only come about as a result of an evil manner.
If both youth and adults contemplate seriously their education and work assiduously they will together be of great assistance to their country. Therefore, work hard and constructively. If you spend the time for attendance at night school in other unworthy places, understand that you are chasing phantoms and following an illusive dream.
The name of this Institute, “Your Light is Shining Today”, is inspired by a quotation from St. Luke, Chapter 19, verses 42 and 45 which speaks about one’s opportunities. “If thou hadst known even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes .....”
This name is given to inspire the type of work and the measure of achievement which should flow therefrom. We thank the Director and the teachers in anticipation hoping that they might fulfil Our hopes.
March 30, 1948.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 68 –