The tradition of ecclesiastic scholarship since the fifth century – Yeneta የኔታ (the teacher)
Ethiopia has a short history of European school system as compared to thousands years of traditional education that script the foundations of its civilization. Ethiopia is the only African country that has its own alphabet and with the longest recorded history in the continent. European school system arrived in Ethiopia only in 1908, when Emperor Menilik II established the first public school in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia has however a very long history of schooling through the wise man or the teacher or in Amharic “Yeneta” የኔታ. Yenetas are elders, well educated through the church system in their life time. They are the one who teaches children how to write and read. They serve as the moral leaders of the society among the young, teaching scriptures from the bible. Teach children songs, tell stories and the gospel. It is common to see groups of children singing, reading from a scripture and rehearing individually all at the same time with their Yenetas.
Traditional education derives its distinctive character from the unique Christian heritage of the nation. Having extensively written on language and literature matters, Yenetas have developed from the early days a tradition of ecclesiastic scholarship. In this respect, the long monastic tradition that dates back to the fifth century has yielded radical contributions to the country’s educational system.
Yeneta monitor the development of each Child all the way through the early life. The Yeneta’s (teacher’s) incredible coherence in monitoring and examining what each and every kid is reciting strikes one’s imagination with a tide of curiosity.
May God bless all those who invested their lives for the wellbeing of generations, keeping the tradition and history of this great nation!