The Jesuit Fathers who served as administrators and teachers at Tafari Makonnen School powerfully influenced the intellectual development of thousands of students over the course of their three decades of service to Ethiopia’s premier secondary school, witness the many TMS graduates who have earned baccalaureate and graduate degrees at Haile Selassie I University and other distinguished postsecondary institutions around the world. But the educational mission of these dedicated teachers was far more expansive than traditional classroom learning. They were passionately devoted to shaping their students’ character as well, instilling such values as self-discipline, honesty, and service to their fellow human beings, to their community, and to their nation.
Two distinguished TMS alumni, Dr. Aklilu Habte and Dr. Moges Gebremariam, attest to the tremendous influence of the Jesuit teachers on their intellectual development and character formation in the video interview that Fr. Festo Mkenda, SJ, recorded for this blog a couple of weeks ago, with my and Bisrat Aklilu’s assistance. In their fascinating interview, Drs. Aklilu and Moges also acknowledge the tremendous contribution of Emperor Haile Selassie to education in Ethiopia, including founding Tafari Makonnen School and the University College of Addis Ababa (later Haile Selassie I University).
Fr. Festo, you might recall, is currently writing a history of the Jesuits in Ethiopia, including a chapter on Tafari Makonnen School, A Splash of Diamond, which he describes in a video interview we posted at this blog several weeks ago. Members of the Tafari Makonnen School Alumni Association of North America, which is closely associated with www.entwinedlives.com, can look forward to learning more about his forthcoming book when he appears in person at a future TMSAANA meeting, when such gatherings are deemed safe.