Indian Professors are an unlikely group hit by Tigray conflict in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa: Deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has impacted an unlikely group of people—the hundreds of Indian professors who teach in institutions of higher learning across the country.

1.42 million students in Ethiopia have not been unable to attend classes for the last two years due to the pandemic followed by the election and now the conflict in Tigray region since last November.

“The rapidly deteriorating situation in the region resulted in closures of public spaces and institutions that had already been facing difficulties brought on due to the Covid-19 pandemic.” Professor Sandeep Mishra said. He taught at Adigrat University in Tigray.

Mishra estimates that some 2,000 Indians presently work as professors in the country, of which approximately 120 work across Tigray’s four major universities. After the start of the conflict, universities and colleges in Tigray shut down, forcing Indians in the region to return home.

India’s Ambassador in Addis Ababa Robert Shetkintong said that Indian educators have historically played an important role in Ethiopia. “The first batch of Indian teachers went to Ethiopia from Kerala in the 1950s,” said Muralidharan Nair, who spent nearly three decades as a teacher and principal at various institutions in the country, before returning to India in 2011.

 

Image courtesy of (Photo credit: Dr. Vivek Biswas/Facebook)

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