By Nigussu Negawo – VOA Horn of African Service
A principal architect of Ethiopia’s educational system, Ibsa Gutema, says the implementation of the Qubee alphabet and the improvements in Oromo literacy have been “a remarkable success.”
Ibsa was a leader of the Oromo Liberation Front and Ethiopia’s Minister of Education in the 1991 Transitional Government; he helped shape educational institutions that have guided Ethiopia for the past 18 years. In that position, he was a leader of the movement to create the Oromo alphabet (Qubee) and to install an educational institution in the Oromo region that adopted Afan Oromo as the language of instruction for this large population in Ethiopia. He now lives in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Abdulsamad Mohammed, a linguistic expert in Minneapolis, Minnesota, assessed the progress of Qubee and how it is being learned by younger generations in a two-part interview. Ibsa and Abdulsamad wrote many books incorporating the Qubee alphabet.
Ibsa spoke to Nigussu Negawo about the language and its achievements.
Abdulsamad spoke to Nigussu Negawo about current use of the language by Oromo youth.