Congratulations! It is indeed a joyous moment for all of you after passing through many twists and turns along your academic path over the last four years. Your journey was not the same as the ones experienced by the preceding cohorts of graduates. Your stay at St. Mary’s has been marked by memorable moments, which, of course, were shared by all other students in the country at the time. It was during your first year that the scourge of COVID pandemic created havoc globally making learning centers closed for nearly a year, including those in Ethiopia.
The stay-at-home country-wide emergency did not enable you the usual practice of group discussions and face-to-face interactions with your instructors. Being new to the University at the time, some of you were not able to access the institutional Learning Management System beginning and to know about developments happening in the University. This challenge was compounded by the power outage and internet connectivity problems occurring at some quarters of the city and beyond. Yet, efforts made by the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the internet service provider, to enable all students have free access to the national higher education portal, has eased financial burden that would have been incurred on users.
That said, what makes you distinct from the previous graduates is the introduction of exit exam that will enable you secure your diploma upon successfully passing it. It is for the first time in Ethiopian higher education system that all graduates are obliged to sit for an exit exam administered at national level. To that end, St. Mary’s University has enabled you have tailored tutorial sessions on areas of competencies and administered series of model exams, which would help you know your strengths and gaps. I hope your efforts will come to fruition.
Wishing you success in your future career!
Wondwosen Tamrat, PhD, Associate Professor
President, St. Mary’s University