FROM: OROMO REFUGEE TEACHERS, THE OROMO
REFUGEE COMMUNITY LEADERS, KENYA.
December 20, 2013
TO: KENYAN EDUCATION MINISTRY
REQUEST TO REMOVE AND BAN THE USAGE OF TERM GALLA IN KENYA.
We, the Oromo teachers from Oromo refugee community in Kenya, are writing to you to bring into your attention the negative impact of the usage of a derogative and abusive word Galla to identify the Oromo in the text books of social studies used in primary and secondary education in Kenya. It is wrong terminology usage against Oromo identity which is unjustifiable historically to educate the nation.
In fact the people identify themselves as Oromo and their language as Afan Oromo, which is the correct terminology usage.
Although the Oromo nation is the second largest in Africa, it is forgotten by or still unknown to the majority of the world today, even the name Oromo. This is partly because of the colonial Ethiopian Emperors Menelik and Haile Sellesie and their successors which continued until today to treat Oromo with utmost cruelty due to their resistance to colony. The Oromo people endured a stagnant existence where ignorance and famine have been coupled with ruthless oppression, subjugation, and exploitation in all spheres of life and above all extermination. Everything possible was done to destroy Oromo identity, language, culture, custom, tradition, name and origin.
In short, the colonizers maintained the general policy of genocide against the Oromo and use the term Galla to dehumanize and victimize Oromo and to destroy their identity and language. Such insulting name to the nation were abolished and eradicated by oppressed nation of 1974 revolution in Ethiopia and the usage of the term Galla is officially banned.
And sadly, to deny the Oromo the right to identity and as if this is not enough and to add insults to injuries, the term Galla is in use interchangeably for Oromo in text books of social studies used for education system in Kenya. To cite few books; the Evolution World, a History and Government course Form 1, by Oxford new edition 2010, under the topic Cushitic…………………the Cushites group comprised of……….Galla(Oromo)………>> on page 78 and under the topic Borana…………..the Boran are branch the Oromo or Galla people……….they speak Cushitic language called Galligna……on page 81 and also in other course book-Milestone in History and Government Form 1 by Longhorn publishers…..reprinted in 2010 under the topic Eastern Cushitic comprise of the Elmolo, Gabra, Oromo(Galla)….on page 40. And also in some many other course books published by Kenya Literature Bureau.
Hence, as we clearly tried to indicate above, such wrong terminology usage for Oromo identity is illegal and it allows subjugation and victimization of Oromo children and people at large,infact it is clear violation of basic human Right Declaration of children’s basic right to good education and right to identify of Oromo nation.And this should not be allowed to continue by free and Democratic nation of Kenya and Africa.
Therefore,kindly we the Oromo refugees in Kenya would like to request the honourable education office and concerned authorities of institutions to totally remove the use of the term Galla from educational books and further ban the usage of such abusive term against people in any written or oral form in Kenya.
THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND LEGAL ACTION!
THE OROMO REFUGEE TEACHERS
THE OROMO REFUGEE COMMUNITY LEADERS