Vision, Mission and Objectives of the Institute

1. Vision

The vision of the Institute of Culture and Language Research is to become a leading research and training Institute of culture and languages studies in Ethiopia by 2030 G.C.

2. Mission

3. Objectives

3.1 General Objectives

Broadly speaking, the general objective of this Institute is to study and document the linguistic,

historical and cultural heritages of Ethiopia.

3.2 Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the institute are:

Ø To conduct high quality, interdisciplinary and independent operational research on language, culture and history of Ethiopia.

Ø To organize and promote seminars and thematic workshops on language, culture, indigenous knowledge, historical studies.

Ø To describe the grammar of languages;

Ø To document the intangible heritages of a society;

Ø To work in collaboration with the zone’s culture and tourism office when there is the need for expertise;

Ø To provide consultation on any language related tasks by GOs and NGOs;

Ø To conduct research on language related problems of the country in general and Omotic language areas in particular;

Ø To develop the capacity of researchers and staff of AMU, other government and non-government agencies to carryout relevant and appropriate culture, language and indigenous knowledge focused research;

Ø To document cultural heritages of the country;

Ø To develop the fine arts of the country in different aspects;

Ø To conduct researches and documenting the indigenous knowledge systems of different ethnic groups.

4. Major Roles of the Institute

The nature of language related researches is commonly rooted from three major categories: applied linguistics studies, sociolinguistic studies, and descriptive and documentary linguistic studies. Contemporary issues in applied linguistics are language related problems which are prevailed in the society. For instance, major problems encountered in mother tongue education are the primary focus of applied linguistics. In addition, promoting languages to be school languages is the main task of applied linguistics. Hence, it is the deepest wish of professionals working in Arba Minch University to see students attend schools with little magnitude of language related problems.

The description and documentation of languages is getting to be very sensitive. Language, in its casual sense, is known to grow and die. However, when it dies, it fades out without being documented. Astonishingly, it is known to carry most of the values of a given society in it, and if the language dies, it will, indeed, be difficult to transmit societal values to the next generation. Hence, the indigenous knowledge, in many of the cases, can be transmitted using a language that is properly documented. The description of languages, on its part, is useful for preparing languages to be school and media language. Issues under sociolinguistics, on their part, include the question of identity resulted from different dialects. Therefore, studying and analyzing the differences and similarities of different varieties of a given language can help to determine how people define themselves.

The study of culture, on its part, brings many advantages. When culture is studied in a scientific way, the society is being given a chance to promote itself. Moreover, cultural and ethnographic studies bring actual differences on how to exploit indigenous knowledge form the people. Fine arts, on their part, are the most expressive ways to present ideas in a condensed manner. However, there is a gap in studying and documenting the fine arts of our society. Hence, to understand and know our society, there has to be a sustained effort to study all the above attributes of a society.

5. The Roles and Functions of the Museum

A museum in the traditional sense is known to be an exhibit of objects. In many of the cases, these objects can have some relations with historical, scientific, artistic or cultural values of a given society. No matter what the case is, museums are simple sketches of a given society. Hence, bringing tangible objects to a museum for scrutiny is vital.

Moreover, museums can serve as source of information for students and researchers. Usually, students and researchers may not manage to make a physical observation about the society and land they are studying. Therefore, material culture, photographs and other tools can help researchers to see some realty of a society. Broadly speaking, museums, these days are seen to be agents of preservations of different societal values. It is in a museum that people find and see about their ancestor’s value. Thus, it is very essential for Arba Minch University to have a museum the main activities of the research center.

Last but not least, museums are known to be good sources of income. Since there are both domestic and international researches, there will be a chance of getting some money out of it. That, in turn, will help the center to be self-supportive.

6 The Roles and Functions of the Library

Research Institutes are known for their effort to provide researchers books, journals, and other electronic sources. Hence a library is found to be another important element for the formation of the research institute. First, it will serve as a source of books and other reading materials which have direct or indirect relationship with the scope of the research center. Secondly, it will serve as a hub for the dissemination of research out puts.

The library will be, also, responsible for the documentation and archiving of different documents. These documents will have some relevance in the study of the history, ethnography and customary practice of a society.

7. The Roles and Functions of the Cultural Center

The representation of fine art, usually, goes far from making simple artistic expressions of a society’s value due to the fact that the cultural industry composes four basic pillars: literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, and handcraft. In many of the cases, a society tries to show its philosophy and culture with one of those basic elements. Hence, the literary arts such as fiction, poem, plays, and folk narratives are good repositories of history and tradition. Therefore, they can serve the research center to preserve and study the identities of a society. On the other hand, visual arts including pictures, photographs, film, architecture and designs are good sources of data for ethnographic and anthropological researches. Moreover, documenting such things is another way of documenting culture.

Music, theater, and dances, on their part, are ways by which a given society expresses its happiness, sadness, hope, philosophy, faith, etc. Hence, when we study and analyze these things, there will be a detailed scrutiny about a society. Lastly, handcrafts, which are considered as material culture, are good attributes of a given society. These may include clothing, tools, jewelries, etc. Therefore, when these things are documented and studied, their last target is discovering the real identity of a society.