Disasa Merga Lenjisa
Abstract: This exploratory study focuses on the status of Afan Oromo as indigenous language program in three selected Ethiopian Higher Education Institutions. The study aims at understanding the status of the program in line with major challenges and opportunities for development Afan Oromo. Relevant research methods such as interviews, focused group discussion and document analysis were employed. Relevant and significant data were identified and categorized based on thematic relations and interpreted qualitatively. The finding indicates that shortage (absence) of instructional material written in Afan Oromo, decline of interested student enrollment into the program, the negative language attitudes, lack of network with other universities and other stakeholders, non-existence of training, research conference, and panel discussion in university community for empowering the language program, absence of journal/proceedings that publish research output conducted in Afan Oromo are among the major challenges identified. The findings also indicated that expansion of higher education Institutions, Ethiopian constitutions grants for nations the right to develop, conserve and protect their indigenous languages. Therefore, it seems reasonable that promoting this language programs demand the supports of government, university scholars and larger societies.
Keywords: Status, Afan Oromo, indigenous language, higher education institution