Witnessing the resounding contributions and successes of the Tigrai Development Association (TDA) in promoting the reconstruction and development of Tigrai, three gentlemen in the inner-core of TDA, namely Mr Araya Zerihun, Dr Assefa Abraha, and Mr Desta Asgedom, came up with an idea of establishing a model, boarding secondary school for high-performing high school entrants. They were driven by two important rationales.

The first was to provide the excellent but poor children, mostly in rural communities, with opportunities to finish high school and make their way to colleges and universities. And, the second one was to encourage children all over the primary schools in Tigrai to excel as they aspire to join the model high school. Mr.Araya and colleagues pursued the project and the founding of Qalamino Special High School was realized in 1997 with the support of the National Regional State of Tigrai. The first rationale had its impact in driving the gentle men into initiating the cause. But, the criterion for admission to the School later became having the best performance.

All of the 51 Qalamino Special High School students of the first batch who sat for the 2001/2 Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination have passed, 49 of them earned “Excellent” score. The students joined various Ethiopian universities and colleges – of whom majority of them kept excelling but few could not reach the finish line of undergraduate education easily. The scattering of those excellent students in the colleges and universities throughout Ethiopia and the failure of few ones to reach the finish line were not pleasant developments. Moreover, many individuals within the TDA realized early on that Qalamino Special High School would have limited contributions if the talented students of the School are not provided with best tertiary education. Hence, Mr.Araya and colleagues came up with the idea of opening a science and technology institute around Mekelle.