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Private Education Institutions: Reinforcing National Education Strategies

Eritrea puts the endeavors of human resource development at the forefront of all its development strategies. It is that strong believe that enabled Eritrea to achieve its long awaited independence. For that reason, the Government of Eritrea has since day one of independence been exerting optimum efforts to upgrade the human resource capacity and boost the national development programs. One of the best means of guaranteeing competitive nationals is equipping them with the needed vocational skills and educating the entire population. Hence, the achievements registered in that sector are witness to the concerted efforts exerted thus far. A country that possesses well trained and educated society which is well acquainted with modern technological developments is inclined towards achieving sustainable development. Accordingly, Eritrea has been working to eradicate illiteracy and ensure equitable access to education in all corners of the country. Besides, the expansion of colleges and institutions of higher education in Eritrea is an indication that the efforts have reached another level. The endeavors by the government being the vital push in this case, the contribution of private institutions is unparalleled.

Any responsible and standardized private institution, particularly in the sector of education, plays a key role in reinforcing the efforts exerted at a government level. Among the major private institutions that are providing education on higher level in Eritrea are the SMAP and Eri-British International.

As has been mentioned in many occasions, education is being expanded from time to time and these private institutions have since their establishment been striving to meet the required standards and produced skilled human resources.

Our staff managed to visit both the institutions, but because the Eri-British International was in the middle of preparations for the graduation we were able to spend more time with SMAP. This institute of education, training and research (consultancy) was established in 2005. Starting with only 100 students in 2005, the SMAP institute has now enrolled over 426 students.

Dr. Tesfay Haile is Managing Director of SMAP. He believes that their vision is to be a national and regional center of excellence in educational and professional services. “Our cardinal mission is to contribute to the development of capable and committed human capital and to provide high standard of professional services in order to see rapid development in Eritrea,” Dr. Tesfay adds.

It is definite that the role of providing access to different forms of educational training should not be left for the government only; the role of private educational institutions is also important. But this being said, commercializing education is not appropriate, as Dr. Tesfay said: “It is a matter of professional ethics.”

Education has a multiplier effect, and the educated personnel are the leading contributors to national development. In that case the society’s awareness of the need for education is very important. Dr. Tesfay states “I am appreciative of the fact that the Eritrean society possesses a vested interest in investing on their children’s education”.

That is why all educational institutions, particularly the private sector need to excel in their efforts and strive to nurture competitive and skill oriented students. “An ethical and professional responsibility vested upon every single institution to make sure they produce outstanding students”, is Dr. Tesfay’s conviction. 

The recent graduation of the Eri-British International students on December 19, in associate degree and diploma levels as well as the graduates of the SMAP on November 28 is therefore a clear testimony that the private sectors are working hand in hand with the government to achieve the mapped out goals in the education sector.

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