A few weeks ago, the newly constructed College of Arts and Social Science was inaugurated in Adi-Keih town. This modern building equipped with advanced educational facilities would indeed maximize higher educational opportunities in the country. It would also accommodate large number of students with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In this respect, the boarding school would not only supply students with academic knowledge but also enable students to develop broader social perspectives. Shabait conducted an interview with the Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr. Ogbagebriel Beraki concerning the significance of the college. Excerpts follow:
Let us begin with the construction of the college?
From the beginning, the construction of this college was divided into two phases. The first phase comprised of the construction of four blocs, dormitories, administration office, library, classrooms and auditorium of the college. This had begun 6 years ago in collaboration with the African Development Bank Project. While the second phase emphasized on the expansion process of the college to accommodate large number of students. The expansion project worth 10 million USD was implemented through government endeavors in collaboration with the Republic of the People of China. The project, which was completed within two years, encompassed four projects that included student dormitories, and cafeteria that could serve 1,300 students at one time, ground +one classrooms and offices.
Is there any particular reason why this Arts and Social Science College was constructed in Adi-Keih town?
A number of colleges have been constructed in various parts of the country so as to expand access to higher education opportunity. The construction of this college is part of the Government plan to provide a wide opportunity for social science students. Adi-Keih and its surrounding areas are a perfect place to establish this college as they embrace rich archeological relics, ancient villages, cities, dams and other sites that could provide practical lessons to students. It makes it also more feasible to write and rewrite, conducting researches, as well as interpret ancient Eritrean civilization. So it is a right place for archeological, anthropological and historical studies. Furthermore, this place encompasses the largest plateaus in the country with highest mountains and geological findings. We can say that the place is a natural museum and socio-cultural laboratory for literature also, as looking at the beautiful landscape can be an inspiration for creative writing.
What is the advantage of this college in comparison to the previous college located in Mai-Nefhi College?
There were three colleges in Mai-Nefhi and this college was additional one. There were constrains in facilities and space. Once the college moved here, lack of space and other equipment constrains will no longer be a problem. On top of this, the surrounding is an interesting area for practical training as it provides viable ground for research.
What would be the contribution of this college in empowering skilled professionals?
We know that science is divided in to two streams, which are natural and social science. Some people may think that natural scientists are more important than social scientists, however, any discovery or invention by a natural scientist is administrated by social scientists. Students who learn here would become experts in social affairs and their contribution would be significant in the national development drive. Social science understands the society better, their transformation, civilizations, politics, resource management and other related with society.
Has the college developed any relations with other similar colleges yet?
So far, we have developed close relations with Geographic Institute Center for Development and Environment, University of Switzerland. Also we have strong ties with the University of Florence on Afro-Asiatic studies that includes Semitic languages in Eritrea. Moreover, we are working towards maintaining excellent relations with local organizations and institutions in view of the fact that their cooperation is critical for further development of the college.