Since its independence, Eritrea has been engaged in nation-building. Importantly, the relentless efforts exerted within the field of education serve as a positive sign that the country is headed in the right direction. Particularly, the Government has sought to improve and expand education through the training of teachers.
As part of this national mission, on 17 September 2016, the Asmara Community College held its 4th graduation ceremony. In total, 104 students graduated with diplomas, 27 of whom were women. These students were trained in three fields: 37 in educational administration, 32 in natural sciences, and 35 in social sciences.
After beginning with a moment of silence, the ceremony began with comments by the Minister of Education, Mr. Semsere Russom. He congratulated graduates and their families, and stated that educational activities and additional training have been the driving forces behind educational development.
He added that national efforts toward improving education are showing improvement, and in his closing remarks expressed his gratitude to the graduates and assured that there would be continued efforts to overcome the day to day challenges teachers face.
Additionally, Mr. Mokonen Estifanos, Academic Dean of Asmara Community College, explained that the government, understanding that education is the platform for nation-building, is placing its priorities on providing educational services for all. Moreover, he noted that as a result of continued efforts, the number of schools in the country has increased exponentially. Accordingly, with the increase of schools there is an increased demand for teachers and educational administrators. Towards meeting this demand, the Asmara Community College has offered a variety of training courses, certificate training programs, summer courses. Notably, earlier this month, on 4 September, the College saw the graduation of 958 trainees (253 women).
Mr. Mokenen also pointed out that despite having a number of other family or social obligations, graduates have successfully navigated their training programs. While applauding their efforts and success, he added the importance of their national and professional responsibility to work diligently and serve as a positive example.
Meanwhile, graduate representative and teacher, Natnael Gebreslasei, described that over the past 25 years, different steps have been carried out in developing the education system in the country. As a result, schools are found in all corners of the country. After expressing the teachers’ eagerness to “give back”, Mr. Natnael further noted how respected the field of teaching is and the responsibilities that come with it. Moreover, he described how rewarding it has been learning and developing with trainees from many different ethnic groups and how the training process has developed a sense of love and respect amongst the graduates. Last, he thanked the instructors for their help and support.As the graduation ceremony continued with the conferral of diplomas, I had the opportunity to talk to several of the graduates.
One of this year’s graduates is Ms. Tsehaynesh Gebremariam, a mother of 4 who has been teaching for 27 years. Now after participating in the training program for 2 years she is graduating. “I studied to improve myself in the profession” she said, before pointing out that she was largely able to achieve such success with the great support of her family and teachers and then thanking them for their undivided support.
“Teaching is a blessed profession and knowledge is something that is acquired by continuous effort. It is not limited by age or anything for that matter” said Mr. Simon Tesfay, another graduate. Mr. Simon, who graduated in educational administration, has been teaching for 37 years, and he explained that education is a positive influence in whatever work one does.
Ms. Tsegerda Gebregergish, a mother who has been teaching for 4 years, graduated in educational administration and scored a cumulative of GPA of 3.6. She described education as the building of human beings into productive members of society, and compared schools to factories and teachers to manufacturers.
Notably, Ms. Michealina, who has been teaching for 26 years and completed her studies while pregnant, graduated in the field of social science. She defined her profession as her life, “I just continued my studies to quench my thirst for education” and added that the myth social obligations should take precedence over studying is a wrong perception. “We have to know that if a mother is educated, the whole family can also be. So as mothers we should think of our own families and applaud the Ministry of Education’s continuous efforts to create such opportunities.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the graduates took an oath to extend their utmost efforts to improve the quality of education in the country.
Compiled by:Fanus Debesai