The year 2004 was a turning point for the progress of tertiary education in Eritrea. To make educational opportunities equitable, accessible and wholesome, the government set up colleges in different parts of the country and spread the faculties previously housed in one university. Every college has its own organizational and educational administration under the auspices of the National Commission of Higher Education (NCHE).
Currently, there are seven colleges providing higher education to produce skilled citizens who contribute to the national development of the country.
Higher education institutions in Eritrea are centers of excellence working for sustainable development, through teaching and research. In the last ten years, these institutions have graduated around thirty thousand students. Every summer Eritrean colleges deliver talented and visionary graduates who can potentially fill-in the educational and social gaps.
Human resource development is one of the heavily invested macro policy agendas every other year. Investment on education is a short and long term goal a nation can afford to win. It is a future-oriented task that yields a return on investment. The government of Eritrea makes sure the huge amount of resources for education are cashed out for social justice and gradual economic development.
Higher education institutions cater to human resource development by teaching students to have careers in a variety of fields of study. Most of the Eritrean colleges this year held their 10th commencement. The sheer number of graduates so far is a testimony to the persistence of individual college’s educational administration. According to the institutions’ documents so far Eritrea Institute of Technology (EIT) has graduated 13,571 students, Hamelmalo Agricultural College (HAC) 4840 students, College of Business and Economics 4694, the College of Science and Marine Technology 1420, Asmara College of Science and Health Technology 3515, Adi Keih College of Arts and Social Science (CASS) 1476 and Orotta General Medicine and Dental College 256 Medical doctors.
The faculty and staff of the colleges are the right arm of higher education as they shape and hand the society employees it needs. To lessen the shortage of instructors in these colleges, post-graduate programs are being opened. By recruiting qualified candidates as graduate assistants in the colleges and sending them to graduate schools at home and abroad the need for teaching staff is being met. Using online distance education is also another option to upgrade the status of students. The number of faculty has increased and improved equally as outstanding graduates are filling the available vacancies offered by the colleges every year. The EIT and HAC have been running Masters Programs for a while and the College of Business and Economics is set to start next year.
For developing countries like Eritrea human resource development is to the economy and social service provisions. Public and private organizations look for trained personnel.
The colleges helped the youth across the country to chase their dreams learning in secondary schools. Long as the current generation is continually upgraded by the technology advancement accesses, information on which higher institution is better for their educational career is no longer an issue. It just remains a matter of decision to select one from the other.
Developing countries are under pressure to meet the increased demands for higher education. In Eritrea, the price paid to get into the colleges is only a personal devotion to education, nothing more nothing less. Education at all levels is provided free of charge to all citizens. Parents send their children to school as they believe higher positions and professionalism can be achieved if education is taken more seriously.
Female participation in higher education in all of the Eritrean colleges is increasing. For instance, the Adi Keih College of Arts and Social Science (CASS) and College of Marine Science and Technology (CMSAT) recently registered fifty percent female participation in their college.
In an effort to boost the efficiency of educational service given by Eritrean Colleges, the government of Eritrea in collaboration with the government of China invested more than 25 million dollars for a new building that will house the College of Science which was formally inaugurated last week(refer to the last issue). Similarly, in collaboration with the African National Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) the government has constructed a 5 million dollar building that has 10 laboratories in the College of Agriculture at Hamelmalo.
The contribution of each college in administrative, financial, political and economic spheres is widely recognized with the help of yearly graduates. As part of that, lower educational institutions (juniors and high schools) are assisted with graduate teachers from higher institutions.
To strengthen the unity of the society and meet its social demands and minimize miscellaneous costs the colleges are strategically situated in the regions near the major towns. Colleges are continually upgraded to give students comfort and accesses to digital libraries, the internet, laboratory services.
These institutions manage to deliver qualified and productive citizens who work for sustainable national and regional development. The future is near when these institutions are getting into higher levels of education the country awaits.