He is one of the many young disciplined Eritreans. Studying hard, sharing his knowledge with his classmates, helping his colleagues and doing a part time job to cover his expenses are his main pursuits. His name is Omar Osman Ebrahim. After completing his elementary and junior-high education there, he went to Dekemhare boarding school to do high school. In 2009-2010 he went to Sawa and received the honorary Zagre Presidential Award for his academic excellence. Alongside his academic achievements, Omar also wrote a book, entitled “SEFA” in 2017. Q&A provides you Omar Osman for a brief chat.
- -Can you please introduce yourself?
My parents were farmers in a remote area. Our life was based on farming and raring animal. Growing up I helped my family on their farming activities. In 1998, I started elementary school. From elementary until junior I was a good student. But soon after I went to Dekemhare Boarding School to continue my high school education I became a clever student.
- -How did your parents encourage you to succeed in your education?
They were the reason for me to be who I am today. My mother was great and caring but she died when I was in first grade. The only one who raised me is my father. He encouraged me in every step of my life. He wanted me to reach a good stage in life and achieve a lot of things. So, he was advising me every day. Not only this, my father raised me with full discipline and now I want to thank him for making me a full person.
- -Do you remember what the educational system was like before independence?
It was hard. It is obvious that no child could learn in peace at a place of war. Especially in my time, as independence was nearing the colonizing power was in great tension. Therefore, their brutality and atrocity was increasing by the day as the freedom of our country was approaching. Many of my friends quit school as families went on hiding.
- -So how did you feel when some of your school mates quit school? Did it influence the interest you had in education?
The experience I had as a child student is really hard to explain. But, at the same time, as I was a kid I was influenced by those who were teaching me. On the other hand, I remember my father telling me every day that a student should be friends with clever students. I proved my father when I joined Dekemhare Boarding School. There, I met clever students and studying with them helped me a lot. As a result of that my interest in education increased significantly.
- -What was your experience like at the boarding school?
I lived and studied in the boarding school for three years. The love, friendship and care of the people I met in the school are unforgettable. For me it was a life-time experience. I can say living in a boarding school is like living in a small, beautiful, colorful and culturally rich place. There, the students came from different cultural and environmental back grounds and that made the social life of the boarding school colorful. While I was in the boarding school I was able to achieve so many things. One of these was learning Tigrigna language as my mother tongue is Tigre. So, I want to thank Mr. Syum Haile director of Dekemhare Boarding School and all of the other teachers who took care of us and guided us tirelessly.
- -Tell us about your education and experience in Sawa?
I joined the 23th round to Sawa. And just like the boarding school, Sawa was also a place where I learned a lot of things. The education, the health care, the military education, physical fitness activities and, above all, the new family you make there as well as environmental sanitation activities are all great life time lessons. In Sawa, I developed relations with different people, learned different cultures and some languages. Moreover, Sawa was the best academic place for me.
As for my education I was sure that I was going to score good marks and the result was good as I expected. I scored full mark in the national matriculation.
- -Why did you choose to specialize in oral and maxillofacial?
I chose maxillofacial because I found it very interesting and on top of that I want to cure peoples’ teeth, gum and face. I want to see people smiling happily. Studying it was really amazing, but, at the same time, it was hard as it required time and hard work.
- -How is the transfer of knowledge in tertiary education and how is the education given?
The first two years we take pre-med and predent courses. Following this, we take basic science in Orota General and Maxillofacial Medical School. After this, when I chose to learn maxillofacial, my classmates and I started to specialize in it by taking both theoretical and practical education.
- -You also wrote a book entitled “SEFA” in Tigre. Tell me something about the book?
The book was aimed at the youth and students. It is about the importance education has to life at present and in the future. If students are educated, their future achievements turn to be beneficial not only for themselves but their societies too. The book has 12 chapters and is of 120 pages. Technically in the book I explain the methods that helped me achieve my educational dreams; how to set an achievable aim for you, to develop self-discipline, studying methods and behavioral advancements. I wrote the book in Tigre language because I wanted for it to reach students in remote areas in their own mother language.
- -What kind of feed-back did you get from readers?
It was really encouraging. And it also encouraged me to write other books that I hope to publish in the near future.
- -Good luck and thank you for your time.