Part of the on-going efforts the Eritrean government has been making in education, many students have been provided with scholarship to join some of the best universities in the world.
Today, we have here with us, four Eritrean scholars who have completed their studies and are ready to give back to their society.
Dr. Tedros Siuem, PhD in Comparative Education
- -Welcome back, Dr. Tedros. Would you please tell us about your research paper?
The paper I did had to do with my previous experience, I worked as a teacher for many years and just before I got the opportunity to do my PhD in comparative education at Hong Kong University, I had been working as the director of HRD at the Ministry of Education. As an individual, I had limited understanding of what can be the meaning and outcomes of educational opportunities. People view it as simple as expansion of schools. However, it is not. Just because we have we think that we are thriving on the educational standard of the country. So my study focused on the educational opportunity of our country and its outcomes. On my paper, The Quest for Social Justice In Eritrea: Challenges in the Domains of Equal Opportunities and Outcomes in Education, I tried to view different angles of challenges that we may consider and how they pressure the outcomes on the students’ educational skills.
In this process, all the government officials, families and community should work towards the advancement of not only quality but also equity of education. In Eritrea, social justice is the cornerstone of the development strategy of the Eritrean society including education.
- -What was your time like in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong University is one of the best universities in China. What I learnt there is that it doesn’t necessarily mean that you only get education from your teacher. As a matter of fact, that is only limiting. I got the opportunity to participate in many conferences and had the chance to see the schools and their teaching methods, which was very helpful. I even had the chance to go to participate at a conference in Canada on comparative education related to my studies. This means I had a chance to share my thoughts and ideas with people from various parts of the world.
Now that we are here, we all have to find a better way to implement the researche we did on the ground. In every aspect we had the chance to study.
Dr. Halima Mohhomed, PhD in English Language
- -Would you please introduce yourself?
I came from families who are farmers. With the war, my family and I went to join the armed struggle, and I grew up at the fields in the school of revolution. I became a teacher at the field. After independence, I took my matriculation exams and joined Asmara University and graduated from the Accounting Department with a diploma. To your surprise, I was pregnant with my fist child at that time which was challenging at times since I had to walk on the stairs for some of my classes. After my diploma from the university, I got my advanced certificate on Training of trainers in England. After I got my certificate, I worked as the department head at the TTI College, and I was teaching English language teachers. In 98, I got the chance to do my Masters at the London University in Linguistics. Recently, I did my PhD in English from Ahfar University for Women in Khartoum.
My paper was about the language policy of education in Eritrea, the benefits and disadvantages of the different language usages in different levels in the country.
- -You said you are a mother of four. How did you manage to accomplish all these?
All these years, I followed my educational dream while having kids and support my family. One thing I want to say, I am grateful to my husband. I had his full support all these years. He encouraged me to continue my education through whatever means since we share the educational dream. Of course, the base is that I was willing and had the dream to be educated. My husband did his masters as well after I did mine.
I believe that an educated mother is a strong bone to an advanced society. Some people have the idea that if a woman is more educated than men she would have the attitude to look down at her man; but it is the opposite. If a woman is educated, she has a much broader ability to view from different dimensions and is more undertanding and supportive.
Frezghi Tesfom, Master’s in Mechatronics
- -Hello, Frezghi. How was China?
It was a great experience. Huazhong University is one of the best universities in China. It has thousands of students from different races and cultures. It was enlightening in so many ways.
- -How about their teaching methods, were there any challenges for you?
Well, one of the things which we can consider as a challenge was that as we have the lack of lab tools here, it was difficult for us to cope with the updated lab tools we were provided at the university. We really did make a tremendous effort to make it. Other than that, it was hectic. Also, the teachers sometimes gave the lectures in their language, which made it harder. Nonetheless, the Government has been making a tremendous effort to connect students to some of the best universities over the years. Being part of the students who were presented with that prospect, we had to work hard to take every bit of chance we had and put it to good use.
Now that we are here, I hope to work and share the experience and education I had with students in the same filed. That is the way it is supposed to be. We should pay back to our community. These type of scholarship connections should go on in a broader way by giving to more students the chance we had. Again, I think that the tools in our laboratories should be updated so that we can get to the level the advanced universities and colleges are. I believe that is an essential add up to the educational standard of the engineering department.
Mussie Sebhatleab, Master’s in International Public Administration
- -How did you get into International Public Administration?
Actually, my first degree was in political science and history. However, I was presented with the opportunity to get to the public administration in China and I couldn’t turn that down even though it was different from my educational background and I knew it was going to be a bit difficult. Also because it had been more than ten years before I was offered the scholarship. I was a way from studying. Still, it was an interesting and important field of study..
- -Any last few words to our readers?
Well, what the government is doing by providing scholarships to students is impressive. And I would like to say that the number of opportunities that are given should be expanded. So far, around 1100 students joined Chinese universities. This is a great contribution in all the departments.