Education in Eritrea

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Asmara, university training center Asmara, university training center.JPG
Asmara, university training center

Education in Eritrea is officially compulsory between 7 and 16 years of age. [1] Important goals of Eritrea's educational policy are to provide basic education in each of Eritrea's mother tongues [2] as well as to produce a society that is equipped with the necessary skills to function with a culture of self-reliance in the modern economy. [3] The education infrastructure is currently inadequate to meet these needs. [1]

Eritrea Country in the Horn of Africa

Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands. Its toponym Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea, which was first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890.

Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all people and is imposed by government. Depending on the country, this education may take place at a registered school (schooling) or at home (homeschooling). "Compulsory education differs from compulsory attendance, which means that parents are obliged to send their children to a certain school. Compulsory education involves both the duty imposed upon parents by law to see that their children receive instruction, and the prerogative of every child to be educated."



The first schools in Ertrea were those of the catholic missionaries, but in 1902 were officially created by the Italian government the first two elementary schools in Italian Eritrea, with two teachers from Italy: the first and main in Asmara and the second in Cheren. [4] During colonial times most of the students were Italians, but after WW2 the number of Eritrean students has increased: in 1956 they were 17% of the students (while the Italians were 83%), while in 2015 they were nearly all. The highest-level institution (in the 1930s) was the Italian Lyceum "Ferdinando Martini" in Eritrea's capital, that was founded in 1926.B. D'Ambrosio

Initially there were only a few religious schools in Eritrea, but with the Italian governments were started the first school systems in Eritrea mainly during the late 1930s (when was established the Eritrea Governorate). In 1940 Dr. Vincenzo Di Meglio promoted the creation of the "School of Medicine" in Asmara (the first university institution in Eritrea, located initially in the Liceo Martini), under the direction of Prof. Ferro Luzzi [5] .

Italian Eritrea Italian 1890-1947 possession in East Africa

Italian Eritrea was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy in the territory of present-day Eritrea. Although it was formally created in 1890, the first Italian settlements in the area were established in 1882 around Assab. The colony officially lasted until 1947.

Eritrea Governorate

Eritrea Governorate was one of the six governorates of Italian East Africa. Its capital was at Asmara.

In 1940 a group of Italian doctors under the leadership of Dr. Vincenzo Di Meglio promoted the creation of university studies in Asmara and in 1941 they created the "Scuola di Medicina" (using a section of the Liceo Martini), linked to the Asmara Hospital (then named "Regina Elena"). It was the first university institution of Eritrea and aimed at the preparation of students for the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Rome.Silvia Nocchi

After WW2 was created the first university in Asmara. This university was founded in 1958, albeit by a different name as the Collegio Cattolico della Santa Famiglia while ruled by the Italian religious organization called 'Piae Madres Nigritiae' ("Comboni Sisters"): successively, in 1964 the university had been renamed as "University of Asmara".

University of Asmara

The University of Asmara (UoA) was a public university in Asmara, Eritrea. The nation's first university, it was founded in 1958 by the "Piae Madres Nigritiae". The school was meant to provide for the local population, though its initial enrollment in the 1950s was entirely Italian.

In the 1990s the independent Eritrea started a program to bring literacy to all children in Eritrea. Since then the school system has reached nearly 90% of young Eritreans.

Levels education

Pupils in uniform Eritrea 13.jpg
Pupils in uniform

There are five levels of education in Eritrea, pre-primary, primary, middle, secondary and tertiary. There are nearly 238,000 students in the primary, middle, and secondary levels of education. There are approximately 824 schools [6] in Eritrea and two universities, University of Asmara (UoA) and the Eritrea Institute of Technology (EIT), as well as several smaller colleges and technical schools.

Eritrea Institute of Technology

The Eritrea Institute of Technology (EIT) or Mai-Nefhi College is a technological institute located near the town Himbrti, Mai Nefhi, Eritrea. It is situated about 12 km southwest of Asmara, near the Mai Nefhi dam. The institute has three colleges: Science, Engineering and Technology, and Education. The institute began with about 5,500 students during the 2003-2004 academic year.

Current centers of tertiary education in Eritrea include, the College of Marine Biology, the College of Agriculture, the College of Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Nursing and Health Technology, as well as EIT and the UoA.There are some big primary and middle schools like Mai-Tesfa, Awet and Model [7]

The education system in Eritrea is also designed to promote private sector schooling, equal access for all groups (i.e. prevent gender discrimination, prevent ethnic discrimination, prevent class discrimination, etc.) and promote continuing education through formal and informal systems.

Barriers to education in Eritrea include traditional taboos, school fees (for registration and materials), and the cost barriers of low-income households. [8]


Statistics suggest that between 39 and 57 percent of school-aged children attend primary school and 21 percent attend secondary school. [1] Student-teacher ratios are high: 45 to 1 at the elementary level and 54 to 1 at the secondary level. [1] There are an average 63 students per classroom at the elementary level and 97 per classroom at the secondary level. [1] Learning hours at school are often less than four hours per day. [1] Skill shortages are present at all levels of the education system, and funding for and access to education vary significantly by gender (with dropout rates much higher for girls) and location. [1]

The overall literacy rate in Eritrea is estimated to be about 67.8 percent, with young adults aged 15–24, 89 percent literate. [9] [10] "The Ministry [of Education] plans to establish a university in every region in the future." [7]

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Education in Uganda

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Education in Bangladesh

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The Asmara International Community School (AICS) in Asmara, Eritrea, is an independent, coeducational day school which offers an educational program to children from prekindergarten through grade 12. The school was founded in 1994 to serve the needs of the international community and other students seeking English-language education.

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Education in Nepal was long based on home-schooling and gurukulas. The first formal school, established by Jung Bahadur Rana in 1853, was intended for the elite. The birth of Nepalese democracy in 1951 opened its classrooms to a more diverse population. Education in Nepal from the primary school to the university level has been modeled from the very inception on the Indian system, which is in turn the legacy of the old British Raj.

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Italian Eritreans

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Eritrea country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (September 2005). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. Asfaha, Yonas Mesfun; Jeanne Kurvers; Sjaak Kroon (2006). "Literacy use and instruction in multilingual Eritrea". Leeds African Studies Bulletin.
  3. "Eritrea" (PDF). World Data on Education. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. September 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  4. Scuola coloniale eritrea (in Italian)
  5. Nicky Di Paolo: "La Scuola di Medicina di Asmara" (in Italian)
  6. Baseline Study on Livelihood Systems in Eritrea (PDF). National Food Information System of Eritrea. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2014-10-18.
  7. 1 2 Habtetsion, Efrem (2006-08-03). "On Developing Higher Level of Education". Archived from the original on 2006-08-30. Retrieved 2006-08-03.
  8. Kifle, Temesgen (April 2002). Andreas Knorr; Alfons Lemper; Axel Sell; Karl Wohlmuth (eds.). "Educational Gender Gap in Eritrea" (PDF). Berichte aus dem Weltwirtschaftlichen Colloquium der Universität Bremen. Institute for World Economics and International Management. 78.
  9. Eritrea. CIA World Factbook
  10. Eritrea. World Bank