By Billion Temesghen | Shabait,
An absolute right to knowledge is undeniable to Eritreans; the Government and People of Eritrea have been striving to ensure such grant since the dawn of independence. Henceforth, Eritrean institutions for higher education, mount platforms of manifestation to this particular principle.
Here is a compiled scoop from a TV broadcasted program: the Halhale College of Business and Economics. Proud Dean and senior instructor Dr. Estifanos Hailemariam explains how the Halhale College of Business and Economics along with its staff, partners and students stand for a noble economic future in Eritrea.
Q: Thank you for your time Dr. Estifanos. How about you start by explaining who are the instructors facilitating the teaching process in your college? And how do they meet the needs and demands of students?
When we set up our plan to educate young and brilliant students, who we annually are very pleased and honored to bring on board, we provide them with the utmost educational enlightenment while making sure to repay them for their trust in our college and their passion in the field to eventually be proud future business people.
Of course a well-constructed, analyzed and up-to-date curriculum is important, as well as efficient infrastructure, but then again instructors are necessary amongst the top requirements for an educational institution to run well. Therefore, Halhale College of Business and Economics pays particular attention to this aspect. We have 42 proficient instructors , 16 of them are PhDs most of them with teaching experiences of 20 to 30 years.
Six of them have masters and the remaining 20 instructors include young Graduate Assistants (GA’s) from our college. What we do with our GA’s is, after less than a couple of years we send them abroad to learn more and acquire their masters and PhDs. And I am extremely grateful to them as they are keen in imparting and sharing what they learn while providing fellow junior students with more insight they gain by learning abroad.
For example this current academic year we have welcomed back two, former GAs, whom recently earned their PhDs.
Our society believes that teachers are parents to their students, accordingly, I believe the teaching staff as well love, respect and assist our students’ educational endeavors to make them remarkable professionals in the future.
Q: Halhale College of Business and Economics
Our college has departments of Accounting, Business Management, Banking and Finance, Public Administration as well Tourism and Hotel Administration. We aim at nourishing students who are well able to analyze and manage finance, students who bring in human and budget resources including students who promote tourism and boost the national economic growth.
Generally speaking, the college aims precisely at intensifying several commercial spheres which live up to Eritrea’s trade and commerce essentials. What we also expect from our students is for them to be business people, who privately and at government level, supplement Eritrea human resource in the business sphere.
Q: Your students
Our students come from a one year long common course in College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in Adi Keih. The admission to our college is very spirited because many students want to join the college and make sure to conquer the yearly provided 600 to 1000 entry admittance our college allows. They are very competitive and acute in keeping good grades and good GPAs that grant them admission to college and also enables them to stay and graduate from our college. This particular aspect makes our college very lively and vigorously animated.
Once they graduate they become remarkable professionals by making ultimate use of their knowledge. We see them in banks, several corporations, administrative offices and almost everywhere else, and as their instructor, it gives me great pleasure to see students do well.
They are efficient in providing public services in private and governmental institutions. They are well equipped with all of the necessities needed to work anywhere in the world, they are the driving forces in the national economic sectors as they can renovate by eliminating possible weaknesses.
Personally speaking though, is about the sense of pride my students allow me to feel in my profession, sometimes I might forget their faces but when they come to greet me and tell me about their great adventures, gratifies me the most.
Q: Can you elaborate what you mean by former “students doing well” after graduating?
For example, in the Department of Public Administrations, our students learn to make good use of human and budget resources and provide the public with efficient services. Students who graduate in this department are now currently working in regional and sub-regional administrations in various positions.
And if we take the Department of Tourism and Hotel Administration as a second example; our country is endowed with natural and cultural richness, therefore, in this department we provide our students with the needed knowledge to boast the country’s touristic undertakings while meeting international standards. As a matter of fact, here we eagerly look forward to the youngsters’ aptitude in renovating current approaches and set new enhanced ones as they are highly creative, and henceforth, more likely stronger to promote our country’s touristic attractions.
Q: Other than academics
Like I said before, for a student the school is a second home and second family. Yes, our main aim is to provide our students with educational tutelage, however, building up their behavioral dispositions too is equally important to the principles of the college. The college wants its student to comprehend the essence of hard work, persistence and dedication.
We respect each student’s respective personality but again we strongly believe in the nobility of the field. We want students to be respectable professionals with honorable virtues and values for them to carry throughout their carriers.
We recently introduced the so called Moral Conduct and we are now giving classes that do less with numbers and calculations and focus more on the moral features of business and economics.
We have no problems with the student’s conduct, neither have we ever faced any, they all want to stay in the college given the competitive atmosphere that drags them out from else ways. We are extremely proud and grateful for our students’ attitude towards the school and education. The interaction instructors have with the students is more of a parent-child relation, and truth be told they all are well mannered.
Q: How is the curriculum’s layout?
Naturally, we greatly consider our country’s needs but we also have the duty of equating to international standards. Henceforth, every time we draft our curriculum we call upon our partners from inside and outside of the country, we discuss intensively on ways to implement a standardized and up-to-date curriculum.
As our forefathers say, the bounty of a tree is its fruits, and likewise, when asking the outcome of our college we glance upon our students who have broken par with international heights. A simple and most recent example is that of Hokkaido University in Japan, where thanks to our students who have showed outstanding performance out of all the students there, the university sent as a token of appreciation for having produced brilliant students whom the University took pleasure in assisting with their higher educational endeavors.
Hence our curriculum is nationally pertinent and internationally very viable. So I’d rather say that our students’ aptitudes and performances, where ever they go, attest to the college’s competence.
Q: And who are the partners exactly?
Ministries, the Chamber of Commerce of Private Companies, local institutions and administrations. We also have international linkages with almost 120 Universities in Africa and Europe such that of Briton in England, with Universities of China, Japan, the ACCA and more.
Q: What are some of the college’s near future plans? Perhaps any new plans than you are presently working on?
We have so far been working in the undergraduate courses, from now onwards, however, our college along with its partners is setting for a new path that will see the introduction of master’s programs. The Department of Economics in fact will shortly start a master’s program on Development of Economics while the departments of Accounting, Business Management, Banking and Finance will collaborate in introducing a master’s program in Business Administration (MBA).
This year will be a year our college turns into a research institution. From late April and/or early May 2017, our college has scheduled its first research scoping workshop. The workshop main course of discussion will be approaches to tackle economic growth and the eradication of poverty.
We will also gear up to face the slight shortcomings we face such as the provision of electricity which we know is a national issue that the government and the people of Eritrea are currently working on, and also we will be working upon increasing the internet’s bandwidth so that our students can have broader access to the internet.
Q: It is your college’s turn to host this year’s Inter-College, isn’t it?
Yes it is. As you already know annually all Eritrean college students gather in a single college’s compound and rejoice their youth and brotherhood. The 8th annual Inter-College festival will be hosted in our college this year and the students along with the staff is exerting great efforts to make this festival a memorable one. Our college for a whole week in the month of May will be home to every college student in the nation, and we all are looking forward to it.
We are all very excited.
Q: At the end
I want to remind the students not to take the free education lightly since the government and people are providing it at sheer expenses. Moreover, I want to express my appreciation to all of the students of our college and other colleges throughout the country.