Eritrea: Education and Training Opportunities

Development News
Government avails everything required to make sure there is no wastage in building a productive youth
With in its modest capacity, Eritrean government avails everything to make sure there is no wastage in building a productive youth

By Kesete Gebrehiwet,

One’s success is not confined to one sort of profession or skill. Having failed in one field doesn’t mean everything is messed up and one’s future is ruined. Life is full of challenges coupled with opportunities. Overcoming challenges, one could make use of the opportunities life would grant no matter when and how. But, as challenge and opportunity exist in simultaneity, the more one overcomes challenges, the more the opportunities would become visible.

If opportunity happens by mere chance, only those adhered to make maximum use of it become victorious. So, today’s Eritrean youth is having opportunities of education and training here and there and it has become a common happening to witness a success story in the education sector owing to the commitment  and wise use of the provided opportunity.

The vocational training provided in Sawa has become an eye opening experience for a number of youth. The opening of Center for Vocational Training (CEVOT) in Sawa in 2007 was indeed a perfect opportunity which enabled a number of youth make a headway achievement in their lives. Not only the graduates have become beneficiaries of the opportunities provided but the country has in return gained too much of what it invested on them. There is no doubt, the time the newly trained human power starts to make contribution in the nation building efforts, the outcome of which would indeed become very rewarding.

The number of skilled human power that continued to increase each year is a reflection of the ever growing access to education. For instance, in 2010 the total number of secondary schools throughout the country was just 72; in the 2012-2013 academic years, however, students form 84 secondary schools joined Warsay-Yikealo Senior secondary school. The growth in educational access that has been provided even in the hard-to-reach areas is what has contributed most to the overall increase of students’ participation in higher educational institutions of academic or technical training.

In just three rounds, between 2007 and 2009, CEVOT gave trainings to around 9,000 students. It is also to be recalled that in its fifth commencement held in 2010, this training center graduated a total of 2,435, the 1018 of whom were female students, trained in different fields of specialization. Likewise, in its 6th commencement, CEVOT has graduated 2,160 students who have been trained in the center for about 17 months. All in all, the training center has so far graduated a total of 14,500 youths in six rounds. This number is not satisfactory for the envisaged long term goal of educating 10,000 youths in one batch has not yet met.

Even not sufficient enough to the overall need of the country, no wonder, there is skilled human power in the education, agriculture, management, construction, communications and transportation, and also in other sectors. Let’s just have a look on the different trainings that have been given in the CEVOT alone, that is, excluding such like trainings offered in other vocational training centers.

It is indeed an overwhelming experience to notice that 767 students from the School of Business and Administration, 405 from Advanced Farm and Construction Machinery, 280 from Agricultural Technology, and 780 students graduated from the School of Construction Technology.

So, with the opening of CEVOT, the country would continue to have trained human power in different specialties and sub specialties such as in Survey and Drafting, Metal and Wood Works, Animal and Plant Science, Soil and Water Conservation, Secretarial Science, Material and Natural Resources Management, Plumping and Carpentry, Modern Farm and Construction Machinery among others.

What guarantees the know-how of the youths trained in CEVOT to be a long lasting one is that the hands-on experience they acquired through visiting sites for practical training courses. Hence, according to Mr. Tesfaldet Tekle, Director of CEVOT, 200 students of Modern Farm Machinery and equivalent number of students of Modern Construction Machinery visited Kerkebet Dam for about 10 days so as to practically implement what they have learnt on the ground. Similarly, student from the School of Agricultural Technology went to Gerset Dam for one month, students of Natural Resources Management to Filfil-Solomuna and She’eb for seven days, students of Soil and Water Conservation to Hamelmalo Agricultural College for five days, and students of Animal Science to Hagaz, Keren, and Elaber’id for six days. During their stay there, the students got access to briefings from experts in the respective places as well as from their instructors.

The training center has been giving trainings at certificate level. Even though not upgraded to a diploma level, In this regard, the trainees from CEVOT said that the training that has been provided is very satisfactory. However, they do have concerns about the prolonged course time which they think is more than what is necessary. They are of the idea that the academic status and the length of training time are not matching to one another. So, they called on for the attention of concerned academic bodies to shorten the course time or else to include some additional courses and thus to upgrade it to a diploma level.

The graduation of around 15,000 trained human power from a center which was opened just in 2007 need not to be viewed lightly. The yet to come would indeed be much greater than what has been achieved in the six rounds of trainings. As the necessary infrastructures have been put in place and for there have been plans to replace the existing teaching machinery with newer ones, the future of the training center is a promising one. More well trained and competent youths would continue to join the human power that has been dispatched throughout the country with an aim of building a nation where its citizens continue to rejoice after each and every success story obtained through overcoming challenges.

Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power
Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power

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In Eritrea, all students across the country are required to complete their 12th grade high school diploma at the Warsay-Yikalo High school in Sawa. Those who score college entrance points would join the various colleges in the country while those who fail are required to join the mandatory vocational training programme at the Center for Vocational Training (CEVOT) in Sawa. Such program has been proven successful in producing a skilled and productive manpower for the nation-building process in 19 fields of studies besides instilling patriotism, skills and self confidence all FREE of charge.