Chemical Education in Eritrea

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in the languages of Tigre Tigrinya Kunama and,Formal science education emerged from the flux. of five administrative periods in Eritrean history. Figure 1 shows the growth of schools teachers and,students for those five periods. Under Italian Colonialization 1890 1941 the,curriculum was expanded to include history geog. FPO raphy language hygiene arts and crafts One pur. pose of education was to indoctrinate Eritreans with. a devotion for Italy and a respect for Italian culture. and civilization Schools were to assist Eritreans,to become worthy elements of the native troops. A medicinal plants team has recently characterized the. properties of Eritrean pumpkin cucurbita pepo L seed interpreters clerks telephone operators and typ. and the fatty acid composition of the seed oil ists The Eritrean child was to be a conscious pro. Y M H Younis et al Phytochemistry 54 71 75 2000 pagandist of Italian civilization and so proselytize. his parents Languages of instruction were Italian, The Eritrean Chemical Society comprising about and the dominant languages of Tigrinya Tigre and.
160 members from industry government and edu Arabic. cation meets regularly for professional develop Despite the legacy of indoctrination solid edu. ment research conferences to popularize chem cational programs in this period prepared the way. istry in schools and to promote chemistry edu for formal instruction in chemistry and other sci. cation and research ences Schools were constructed primary education. Partners from the Ministry of Education Univer was offered basic equipment and chemical reagents. sity of Asmara and local schools wrestle with as were obtained and important industries producing. sessment issues they seek ways to address low soap and beer were founded The period leading up. passing rates for secondary school certificate ex to and during the Italian invasion of Ethiopia saw. aminations and high dropout rates among first rapid expansion in education and the incorporation. year university science students of Tigray into Eritrea led to the opening of new. External partners such as the Italian and Swed schools in that region. ish governments contribute meaningfully to sci The British Military Administration 1941 1952. ence and technical education with infrastructure took over responsibility for schools after the Brit. and exchange programs ish invasion and defeat of Italian East Africa Tigray. province went back to Ethiopian administration,along with the new Tigray schools The main goals. Roots of Eritrean Science Education of the British educational structure were to force. The earliest forms of traditional education were in Eritreans into a wage economy and to break up tribal. formal with the family being the earliest agent of solidarity Instruction was initially in the dominant. socialization In addition to learning tasks of cook. ing brewing and working the land children were, taught the art of telling folk stories and proverbs. Present knowledge about Eritrean medicinal plants, attests to the value and strength of that oral tradi. The church and mosque planted the seeds of for, mal education in Eritrea where goals to train priests. for the church and read the Koran and memorize the. Surah were met in part through instruction in read. ing and writing Geez church and Arabic mosque, The study of plants and herbs may have been a part.
of the early curriculum Inks were compounded from,herbs and charcoal and shebti phytolacca. dodecandra was regularly used for washing long, before the introduction of commercial soaps Swed The Eritrean kellau plant Extracts from the bark. ish Evangelical and Catholic missions fertilized of the root show promising antibacterial and antifungal. those early seeds by introducing practical subjects properties. 98 Chemistry International 2001 Vol 23 No 4,Present State of Eritrean. 700 Chemical Education1,600 Elementary Secondary and. Technical Schools,Eritrean students receive their,first introduction to chemistry in.
elementary school general sci,ence taught in grades 6 and 7. Formal coursework in chemis,200 try begins in secondary school. grade 8 and continues each,100 year through grade 11 Students. Schools who are educated in technical,0 schools receive the same grades. Students thousands,Italian 1896,1940 British 1941 Teachers hundreds.
10 and 11 chemistry curriculum,Federation,1951 1962 Annexation as secondary school students. 1963 1991 Liberation,Since 1991 Students are assessed through. Administrative Period the Eritrean Secondary Educa. tion Certificate Examination, Fig 1 Educational growth in Eritrea ESECE in chemistry and other subjects at the end. of grade 11 A 1997 survey tallied about 100 chem, Eritrean language Tigrinya for Christians and Ara istry teachers in 29 secondary schools. bic for Muslims The first ministry of education was Chemistry teachers are a mix of Eritrean nation. created in 1942 the first teacher training in college in als many educated at the University of Asmara and. 1946 and teachers were recruited from graduates of visiting teachers many from India The vast major. the former Italian school Elementary and middle ity of those teachers are well qualified with a bach. school students studied mathematics and science elors or masters degree Most face challenging teach. Under the period of Federation of Eritrea with ing conditions Student teacher ratios are high typi. Ethiopia 1952 1962 the first secondary schools cally about 40 and class sizes of 60 are not uncom. were opened and education was given increased mon Average weekly teaching loads are just over. priority with distinctive influences of the Ethiopian 30 hours per week Because of the shortage of. government being evident Secondary students now schools most schools run two sessions each day for. studied chemistry as well as anatomy biology and students with one group studying in the morning. physiology The Barka Secondary School in Asmara and one in the afternoon As a temporary measure. still uses facilities equipment the chemistry labo owing to disruptions in the school year caused by. ratory and even some reagents first supplied by the the recent conflict with Ethiopia most secondary. Camboni Fathers The University of Asmara was of schools now operate six days a week Textbooks are. ficially established on 20 December 1958 by the Mis often in limited supply practical work is not rou. sionary Congregation Pie Madri della Nigrizia of tinely part of the secondary school curriculum and. Verona Italy Courses were in Italian to prepare stu chemicals equipment lab manuals models and tech. dents for the final year of study in an Italian Uni nical support are all hard to come by for many schools. versity to earn the Laurea The Asmara Barka school for example runs about 60. After Eritrean Annexation to Ethiopia in 1962 sections of chemistry classes each week with about. Amharic became the language of instruction in 60 students in each section using the single labora. Eritrean schools replacing Tigrinya and Arabic The tory built by the Camboni Fathers for demonstration. number of primary and secondary schools increased purposes. to over 200 and secondary schools were opened in Yet despite those challenging conditions teach. every district capital Despite the rapid growth in ers are working hard and constructively with the. schools accessibility to education was limited In Ministry of Education and the University of Asmara. 1988 only 20 of the school age population of Ethio to take steps to strengthen chemical education A. pia which included Eritrea at the time were in school chemistry panel of the Ministry s Curriculum Re. Following Independence in 1991 the emerging na search and Development Center has produced. tion of Eritrea gave high priority to education so that Eritrean textbooks for grades 8 11 which present. by 1998 more than 375 000 students or 40 of the standard chemistry curriculum while placing con. school age population were enrolled in 726 schools cepts in the context of local industrial processes. Chemistry International 2001 Vol 23 No 4 99, While further revision is necessary to make the texts qualifications keep chemists working across inter.
more student friendly these materials represent faces with other disciplines bring in research equip. unique examples of adapting chemistry curriculum ment and involve senior undergraduate students in. to the local environment activities The chemistry department is currently in. Recently secondary school chemistry teachers set the process of reviewing its undergraduate curricu. as one of their highest priorities the systematic in lum looking at both content and pedagogy and evalu. troduction of practical work learning by doing ating ways to introduce computer assisted instruction. through experiments demonstrations and field trips and molecular modeling into the classroom effectively. And so they exchange ideas They hope to make, teaching more student centered and to make stu Eritrean Chemical Society. dents more active learners And they are finding cre Eritrean chemists know the importance of building. ative ways to overcome barriers Zinc metal can be networks and lifelong learning particularly when. harvested from old dry cells Aluminum can be re working in settings geographically separated from. trieved from cigarette and gum foils Students can major global centers of excellence in chemistry. collect silica gel from shoe shops and sulfur from Immediately after independence in November 1991. local markets Students can conduct many simple the Eritrean Chemical Society was founded in the. experiments at home2 Other chemistry teachers are capital city of Asmara It was legally recognized by. systematically evaluating methodology used in cur the government in 1993 and has been working ac. rent chemical education practices for presentation tively since then to achieve the following objectives. at an annual research conference of the Eritrean,to develop and promote chemistry education and. Chemical Society3, Chemistry at the University of Asmara to establish close relationships between chem. ists and other professionals engaged in chemis, The University of Asmara received its charter from. try related fields of activity so as to increase the. the Ethiopian government in 1968 It granted its first. role of chemistry in national development, undergraduate degrees in chemistry in 1980 shortly.
to popularize chemistry especially in schools, after a troubling period in the institution s history. to enhance participation and collaboration of,when the university was closed after the Commu. professional chemists in matters pertaining to na,nist revolution in Ethiopia The early 1980s saw. tional policies curriculum development and,major growth for chemistry and other science pro. training of chemists,grams as young influential scholars many from.
to promote the improvement of the qualification,India East Germany and elsewhere contributed to. of members,building the institution The 1983 1984 University. to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas,catalog shows a sample program for chemistry stu. through professional publications symposia and,dents taking coursework in all four main branches. regular meetings, of chemistry along with other required courses such.
as Marxist thought and practice Some chemical edu,to establish and strengthen links with other so. cieties national and international that pursue, cation debates change little over time as noted by. similar aims,the calendar rule that Calculating machines may. not be used during examinations unless permitted Several of those key objectives have been trans. or required by the course instructor 4 lated into action The society has about 160 mem. Since independence the University has grown ex bers from industry government and education It. plosively to its present student population of over sponsors annual research conferences that bring to. 4 000 in a campus originally designed to accom gether local and international chemists and it has. modate about 500 Undergraduate programs in held several significant workshops where key stake. chemistry continue to receive high priority boosted holders work to strengthen chemical education at. by major linkages with Swedish institutions such as the secondary level. the University of Uppsala and Stockholm Univer, sity Interdisciplinary research programs rooted in. chemistry such as the Eritrean Medicinal Plants Acknowledgments. Project and the Materials Science Project which deals We would like to thank Mr Habtai Zerai from the. with structure property relationships of technologi Department of History University of Asmara for. cally useful materials are producing results and at contributing to and checking the historical section. tracting attention Those programs have had valuable and Dr Ghebrebrhan Ogubazghi Dean of the Col. spinoffs for chemical education as they attract and lege of Science University of Asmara for provid. retain gifted scholars with Ph D and postdoctoral ing other materials and support for this project. 100 Chemistry International 2001 Vol 23 No 4, Historical background summarized from demic Year Asmara Ethiopia January 1983.
a Research provided by Mr Habtai Zerai University of Report on the Proceedings of the Workshop on Integra. Asmara History Department September 2000 tion of Practical Activities Work in Teaching Chemistry in. grade 8 and continues each year through grade 11 Students who are educated in technical schools receive the same grades 10 and 11 chemistry curriculum as secondary school students Students are assessed through the Eritrean Secondary Educa tion Certificate Examination ESECE in chemistry and other subjects at the end of grade 11 A 1997

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