“A Master’s programme is a unique opportunity in Eritrea. I can make use of my studies in my work as a teacher, so the programme benefits both me and my college. I’m also dreaming of a doctoral degree,” says an Eritrean student of geoinformatics. The Master’s programme was created as part of a development cooperation programme between higher education institutions in Finland and Eritrea in 2015–2018.
Investments in higher education create new educational opportunities and future prospects for young people in Eritrea. The national educational system is in need of development. There are no doctoral degree programmes in Eritrea, and only a few Master’s programmes. Access to literature is limited, and electricity is available for only a few hours a day. Few have access to the internet, and rarely.
Five higher education institutions from both Finland and Eritrea took part in the programme. The programme aimed to develop instruction in geoinformatics, forestry and ICT, improve teacher education and digitalise the college library. It focused on the sectors that are essential for the national development in Eritrea. It also represented one of first international initiatives in a country that has been isolating itself from the rest of the world.
Photo: Angesom Teame, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta