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Education and Citizenship

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Friedrich Nietzsche

A nation without higher education institution that allows its citizens to wallow in the philosophy of living and in the science of politics, in the grammar of logic, in the math of physics cannot be worth living in its midst. Today, Eritrea is such a nation. Sure, it built various small colleges of the technical sorts, but not a single institution that can produce PhDs – This alone tells a story of monumental blunder, a blunder by design toward the dumbing down of a society that would not question authority; a society that would vote with its own feet by fleeing in massive numbers from such an abyss existence instead of fighting to get is country back. In this opinion piece, I will draw a parallel between an educational system of Saudi Arabia and the United States in order to show the choices a free nation makes through debates and discursively arrives at a sensible educational policy that would guide for a century versus one that makes a decision based solely on a power-sharing process. From this parallel, Eritrea will be drawn into the mix to show what the choices she made a quarter a century ago has been like and what the likelihood of the future of its people will be if such a trajectory doesn’t change.

A Brief History of US Education System

In the US a little over a century ago now, philosophers of education dwelled over what it would take to have a productive American citizen, one who can serve his country and the country would reward him materially in return. In short, American thinkers thought by creating public education for every American child until he/she finished high school proven to be the work of a genius. Prior to that, kids as young as nine and ten-year-old children were involved in child labor until 1916. The public-school system made the nation literate, invested in children who grew up to be not only a productive citizen but also dynamic nation that would end up becoming the most innovative and the most powerful nation on earth. They, of course, didn’t stop there. They made sure notions of citizenship was inculcated in the school system along with raising literate children who will become active citizens. Notions of citizenship one can easily see it when kids are involved in mock voting whenever there are presidential elections.

Brief History of Saudi Arabia Education System

Halfway around the world, Saudi Arabia took a starkly different approach to building a Saudi citizen through its public school system. No time to conduct research in this regard, but a nutshell history of its public-school system goes something like this. A power-sharing deal was struck between the Mohammad bin Saud (Royal family) and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (Per Wikipedia, the source of Wahabism version of Islam in Saudi and around the world today). The takeaway point here is in Saudi case the accord was done solely between two individuals in how the country’s future was going to be run. In other words, the political administration would be left for the Royal family and the educational system to ibn Ad al-Wahhab. This agreement held until a few years back, where today the young Prince of Saudi Arabia is coming up with his vision that he dubbed “Vision 2030”.

A simple delineation of the countries in the way they decided to pursue their respective educational policies, all that one has to do is one example that any reader can clearly see. By September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia citizenry production brought Osama, by 2011, the US had produced citizen Obama whose foot was solidly on the grounds of the White House leading the most powerful nation on the earth.

Eritrea’s Educational System?

Now, enter the nascent nation-state called Eritrea that gained its independence in 1991. What we continue to see is a nation with a vision of its citizens who continue to disband and flee at every opportunity they deem to safely disappear from its grips. A nation that wants to create citizens in the image of its ghedli years. SAWA was one attempt at creating a selfless Eritrean as though he or she was in the revolutionary war like his/her predecessors did for thirty years. A nation cannot live or social engineer a revolutionary country. When the revolution concluded in 1991 was when it needed to decide what that Eritrean citizen was going to be like much as the above countries tried to do. If the vision it had didn’t work, why in the world does it continue to repeat the same darn mistakes expecting different results is the question worth repeating and wallowing in?

A nation that does not see innovation, energy, ingenuity in its young cannot be a nation that would succeed in holding the country together. The school system is where it should restart its effort if it is going to reinvent the wheel while it has the chance. The trajectory that Eritrea is following appears to be a path toward the abyss of colossal proportions. Who would’ve thought that Saudi Arabia would overhaul its educational system, but it is. Of course, it has all the resources it needs to make that work. The US is always overhauling its educational systems because there are endless thinkers, learning theorists, critical literacy experts, so on and so forth. Eritrea still has that chance to create a robust school system that enriches its citizens to become literate in every sense of the term literacy implies. There is that chance to do some soul searching by all of the Eritrean citizens, its progressive elements and its conservative elements where they can debate and arrive at a sensible educational policy. For example, constructionism in social science proffers us to construct meaning, thereby allowing us to make sense of our respective lived experiences.

These snippets of anecdotal narratives are moments that should not only be cherished, but they would’ve been what we should be sharing to the coming generation. Unfortunately, we seem to not miss a beat in getting ourselves from one skirmish to another; from one war-front to the next; and now we seem to be taking it to a newly dangerous height, where we are allowing regional players to use us as their proxies as though the former Soviet Union, the U.S., and Cuba were not enough. We seem to be falling for something unimaginably ominous and existential threat that would make the Ethio-Eri war of 1998 a walk in a park. I hope the gods of the cosmos or call it the universe, providence, whatever you prefer, will look after our people and find a way of keeping us away from these dangerous adventures. Instead, we can focus on how to regain our balance and create solid future for the coming generation through philosophizing and analyzing policies and challenging the production of knowledge.

Michel Foucault’s (1926 -1984)* ideas of knowledge production can come handy as we wallow in our attendant issues while we make an attempt to understand our past. Foucault, for example, “… applied theories to historical study. The way Foucault applied his knowledge toward this new cultural history is because he was well versed in de Saussure (structuralism) and Nietzsche’s (philosophical theories). Foucault believed that “political and economic forces, such as governments and the bourgeoisie, shaped knowledge production for their own political and economic interests, which he termed “political economy of truth.” […] Foucault “believed that by studying the production of knowledge through discourses, or the words, phrases, ideas, and symbols associated with a specific topic, historians could better understand the past. He argued that various cultural groups, such as political, economic, or social groups, create and add to discourses to shape knowledge about a particular subject.

Foucault goes on to assert that “Discourses … create epistemes, mental structures which organize knowledge and prioritize new information as important/unimportant, true/false, or scientific/unscientific. These epistemes then shape the identity of individuals and create the mental world in which individuals live. Individuals, therefore, were products of discourses in their lives, rather than historical agents with their own free will” (p. 213). Foucault went beyond theories by developing his own methodology of studying history, which he referred to as “archeology of knowledge. He argued that, like an archeologist, the historian must painstakingly uncover the inner workings and structure of past societies. Because all texts are relative and reflexive, historians cannot just simply interpret them and claim to have reconstructed the truth about what happened in the past and why. Historians must deconstruct texts, closely analyzing them as if they were archeological fragments of the worldviews from which they were created.

Rather than study historical subjects from the perspective of the dominant power that shaped the discourse, Foucault sought to “decenter” the subject under study, examining the past from unexpected perspectives, from “the other”: the outsider, the oppressed, the marginalized, and the anomalous. These alternative perspectives may reveal a rupture which had been covered up by conventional sources” (p. 214).

*Please note that the notes I took on Foucault that I am sharing here was so long ago that I am unable to ascertain which were my words and which were to be quoted. I saw several inconsistencies in the quoting pattern, which is why I am foot-noting it here. But, I thought the message was worth sharing and no time to verify the accuracy of my citation pattern in this piece. Besides, it is my intention to encourage others to tell their stories.

About Beyan Negash

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  • Donald King

    Good article! I like it a lot.

  • FishMilk

    Hi Abi. There are a number of Masters anaesthesiology programs that have popped up over the past few years; both at public and private universities. A phenomenon which has occurred, especially over the past decade, is that many hospitals are now hiring graduates from Masters anaesthesiology programs or CRNAs in place of more expensive MD Anaesthesiologists. What’s not to like? Completion of a 24-to-27 month program without the same rigor as medical school buy yet higher salaries that GPs.

  • Berhe Y

    Hi Abi,

    Education in the US is another rigged profession. There is no reason in hell that tuition fee should cost 250 in Harvard and UofT is about 20K.

    Please google and read an article “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League”. I heard about it when it was first published and it was on Canadian radio program.

    Berhe

    • iSem

      Hi BY:
      This is the same debate as teh vaccine thing
      the reason UofT charges 20k is because tax payers pay for it, they get what is called demand side subsidy . The international students pay Harvard rates. Ontario soon will reduce foreign tution to like the domestic levels but it maybe only for grad
      Besides education has what they call associative value, people care who are the aluminus not just price and even quality. They do not take a dime from tax payers
      You do not have to go to Harvard to do well in the USA economy and you can go to schools as good as Uoft for even less that 20k. USA HEd is highly differentiated unlike in Canada with a lot of pathways
      There are other in higher education issues besides price: there is access and quality and funding.
      Thinks what you will about USA higher ed, it was USA who made higher education mass as opposed to elitist.
      If people can afford it,if people are willing and quality is world class like Harvard, then why not. There are lots of choices in USA and flexibility too
      About the article, it I always told you you do not need to go to Ivy league to do well: Dell did not go to IL, Gates dropped from IL, jobs did not go to IL, Oracle’s founder did not go to IL, there are a lot of schools who are good that no one hears about, it is a diversified, flexible in many aspect with private non profit (Harvard, MIT, Brown etc) and state and city universities and also with private for profit like Devry. Like their medicine if you can afford it and are able to get in, then it is a good system. It is not accidents that USA has more than its share of innovations and discoveries
      Yes,many of the innovators are not born in the USA, but they studied there, the system, the tech transfer offices in the universities enable innovations

      • Berhe Y

        Hi iSem,

        I don’t know the relationship with vaccine and the topic at hand. Since you brought it up, let me make one point. I will concede if they make it a mandatory for every child and those elite (the politicians and the pharma company) can provide publicly their children vaccination record to prove that they are. So let’s leave that for another day.

        I was expecting this from you:)

        The UofT comparison was (considered top university in Canada compared to top Univesity in the US) and the difference. I don’t think the Canadian government is subsiding 230K.

        I am not saying the US doesn’t have good universities. If you read the article, I don’t know if you have, he is making the same argument that you are making, which is there is a lot more better schools to send your kids where they are thought to think rather than sending them to the ivy schools where it matters is money, prestige and class.

        The discussion was specific to the ivy schools (and why I think Abe believe it’s also rigged system) compared to others public state university, where students learn real life experience and become better citizens on the long term.

        I don’t know why you are going all blink on me:).

        Berhe

        • iSem

          BY:
          I brought vaccine because we being discuss this topic as long as the vaccine, got it?
          Comparing two top schools, but not good comparison, uoft is public, Harvard is private non-profit, so they do not get public money and yes government funds the university per student, that is what subsidy mean,
          It not rigged, ppl want it for associative good thing, but there are equally good schools which are public as good as uoft and even cheaper
          And also between the deductions and credits and grants and etc, an ontario student ends paying less than 5k, so it is not even 20k
          Yes he is making the same argument, I could have written it 🙂
          What he is forgetting and u also is the nature of higher education: ASSOCIATIVE GOOD the economist call it, ppl want to associate with someone who went to Harvard and they want to pay for it,it is the reverse of ur fav line: quality by substraction 🙂

          • Berhe Y

            Dear iSem,

            No, you didn’t read the article. There nothing wrong with top schools, the argument is, how the society is turning this bright students driven by ambition and prestige (parents money) and creating a class.

            And it’s for the good of the students why they should avoid the ivy schools.

            You only need certain amount of money to bring you happiness that money can buy, after that it’s just numbers.

            Berhe

          • iSem

            BY
            I am talking about a very old article that talks about the disadvantages of going to IL no energy to google, but i knew the themes and besides the point that u do not need IL to succeed, I do not agree with some points, there are many articles on ths subject and have followed a few of them
            I live in the planet called earth and there is class, nothing wrong with it, the classless socialist experiment failed. Incidentally BN article talks about God and now i say even God created class, angles and even angels have strata of class.
            Now that the angle of discussion have change, i ask you what does a class less society look like?

          • Berhe Y

            Dear iSem,

            Your I know it all attitude and I don’t need to search arguments, reminded “ሃርቨርድ እንተዘይከድና ፡ ካብ ናይ ሃርቫርድ ንላዕሊ፡ ተሞክሮታት የብልናን ማለት አይኮነን”:)

            In case you have time, I was referring to the article by Wiliam Deresiewics”. I may have used words “class” that you understood in wrong context than what I was intending to say, so to make good sense of what I mean, I would invite you to read it. What I was basing my argument, based on someone knowledge, experience of attending the IL school and thought in the school. It would be nice to read it and make your critical argument based on what he says.

            I am not saying there is no place for Harvard in society. Not at all. I was interested to respond, when someone (Nitricc) was advising someone making a decision. And If I am not mistaken, based on the comments that I read, most was argument (decision) point was focused between which IL schools. My attempt was to give another perspective there is also other side that people needs into consideration, other than the success that’s glorified, based on for the most part, how much money one will earn after words.

            If I have to advice my own daughter and if she has the dilemma of choosing the IL schools, I would really advice her not to consider any of them for the Undergrad School. It’s such an important part of life, and it should a place where one can learn to think rather than confirm.

            I don’t have the statistics or the data to back up, but in the US, specially in the last 30 years since 1988, it has become a tradition that all the US presidents either have attended or their parents have attended one of the IL school and got some sort of degree. In that same period of time, tuition fees in those IL schools have sky rocketed and it’s become almost impossible for any child with an average income possible to attend those school. I am not talking about the 1% super brilliant (who will get scholar ships or those who are selected because of their athletics or to show some diversity).
            I just am not convinced that at 250K tuition, one will get any undergrad school that can’t get in any other decent schools at fraction of amount. All that money buys you is a NAME.

            Have you seen the list of students who drop out of Harvard and become successful, and compared to those famous Harvard graduates? 🙂

            Berhe

          • iSem

            BY
            I am just writing my opinion, and I do not remember saying I know it all
            u do not need to be convinced bout 250k tuition I am just telling u people can afford it and want and the rest is irrelevant

    • iSem

      Hi BY:
      this is the same debate as teh vaccine thing
      the reason UofT is 20 is because tax payers pay for it, they get what is called demand side subsidy . The international students pay Harvard rates. Ontario soon will reduce foreign tution to like the domestic levels but it maybe only for grad
      Besides education has what they call associative value, people care who are the aluminus not just price and even quality. They do not take a dime from tax payers
      You do not have to go to Harvard to do well in the USA economy and you can go to schools as good as Uoft for even less that 20k. USA HEd is highly differentiated unlike in Canada with a lot of pathways
      There are other in higher education issues besides price: there is access and quality and funding.
      Thinks what you will about USA higher ed, it was USA who made higher education mass as opposed to elitist.
      If people can afford it,if people are willing and quality is world class like Harvard, then why not. There are lots of choices in USA and flexibility too
      About the article, it I always told you you do not need to go to Ivy league to do well: Dell did not go to IL, Gates dropped from IL, jobs did not go to IL, Oracle’s founder did not go to IL, there are a lot of schools who are good that no one hears about, it is a diversified, flexible in many aspect with private non profit (Harvard, MIT, Brown etc) and state and city universities and also with private for profit like Devry. Like their medicine if you can afford it and are able to get in, then it is a good system. It is not accidents that USA has more than its share of innovations and discoveries
      Yes,many of the innovators are not born in the USA, but they studied there, the system, the tech transfer offices in the universities enable innovations

  • saay7

    Abi:

    Have you (or you son) considered Phsysician Assistant? Takes shorter, costs a lot less and you are basically a doctor but (a) can’t perform surgery and (b) have to work under the supervision of a doctor. People who love medicine but don’t ever want to deal with being private practitioners, insurance forms, claim forms, administrative bureaucracies choose that.

    Nitrric, I didn’t answer your question because it’s so easy I am assuming it’s a trick question 🙂

    saay

    • Nitricc

      Hey SAAY, i will appreciate if you can voice your comment. I have no time to spend my time on trick questions. it is real and your help is needed. she torn between what to do. We spend time in nonsense arguing in PFDJ and Ethiopia but this real issue where you can help shaping real young woman’s life. Please Saay.

      • saay7

        Nitrric:

        Case is an extremely respectable university, specially its med school. (Just check out their alumni list.) To get a full ride is hitting the super lotto, twice. For going to Case and for going to its Med school. So, a very easy call. If daddy wants to brag about his daughter who got accepted to Harvard (and every dad would) he can brag even more about how she rejected Harvard, right?

        But you said it’s not her call so I guess it doesn’t matter and all you can do is give advice. Don’t come between her and her dad.

        saay

  • Nitricc

    Hi All, Your input very much appreciated. I have a dilemma at hand. There is a person who is going to medical school. out of many acceptance, she chose Harvard, Brown and Case western. If she goes Harvard, there is 30K out of pocket expense per year. If she goes to Brown, there is 17K out of pocket expense per year, however if she goes Case western there is no out of pocket expense. Which school would you advice her to go? I can’t decided. please tell me your take.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Nitric,

      Since Harvard and Brown universities are both from the Ivy League, there is no much difference between the two. So I will advice the person to go to Brown University to save 13k bucks to her pocket as oppose to Harvard university.

      • FishMilk

        Sorry Amanuel Hidrat but you are wrong on this one. While all three are top tier medical schools, Harvard is simply regarded (in general terms) as the best medical school in the world. The 13k that a person would pocket per year by going to Brown is chump change compared to overall lifetime earnings that come with a Harvard MD.

    • Abi

      General Nitricc
      Definitely Case Western!!!
      Are you kidding me? You are talking about $250,000 plus interest! Besides, if you check the rankings Case Western is ranked a respectable 25th of all the medical school. I also suspect this Beautiful and Genius girl resides in Ohio. That makes her close to her family.
      Funny, over the weekend I was checking medical schools with my son ( online). The cost is staggering. Free education from a top medical school is an easy decision.
      Congrats!!!!

      • FishMilk

        Hi Abi. How do you come up with $250,000? By the way, for people that do not want to go the MD route in terms of going in debt and/or from the pressure of med school, there are other cheaper and easier options. Check the new UMKC masters degree in anastesiology. Graduates from this program, which is not terribly difficult to get into, have starting salaries higher than MD general practitioners. Most people don’t know about this major or it’s equivalent, the Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) degree. They are both, at least for now, hidden secrets within the medical profession.

      • Nitricc

        Hey Ras Abi, sorry i didn’t get the chance to welcome you home. And Aman and Fishmilk. I am going address you all in one for the interest of time and Thank you for taking the time to say your take, i do appreciate it.
        The person i am talking about is from Boston. She is from an Eritrean father and Ethiopian mother. Her choice was between Brown and Case but her father demanded she goes to Harvard. She doesn’t want to disappointed her father and at the same time she thinks Harvard is too much financially. Under couch pressure, she reached me out and asked my opinion and i have no clue how the medical schools work. I mean, if you ask me, a human body is a human body medical school is medical school, regardless where she goes, at least the first four years just that but i don’t that and that why i compel to seek the aware-family. I asked her why her father demanded she goes to Harvard and she replayed that his brother’s son went to Harvard and he wants the same for her. I asked her if he will share the cost going Harvard, she said NO. I Actually the way i understood was just a bragging rights for him. She is just terrified to overrule her father. My question is, is there any difference where you medical school in the USA? I mean i don’t that is the whole point brining this issue to this forum. Like Abi Said, it is a lot of money when it is said and done. I see what Aman is saying but is there any that much difference between Brown and case? Just for your info, she have to a conform on Friday by 3 pm for Case western university. Please i want to hear from all of you such as SAAy, Beyan, Fanti, P and the rest of the of you who have some idea on this situation. She is counting on me and I couldn’t help but with your help, it is possible i can advice her with what is the best option for her. It is her desire to go to Case but she doesn’t want disappoint her father and that is where the real problem she is facing. At the end of the day, she is the one who will be stuck with bills. Thanks guys.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Nitric,

          Besides, check whether she want to be a “primary physician” or want to work in a “research setting” when she graduated. That will also help you in making selection. If she want primary physician, it doesn’t matter where she goes. But if she want in researching institutions or companies, then Harvard might be the right one from the three options.

          • FishMilk

            Hi Amanuel Hidrat. You are indeed correct in terms of what a person wants to do and what they wish to specialise in. Financially speaking, where one completes medical school does not matter as much as the specialization (if any) which they wish to pursue. For example, a GP from Harvard will make less that a person from a lower tier medical school that specialises as an Orthopaedic surgeon. Surprisingly, the toughest medical school to gain entry into, in terms of MCAT and GPA, over the past several years, has been Washington University in St. Louis.

    • Beyan

      Selam Nitricc,
      If you have the ears of the dad, I’d say to please tell him to get off his high horse and not try to make himself feel that parental pride at the expense of the girl’s future, both literally (expense-wise) and metaphorically (her freedom of choice and her happiness as she goes through the university experience). Here is what I mean:

      The girl has already proven that she has what it takes to excel at any higher education institution she goes. That being the case, I give the institutional culture equal importance. Once done, her stethoscope or scalpel (if she ends up becoming a surgeon) will not have Harvard label on it. So, please tell her to focus on what will make her happy (i.e. the university culture). She also needs to look into which medical school offers the best education vis-a-vis caring compassionately. A medical school that uses compassion as part of its curriculum is highly likely to have similar disposition toward its student body. The last thing a parent wants is for a child to go through hardship because these elites, whose parents and parents’ parents’ went to Harvard, for whom the elite school is a tradition, already feel they are entitled, and they can make a minority student feel so invisible that she will not only feel out of place, but may cause her undue stress. There is nothing worst for a student than feel so out of place, so invisible, that they may end up quitting. This is a real issue. Her character, her proclivity, in other words, if fitting into a culture is important to her, I think she should consider how diverse is the university.

      For me, as a parent, that would be what I would consider before I dispense my advice to my own daughter. It is no different here.

      By the way, I have a dear friend, who helped his nieces and his wife’s nieces to finish medical school, in addition, him and his wife went through medical field. He knows a lot about medical school. I will call him later today, and shall report to you, Nitricc.

      Beyan

    • Beyan

      Selam Nitricc,

      My friend’s suggestion is simple and to the point. No reason to get into debt. If it can be avoided, by all means, she should stay away even as elite as Harvard and Brown are. Case Western Reserve University stands as one of the top 25 medical school in the US. They are giving her free education she should take it. And then he added as caveat this: She can apply to Harvard when she does her residency, where they would pay her to practice medicine for those three years or so, thereby, making it a win-win situation for both the dad the daughter.

      Cheers,
      Beyan

  • Beyan Negash

    Likewise, many thanks for your lucid input, abdulworld. We will pick up some of the points you raised here in a different article, soon, namely, on atheism. The challenge with modern and post-modern world rests because it thrives in ambiguity, it dwells in lack of clarity, which is why some scholars find it unbearable – its seeming moral relativism, though its adherents prefer to call it “moral humility”. I am not well versed in the subject matter either. Moral ambiguity, nonetheless, seems to me to be the lot of the supporters of the regime who continue to side with a regime that harbors countless morally reprehensible actions. At any rate, here is a brief discussion by Gary Aylesworth who attempts to draw a distinction between the two:

    “Toward the end of last Sunday’s broadcast of Philosophy Talk, a caller asked whether the “moral relativism” supposedly rampant in our time was part of postmodernism. While I would certainly agree that the current hysteria over moral relativism is a postmodern phenomenon, I don’t agree that postmodern thought takes an “anything goes” view of politics or ethics, or that it prevents us from saying that the terrorists of 9/11 committed mass murder. Instead, I see postmodern thought as a kind of moral humility, a humility that prevents us from assuming that the world divides neatly into “us” and “them” or that “others” are simply evil while “we,” by mere opposition, are assured to be in the right. Such absolutism, after all, has the same structure as the ideology of the terrorists. Several figures associated with philosophical postmodernism emphasize our obligation to the other as an other, that is, not as “one of us” but as one who marks the limit of our own identity or community. It is an obligation to receive the other as such and not to silence or eliminate her. We can agree that the 9/11 terrorists violated this obligation and that they are responsible for their actions, but it also forces us to examine our own sense of victimization. Nietzsche warned us against the moral righteousness of the victim; it is dangerous because it seeks to annihilate the other and tolerates no dissent.

    “The alarms against moral relativism we hear around us are, I think, the latest bellowings of the morality of ressentiment, a morality that looks for someone or something to blame for the insecurities and uncertainties of our age. Postmodern thought did not create this situation, but tries to explore its structures and its limits. It also upholds certain Enlightenment values, such as the freedom to dissent, social and political emancipation, the rights of individuals and minorities, etc., but it does so without claiming to know, once and for all, who individuals are or what ultimately constitutes a right. That these identities must remain open is itself a moral imperative, and one that obliges us to be humble in our judgments. Moral humility, not moral relativism, is the lesson of postmodern thinking.”

    Source: https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/does-postmodernism-mean-moral-relativism

  • Correcter

    Folks,
    There has been a terrible bus accident this morning on the Asmara-Keren highway. Per official account, 33 died and 11 injured. Wow, theycelebratd independence day a couple of days ago and now they’re gone. Life is so unpredictable. Rest in peace.

  • FishMilk

    Hi all. In the U.S. at least in regards to university studies there is absolutely no reason why one should have long term sufferance financially speaking. You have to have the right major! I have personally coached two Eritrean women, both with nursing backgrounds from Eritrea, to complete graduate programs In anaesegiology. Upon graduation they were offered starting salaries of U.S. 180,000 and within two years were making U.S. 220,000.

  • said

    Greeting,

    Modern American education is run by neoliberal ideology is designed for student to enter into indentured servants, and be debt slaves. As reported by The Wall Street Journal that Mike Meru, a dentist earning $225,000 annually, has $1,060,945.42 in student loan debt. He pays $1,589.97 monthly, which is not enough to cover the interest, much less reduce the principal. Consequently, his debt from seven years at the University of Southern California grows by $130 per day. In two decades, his loan balance will be $2 million.https://www.wsj.com/articles/mike-meru-has-1-million-in-student-loans-how-did-that-happen-1527252975

    Young Americans, if they have university educations, begin life as debt slaves. Currently there are 44,200,000 Americans with student loan debt totalling $1,048,000,000,000 — $1.48 trillion!https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/
    In the US all 50 states have publicly supported universities where tuition is supposed to be nominal in order to encourage education. Way back in the good old days in 50th and 60th When annual tuition was less than $500. Loans were not needed and did not exist.
    What happened? Financial capitalism discovered how to turn university students into indentured servants, and the university administrations cooperated. Tuitions rose and rose and were increasingly allocated to administration, the cost of which exploded. Today many university administrations absorb 75% of the annual budget, leaving little for professors’ pay and student aid. An obedient Congress created a loan program that ensnares young American men and women into huge debt in order to acquire an university education. With so many of the well-paying jobs moved offshore by neoliberal economics, the jobs available cannot service the student loan debts. A large percentage of Americans aged 25-35 live at home with parents, because their jobs do not pay enough to service their student loan debt and pay an apartment rent. Debt prevents them from living an independent existence.

  • Beyan

    Selam Mr. abdulworld,

    Your point about African countries as points of comparison is duly noted. Fourfold points that readily come to mind by way of rejoinder are thus:

    (1) My Western education and seeing my own children in real time going through the school system here makes it rather easy to piece an opinion that caters for the kind of a medium we engage in.

    (2) The use of the US and the Saudi school systems as comparative points was not necessarily to draw any conclusions, but to use as examples to show what can go right and what can go wrong respectively when school policies are drawn helter-skelter (i.e., Saudi) rather than analysis is done, ideas scrutinized by experts in their field of endeavors (i.e., US). That was the intent. There is no data-point that one can use from Eritrea to make a legitimate comparisons, which is why I was delighted to see someone like Samuel writing from his educational experience in the Higdef era. He would’ve been an ideal case study that would inform our understanding of the school system in Eritrea absent access to any data.

    (3). I will be the last one to defend this: That you are right, there are other African countries that one can draw parallels from, even that of Ethiopia’s educational system could be used as a comparative point to see the evolutionary process of Eritrea’s educational system from its Haile Selassie years; to Dergue era; to the current Ethiopia’s school system compared to what Eritrea has now. Obviously, you can see the kind of resources one would need to do research on this. This, in my opinion, can be used on the next phase of curriculum and instruction policy that can be developed, post the homegrown dictatorship. Mine was, simply put, a fleeting observation – It was not a study, rather an opinion piece that I was hoping to attract individuals like Samuel and many others who maybe in the same predicament who can articulate their ideas the way he did.

    (4). In the last book review I did, I underlined for the need of Pan Africanism when we wish to ground our studies, philosophies, social and political issues rather than basing it on the Western notions, because our sensibilities align more with Africa. This isn’t to suggest that there won’t be ideas that we can borrow from other parts of the world, of course, we will be enriched by some such reference points so long we don’t import them wholesale. Chomsky is one of the finest thinkers and public intellectual that this country has produced, his criticism of modernists and postmodernists in the context of the West might be on point.

    You may also want to consider whence Chomsky’s educational background emanates from. His linguistic philosophy background, one who saw “language as a faculty of the mind/brain” that changed the study of cognitive science irreversibly. In this sense, Chomsky is pure structuralist and that would be where he would fall in the spectrum of how language is structured. Therefore, it is easy to see why he would think modernism and postmodernism as “verbal jousts”.

    But, for our purposes, in Eritrean context, that is, my take is that we be open to all ideologies, study them thoroughly and then make them cater to our society’s needs. Enter the world of structuralists like de Saussure, Levi-Strauss, where intellectual linguists like Chomsky’s come in to appropriate it in the context of the US. So criticism of the modernist and postmodernists emanates from that tradition in that they are the offshoots of structuralism and rose to challenge it as deconstructionists like the late French scholar, Derrida does to his predecessors of modernist and postmodernist such as Foucault.

    Beyan
    P.S. With a choice of a name like Abdul-World, I thought you would be up-in-arms when Awate forumers were assaulting atheism left and right about two weeks ago now; adherents of some such principles of atheism and its tenets, gathering from the penname you chose for yourself, as I take you to fall along the lines of atheists, what gives Mr. Abdulworld?

  • Bayan Negash

    Many thanks Abi, but Sal is always on target with his criticism. It is something I would readily acknowledge and I think I did alread. Needless to say, shortcoming do have some viable purposes, after all. Look at how the conversation was elevated when you, Sal, iSem, Berhe Y, blink, Mez, Abrehet, Paulos, TsaTse, A. Osman, Nitricc, halafi mengedi, etc. contributed to the conversation. If I have forgotten anyone, it was intentional at all, you can always blame it on Sal who blames the short-circuiting to the pangs of hunger that I am suffering from these days.

    Sincerely,
    Beyan

  • ሰላማት ኩቡራት ‘ሕዋት፡ኽ

    ቅድሚ ክልተ ሰዓት ኣቢሉ፡ ዳርጋ ርብዒ ዓመት ዝተጽበኽዋ ዳብዳቤ ኣብ ኣፍደገ ካንሸለወይ ደብኽ በለትኒ። አዛ ደብዳቤ ትሕዝቶኣ ኸኣ ብ አንካብ ዘመነ “ሓቦባ ነጃት” ቅድሚ ዓሰርተ ሚልዮን ዓመታት ክሳብ መውዳአታ ካላ ኣይ ሚለኒዮም ድሕረ ልደተ ክርስቶስ ኣብ ኤርትራ ዝወደቑ ቃላት፡ ከባቢ ዓሰርተ ኣሽሓት ቅላት ትግርኛ ዝሓዘለት ኢያ። ብሃንቅውታ ከኣ ከፈተ ኩላ ትሕዝቶኣ፡ ልዕሊ ሽሕ ፊልዮ ገጻት፡ ግንጽል ግንጽል ‘ቢለ ኣንበብክዋ።

    አወ ልክዕ ኣለኹም፥ ከምዚ ኢልኩም ምስ አትሓቱ፥– ርብዒ ዓመት አተ ጸበኻያ ል-አኽቶ፡ ናይ ዓሰርተ ሚልዮንን ክልተ ሽሕን ዖሰርት ሸሞንተ ዖመታት ካብ መርየት ንሰማያት ንጠፈር ዝተደምጻ ኩለን ቃላት፥ ኣብ ሽሕ ፊልዮ ገጻት ዝተጻሕፈት ደብዳቤ ሲ ም አቲ ዓመትን ሽሕ ወርሕን ሰላሳን ኣርባዕተን ሰሙናት ክልተ መዕልትን ክልተ ሰዓትን ኢዩ ዝወስደልካ ከተንብባ ኢልኩም፥ ሓቅነት ናይ “ኣብ ክልተ ውሽጢ ክልተ ሰዓት ኣንቢበ ወዲኤያ” ዝብለኩም ዘልኹ ብዓይኒ ጥርጣሬ ክትነጽግዎ ትኽ-አሉ አወ።
    ግን አተን የዒንትኹም ብ ጮግሪ ቆርበት በጊዕ፥ (ኤ ዉል ካቨሪን ዮር ኣይስ ይብሉ ፈረንጂ) ከምዘይተሸፈና ይ-ኣምነልኩም። ከመይሲ አንተበልኩም ነፍሲ ወከፍኩም ቅርንብ ፎሲ ንፋስ ጸጸር መከላኸሊ ቅርንብ ዓይንኹም ‘ሞ ቁጸርን ምስ አዘን ድምር 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,[34]55 ልዕሊ ሚ-አቲ ሙኻነን ኣረጋግጹ።
    ፍብ ብቋንቃ ኢንግሊዘኛ ትርጉማ ሓሶት ማለት ኢዩ። ኣነ ከኣ ፊብ/ሓሶት ኣይነግርን ኢየ።
    ኣብ ድሮ ነጻነት ካብ ባዕዳዊ መግዛአቲ ሃገረ ኤርትራ፡ ክልተ ወሲኽካ ርብዒ ዘመን ዝረብሖ ዘመን፡ ምት-አትውታው ዘመነ ውርቃዊት ምቅሊት ብዕልና ኤርትራውያን ነስተግብሮ አንዳበልኩ፡ ገለ ን-አሽተይ ካብ ትሕዝቶታት ናይ ሓወይ ብያን ደብዳቤ ኣብ ታሕቲ ከስፍረልኩም ኣፍቅዱለይ።
    ቅድም ግን አዘን ዝስዕባ ትርጉም ወርቃዊት ምቅሊት ኣቓልቦ ኣቓልቦ ኣቓልቦ እቓልቦ ግበሩለን!!!!

    ወርቃዊት ምቅሊት – 1. አቲ ምሉአ ኣብ ልዕሊ ዝዓበየ ኣካል፡ አቲ ዝዓበየ ኣካል ከኣ ኣብ ልዕሊ ዝነኣሰ። [ቅርንብ ዓይንኹም ኣይትደፈኑ ሃልዉለይ ተደመሩለይ ሰስኑለይ የሕዋት ደቂ ሃገረይ ኤርትራ! ሰስኑ ኣሰር ኣውሊዕ ድምር ኣብልዕሊ ደምር 1,1,2,3,5,8,21,[34]55.. ኩኑ!]

    ደብዳቤ ል-አኽቲ ካብ ሓወይ በያን ከምዚ ኢላ ትጅምር፡
    “ሰላም ሰለሙን፡ ኣብዛ ድሮ ንጻነት በዓል አንዳ ኣብዕልና ንዛ ዘመናዊ መዝገብ፨ ፨ ፨] ሓሳብ ልብኻ ‘ስመረልካ! በል ኣብ አዋና ኣብ ድሮ በጽሐትኒ። ኣቓልቦ ይሃብና ልዑል ፈጣሪ፡ ኣቓልቦ ኩላትና ኤርትራውያን ኢዩ ዝጠልብ ዘሎ ኢዚ ሓድሽ ዘመን ሓድሽ መድረኽ።

    ካብታ ቦኽሪ ቃል ዘውደቕኩላ ቃልን ቀዳሞት ንዔንተይ ዝሰሓባ ቃላት አዘን ዝስዕባ ኢየን፥

    ፊ) ኣቓልቦ፡ ናብ ሓደ ነገር ምስትብሃል ወይ ምትካር ወይ ኣገባብ። ትኹርት፡ ቆላሕታ
    ፉ) ኣቕለብ፡ 1. ናብ ሓደ ነገር ኣስተብሃለ ኣተኮረ ኣዘንበለ፡ ተሳሕበ። 2. ናብ ሓደ ተግባር፡ ዕዮ፡ ዕማም ወዘት ጥራይ ኣድሃብ፡ ንምፍጻም ወይ ንምግባር ተበገሰ፡ ንምስልሳል ተላዕለ።
    ፌ) ቀምበር፡ 1. ዋንነት ንምልላይ ኣብ ልዕሊ ዚሽየጥ ከብቲ ዝግበር ምልክት። 2. ናይ ዝሞተ አንስሳ ተረፍ፡ ግምቢ፡ ግረንገር።
    ፍ) ቅምቅም፥ ብዙሕ ተዛረበ። ዓደኾ፡ ትዝህረ። ተዛራቢ ለፍላፊ ጃህራም ዓደኾ
    ፎ) ዓንቃሪቦ – Fish hook

    And finally The Susa Alata message to Haw Profesor Beyan. (Without the aid of translator.. please don’t allow DEFAR youngster Professor Denmarkino AArkey grade this one…It is mostly colloquial Sudanese Arabic from memory ) Happy Eritrean Independence Day! to All and Romadan Kerim.

    حالاة يا اوستاز بيان
    انشااله انتا ماعا اهلك وعيالك بالخير. رماران كريم!
    ال كتاب جات الليلا. يعني حسا. قراءت الجواب كتبتاليي. شوكران!
    مالاكين يمكن ترروص مني حيساب. ماراتين ١٥٢٢ معا ١٠٠ يكون ٣٥٠.
    كتبتا تلاث مىا. بل ال اوقاة تقرىناا يقولو “سوسا الاتا 🙂

    AmEritrean gitSAtSE Counter Narrative 2018; 2X + Saay’s 7 = 27! X is
    Abbu AAshera Weapon X – Evolution!
    ጻጸ

    • Paulos

      Tsatse Arkey,

      You know, this Denmarkino thing really caught up and I am so used to it. It is funny really. ንስኻስ ኣይትሳኣን as my mother would say it.

    • Bayan Negash

      kbur Haw ጻጸ,

      I am glad to hear that the Tigrinya Dictionay has found a home where it can be made to a efficient and a good use. I have had it for about 18 years now. And I referred to it only a handful of times, because Tigrinya language has been relegated to the realms of the spoken word in my life since I left home, seemingly now, eons ago. Time permitting, I plan to begin to devour it much as what you are now doing with the Arabic language.

      The cause for which both of us, you dispensing your money to get it, and me dispensing something I cherished for such a long time, deciding to auction it so both of us in the end contributing to keep the lights of awate website on is, in my estimate, admirable. I am immensely grateful to your generosity, my brother as I am sure the AT is as well.

      Sincerely & Respectfully,
      Abi Hawka,
      Beyan

  • blink

    Dear beyan
    As always thanks for giving us something that is really important to look at.
    I think vocational education also cost a great deal of money especially if the state did not plan like what kind of man power it needs in which very few country master and many fails in developing countries . All first degree can be taken in vocational system for example nursing , IT , accountant and many other fields are being given in colleges in many European countries for example IT , accountant and nursing needs only integrated system with in the educational system of a country but can a poor country like Eritrea carry the cost with out tapping to big tax system in which very hard to get in a developing country . Eritrea needs a unique combination of relevant content , practical implementation of skills to prop up its young population and the problem with PFDJ is that they always go back word , In a PFDJ world even if you are educated you are forced to work under 6th grade old guy who count his salary from day one to the end of the month. I think Eritrea needs to move away from the traditional quality of mastery because it is a waste of time for the student and a waste of money for the state because the system does not provide financial literacy students will need to manage very few resources and it does not guide them to opportunities for securing their future nor does it has a look at creating wealth. Many educational programs typically adapt traditional western models of education and i think it is time developing countries move away from this and connect their own that can combine traditional content with critically important financial , health ,and administrative skills via existing schools in order to face the next technological advances because look Dell is already history in PC and so some parts of IBM , the work force will change dramatically away from the current one we have , for example in my field where technology really matters , every company is investing in the next generation and i don’t know if any African state can do such thing but they can benefit greatly if they did not go after every western model . For example in Eritrea what the state can do is introducing mandatory courses in health , entrepreneurship , basic computer and many other courses because this can help put conceptual knowledge into practice at school through activities that empower students to use what they have learned . For example students can practice routine health behaviors , such as hand washing to the extent to gain exposure to other important behaviors . In entrepreneurship they can practice routine market -like transactions by earning points for school work and budgeting points to get some thing. Remember we have very poor society and students can actually dream solving their community problems by discussing and debating about the problem because lest face it , what is the probablity that 90% of one villages students can go to university ?

    I think developing countries need more vocational than more universities but to completely destroy university in search of barracks is simply unheard of .

    • Bayan Negash

      Many thanks blink for your input – Well said. Hope my above entry gives some sense that I concur with your assertions. A lot of quotable sentences in your entry above, blink. One that stands out to me is this: “…we need the change for many reasons and one of them is as getting information was a training for colonial bureaucracies this hasn’t been relevant for over 50 years in developing countries.” The colonial and postcolonial eras are my area of interest in their impact on language, literacy, and culture. So, I see where you are coming from here, blink.

      The approach of losers and winners in education should be removed from our mindset – That’s the very problem of capitalistic mentality. Instead of this approach, it should aim at giving children that chance to excel, not decide for them from their formative years what their path in life will based on their race, class, and gender (i.e., the US). It is deeply entrenched dilemma, structurally flawed system we have here when it comes to education, though it still produces literate individuals, but by far it has a long way to go in ameliorating the social ailment that it suffers from attendant to its dark history of slavery. For example, the illiteracy rate in this country is astounding to wrap one’s head around to. The U.S Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy puts “32 million adults in the U.S.[who] can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read”. All is not hanky dory in this land of milk and honey either.

      Hawka,
      Beyan

  • Nitricc

    Hi Beyan, nice read. I don’t anything about Eritrean education system is, but judging from afar, the Eritrean government believes that education should be about knowledge of values not knowledge facts. As the saying goes …“The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.” I tend to agree. I know the Eritrean government never gets any credit but sometimes, I call to the learned once to show some value because we know the facts.

    • Mez

      Dear Nitricc,
      Please explain, What you understand with: “The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values”.

      Thanks

  • saay7

    Abi:

    Beyan is a friend and if I go overboard he will edumacate me.

    On iSem, I am glad he ended up in astronomy. He was considering bagpiping (study of bagpipes), then he switched to farrier science (horseshoe making) and he had finally settled into nautical archaeology.

    iSem, did you know that vocational education in the US was launched in reaction to Germany’s apprenticeship programs? That is the motherland of vocational ed. Now, even the most live-free-or-die state in the US, New Hampshire, (and almost all Eastern states and most of the Midwest) have apprenticeship programs.

    saay

    • iSem

      Hi Sal:
      Yes German is what you say it is, but not at the expense of the others. Example, I know you know that the research university was also a German invention, Berlin and William Hodlment comes to mind before the rest of Europe. G
      Then Flexner in 1930 in USA, the Idea of modern University then Kerr /(Multi university), so what I am saying is u need the appret. that created middle but not without the knowledge generating side that Germany is, that USA is.
      When Abi says vocational I hear dabbo biccha, when PFDJ says vocational I hear plumbing and auto mechanic

      Yes Germany and USA have the apprent so much so that during the boom in Canada we were hiring tool and die makers all the way from Germany. But these two countries are the home of Pfizer and Bayer and other giants

  • iSem

    Hi AbiWelcome home
    But trouble is vocational education does not garantee dabbo, specially in the absence of sound economic policy, that was the point

  • سلامات اوستاز بيان
    درست اللغة العربية لفترة وجيزة في المدرسة الابتدائية. ومع ذلك ، بعد أن هبطت إلى الولايات المتحدة في سن مبكرة ، فقدت الكثير مما تعلمته في ذلك الوقت. قبل بضعة أيام ، تعثرت في فيديوهات يوتيوب لرجل مسلم يعلّم اللغة العربية ، بما في ذلك الكتابة. كان من دواعي سروري أن أكتشف أنني لا أزال أقرأ بشكل جيد ، وقررت أن أذهب من خلال الدورة بأكملها من أجل تذكر اللغة المحكية كذلك.

    “إن الهدف الأساسي للتربية الليبرالية ، إذن ، هو تنمية عقل الشخص وإصابته بالعدوى ، من أجل الشخص ذاته … ويهدف التعليم إلى تطوير الفرد البشري ، الشخص ، بدلاً من خدمة الدولة”.
    على الرغم من أنني محروم منه ، فقد حمل أخي لقب دليل الموارد البشرية في إريتريا مع وزارة التعليم. هذا الموضوع هو أكثر عزيزة على قلبي. هناك عدة طرق للخطاب الذي أفكر فيه.
    الآن سوف أسأل: ما الدور الذي يمكن أن تلعبه الدورات التدريبية على الإنترنت ، مثل كورسيرا التي ذكرتها منذ عدة أيام ، فيما يتعلق بالطلاب الإريتريين الذين يدرسون تعليم الفنون الحرة؟

    ابو عاشرا وبن X – ايبلوشن!
    ساسى

    • Paulos

      Selam Tsatse Arkey,

      Impressed but not fair to the rest of us who don’t understand Arabic.

      • Abrehet Yosief

        Selam Paulos,
        Ever heard of google translate? He still signs off Abu Ashera Ben X but what is Ayblushn? Only Tsatse knows.

        • Paulos

          ሰላም ክብርቲ ሓፍተይ,

          Tried but was too sophisticated for Google and suggested to wait for Google-Next-Generation.

        • A.Osman

          Selam Abrehet,
          Ayblushn…am guessing…Evolution

          I thought even the original was done with Google assistance…Tsatse needs to explain as the word landed=هبطت sounded incorrect usage and I suspected a bit of google translation there but am the last person to know…I once tried using machine translation in a job where a client insisted to get Arabic translation…I think it was Microsoft translator and I was quite pleased with the production as it looked good to me, especially the formatting :). Unfortunately, it could not pass the first eyes of an Arabic speaker and my attempt was condemned from the get go.

          Regards
          AOsman

          PS..I see the evolution explained by Tsatse

        • Bayan Negash

          Selam Abrehet,

          A friend called who was laughing hilariously at the whole picture of my google translating Tsatse’s Arabic entry. I did not read the Arabic entry for I was pressed for time, but I did it when I saw Paulos’s note to it. This friend said, couldn’t you see the Arabic was google translated from English and then you went ahead translated it back into English getting this hilarious interpretations that Ms. Google was made as confused by the whole process and produced another layer of translated work. He made my day though for it left me laughing uproariously as well. Ah, the things done in haste can produce!

          Beyan

    • Bayan Negash

      Hala GitSAtSe,

      Just for the fun of it, here is the translated version of your message, courtesy of google translator. She does a decent job, I’d say. She can even equipped with a mic if you would prefer to be read to:

      Salamat Ostaz Bayan

      I studied Arabic briefly in primary school. However, having landed in the United States at an early age, I lost much of what I learned at the time. A few days ago, I stumbled into YouTube videos of a Muslim man who knew Arabic, including writing. I was pleased to discover that I still read well and decided to go through the entire course in order to remember the spoken language as well.

      The main aim of liberal education, therefore, is to develop the person’s mind and infection, for the same person … The education aims at developing the human individual, the person, rather than serving the state. ”
      Although I am deprived of it, my brother carried the title of the Human Resources Manual in Eritrea with the Ministry of Education. This topic is more dear to my heart. There are several ways of speaking.
      Now I will ask: What role can online courses, such as the Corsaira I mentioned several days ago, play for Eritrean students studying liberal arts education?

      Abo Ashra and Ben X – Applucion!

      • Selamat Beyan, Abrehet, Paulos and all,

        The youtube video I will be utilizing to refresh my Arabic is “Lets speak arabic” Dr. Imram Alawiye; And there are others. I can read and write Arabic same as I can with Spanish. The problem is I have forgotten a lot of the spoken language. Without effort, Arabic is becoming as foreign as French. I do not know French. Also, when I tried to download the Arabic script all I got was a bunch of converter extensions loaded into my chrome. Some did not work properly. I am browsing for a decent Arabic fonts now — suggestions welcomed. So what I did with the above submission is a combination of online Arabic font converters and google translate. Upwards to thirty percent of the words I got from google translate are I did not or don’t yet know. Still doing Dr. Amalye’s youtube course. Why not and the points I will be making in this important discourse. First, I will correct the intended messages of the post.
        1. 2nd Para should read: “The primary purpose of liberal education, then, is the cultivation of the person’s intellect and imagination , for the person’s own sake… The education is meant to develop the individual human being, the person, rather them to serve the state.”
        2. 3rd Para.: Although I am estranged, since circa 2003 from him and family, my brother has held the title of Eritrea’s Human Resource Director and has built his portfolio on Curriculum Design with the Ministry of Education — I believe he is now at the University of Hong Kong doing post graduate work. Therefore, this topic is even more to my heart. There are several approaches I have in mind for a constructive conversation and am hoping the likes of Abrehet, Samuel and Paul will be generous with their commentary.
        3. The Coursera, you Beyan mentioned in one of our text messaging conversations. And am asking you now to consider these resources as to what role such online education can play as far as Eritrean students pursuing a broader liberal arts education. Your thoughts on this I am requesting.
        4. Abrehet, Ebulusin is “Evolution”. There is no “v” or “p” or X in the Arabic script. Paul, rather than “wait for google for next generation” why not build one. Also, the Arabic Aleph, Ba, Ta Sa you can learn in a half hour. Roughly the same number of the roman alphabets — Try it and with your next posting write one sentence IT IS A CHALLENGE!

        Having said all of the above, I briefly mention my intended next comment and the direction I would like us to pursue in our current conversation. I will be presenting The Golden Ratio, i.e ወርኽቃዊት ምቅሊት። ዩ ፒ ኤስ አንዳ ተጸበኹ ኢየ። ክስብ መጽሓፈይ ኣብ ኢደይ ትብጽሕ፡ ዝሓሸት ትርጉም ዘ ጎልድን ረሺዮ ብትግርኛ ክትልግሱለይ ብትሕትና ይሓተኩም ኩቡራት የሕዋት። አዚ ቅንያት አዋን ምት አቱታው ዘበነ ወርቃዊት ምቅሊት ኢዩ። We have a golden opportunity to cease the day. The golden ratio’s intersection period is now. I will be explaining the formula 2X + Saay’s 7 = 27 And the value of X. In the mean time you can Wikipedia The Golden Ratio and familiarize yourselves with it..

        AmEritrean GitSAtSE Counter Narrative 2018; 2X + Saay’s7 = 27
        أبو عشيرا መሳርያ X – Evolution!
        ጻጸ

  • saay7

    Abi:

    We agree on education so consistently I forgive your fixation with HSI. Yes to vocational education above all, yes to English as medium of instruction as early as possible (if we assume globalism is not reversible.)

    Bayan, I think you posted this while suffering from the pangs of Ramadan very prematurely. It needed more time in the oven:)

    On the education system in the US, well, you left out two huge (huge) inputs:

    (a) public education came as a reaction to the proliferation of the only kind of school known upto the 19th century: religious education. And to this day, the debate continues between public schools (creating a citizen with shared values) and private (formerly parochial) schools (creating free citizens who believe there are laws higher than man.) The public’s won after world war 2 (very recent) and largely to the inevitable nationalism. The two sides have reached truce: there will be compulsory education, but kids don’t have to attend public schools; they can attend private schools.

    (b) there has been a huge disparity between rich and poor, black and white, male and female when it came to public schools. Remember “separate but equal” was about schools and its reversal, Brown v Board of Educafion (only in 1954!) was recent. Then came white flight from urban areas and a weird funding system (from property taxes) that has created extremely poor quality, minority populated schools and very high quality, “mainstream” schools.

    In short, at the k-12 level, the US educational system is riddled with imperfections and flaws that appears to be way too hard to solve. In contrast, the postsecondary education system (institutes, colleges, universities) is truly the best in world (per world rankings) but since its feeder are the k-12, they are heavily skewed to certain demographics.

    Across all ethnicities, females outnumber males in US institutions of higher learning but as you go to higher degrees, from undergraduate to graduate to doctorate to post, the female:male ratio for Black Americans goes from 6:4 all the way to 7:1. Stunning.

    The Saudis? Why did you bring them even as an example? Their attitude towards immigrants is absolutely unIslamic: we have entire generation of Eritreans (I am sure Ethiopians and from everywhere) who couldn’t go to school. I saw gigantic poster of the so-called Vision : how can you have education when you treat an enquiring mind as apostasy? and their attitude towards women? A guy you and I know was heading to Saudi Arabia to teach female students accounting. And he can’t see them and they can’t see him. I asked him isn’t that why they invented online education? What is the frigging point?

    Anyway. PFDJs Eritrea has the right idea and priorities about education: the problem is of course PFDJ; it has, as an awatista once noted the reverse Midas touch. Everything it touches turns to ashes.

    saay

    PS: the doctor who is caring for Mrs Trump is from Haiti. Favorite tweet: “not bad for a guy from a $h**hole country!”

    • iSem

      Ramadan Karim Sal:
      I am fasting but I cannot just because of the last line:
      Now in the spirit R, why would PFDJ’s vocational bent educational system is good for Eritrea, this by extension is blessing of closing UofA (AU) (depending when we are talking about.)
      In a nutshell here is the PFDJ education systems:
      Eritrea needs 100 agricultural techs for every lawyer
      Eritrea needs 150 accountants for every political scientist
      Eritrea needs 200 engineers for every social scientist
      You can ask Gheteb for the source, I am not pulling it from thin air
      I know accounting, engineering and technicians are important, we live in engineered world, we can see it, feel it
      Europeans like Newton and Fermat and the great mathematics who salvage Europe from dark ages its gilded age, to light, to prosperity did not study in vocational schools, they studied liberal arts, math, technology, philopshy, Even the creator of modern economics was a philosopher
      The founder of Iland U was a cardinal, H Newman who is invoked in the lecture hall of your field (education) and in Idea of a university said, the university should not a place were people study vocation, but liberal art
      But the Prussian Holdment of Berlin U and the university of today, teacher scholar comes largely from his thinking
      This idea that vocational education is tops to other is an idea of dictators to produce non-intellectual, people who will fix their cars, count their money and keep the lights on and the planes flying
      You need a mix of them. You mentioned higher education and Cali has a good combo, thanks to a guy called Clark Kerr and his master plan, good for access and quality and pathways and differentiation. you have a teaching university, both teaching and research u, a flexible system that avoid pigeonhole the learner
      PFDJ having the right education idea? more reason to hold this holly month every 4 years in Cali

      • saay7

        iSem:

        You are mangling the Sudanese joke: tell it properly. He said Ramadan should be like World Cup, rotated between the Muslim countries. This means it would be Sudan’s turn to fast every 100 years:)

        On the vocational vs academic prioritizing for all poor countries (by the way, IT is vocational; nursing is; so is accounting: So is every healthcare field upto but not including PA and MD) so don’t think of only plumbers and welders. The idea is market-demanded education as opposed to “let’s create well rounded citizens” education. This way we would have lawyers and doctors that the market can bear and for the latter it is massive.

        saay

        • iSem

          Hi Sal:
          yea thanks for doing it:-) The guy studied math, not vocation, he
          calculated it:-)

          • saay7

            iSem:

            I knew it! When you hear vocational you are not thinking, say, CNC machinining which requires higher math. CAD. Math. In the academic world you major in math you become a math teacher.

            saay

          • iSem

            Haa Saleh
            basket weaving:-) the differential equation that governs the basket patterns
            Speaking of whicj, you know I read that Fenyman, American who won Nobel in Physics once went to his dean as a young prof and showed him the math that works when you throw a paper plate in the caffeteria and the dean looked at him and said ,Fenyman get a life, but he later developed that to higher math to win the prize

          • ሰላማት ኣይሰም፣

            ኣዲታትካን ዓባይካን ብተፈላለይ ሕብርታት ነታ ወርቃዊት ምቅሊት፣ (ህ+በ)/በ = ህ/በ = ፊ = ሓደ ነጥቢ ሽዱሽተ8033, ዘንጸባርቕ ጂኦመትሪካዊ ቅርጽታት ይሰርሓ ነበራ።

            አሞ፣ ካብ ርቻርድ ፈኒመን ዝበለን ኣብዚ ክጠቕሰልካ። አታ ቀዳመይቲ ንዓኻ ክትምልክት ኮላ አታ ካላኣይቲ ከኣ ንዓይ፥
            1) አቲ ቅዳማይ መርገጺ ክትግብሮ ዘይብልካ ንነብስኻ ምዕሻው አዩ፣ ንስኻ ካኣ ዝቐለለ ተዓሻዊ ወዲ ሰብ ኢኻ።
            2) ኣነ ክምህዞ ዘይካኣልኩ፣ ኣይርዳኦን ኢየ።

            ሊበራል ኣርትስ ኣስተምህሮ፣ ሰፊሕ መሰረት ናይ ስነፍልጠት ኣብ ትቕሚ ብዙሓን ሰፊሕን ሞያታት ዝውዕል ኢዩ።
            ንስኻ ኽ ሰመረ ኩሉ ምስ ተገበን ተባህለን አንታይ ኣጥርየ ክትብል ኢኻ? አዋናቱ አዋን ወርቃዊት ምቅሊት ኢዩ ሎም ዘበን።

            ኣቡ ዓሸራ ወፖን ኤክስ – ኤቮሉሽን
            ጃይጻጸ

          • Berhe Y

            Dear saay,

            I don’t think opening new vocational collages is a problem if it was done in addition of the one university. But PFDJ policy was on purpose to shut down the university so it doesn’t create a poroblem in the furrier for the government as it did in 2001.

            Hi Abi,

            US is great not only because of the vocational training but also primarily because of the immigrants that come and pursue higher education and invent everything.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Berhe:

            What I am saying is the “then you graduate high school, then you go to university, then you major in medicine, law or engineering” trajectory every parent hopes for their child is unrealistic and the problem with many countries is their educational system is geared to accommodate that expectation (for few) and nothing meaningful (for everybody else.) One that normalizes vocational education as the destination for the 80% and the academic for the 20% is good for everyone.

            In fact that’s what I would tell Eritrean immigrants who were either (a) not straight A students or (b) have no idea what their aptitude is : stop goofing around taking a semester at your community college while you are trying to figure things out and enroll at a vocational college. Finish that, get a path to a career then in your leisure time, you can take whatever classes you want. MIT for example has its entire curriculum online and you can download it. It did that a few years ago when trying to make the point that it’s not the content that makes the difference but aptitude and interest.

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            There is nothing you wrote here that I am disagreeing.

            To keep the issue focused in Eritrea, unless I misunderstood you, are you in agreement that the Eritrean government closure of AU and replace them with the collages?

            Why can’t it be, as you said, 20% go to the University and the rest go to the collages? The only way to do so, it’s not because what the parents want or wish for their children, but based on test results and score they get.

            If I am not mistaken, I think that was the case, even when I was student in high school during the Derg time.

            Those who got 3.0 plus on their matriculation (like Paulo) get to go to University and those of us who got 2.6 and 2.8 went to collages. With the closet of AU Paulos would be forced to study in the collages even though he has the aptitude and interest to so.

            I really do not understand what the issue is and the reason for the UA closure, other than political motives.

            Berhe

          • iSem

            BY and Sal:

            it really does not matter what the inst is called, college/politech or uni, it is what it does. In USA when u say Obama went to Colombia for college and Harvard for law, they are saying undergrad and pst grad. In Canada when you say college, think vocational/ two years. But now that is changing as colleges are doing applied research and offering degrees as well

            In Russia poitech is the best of the breed. But the issue is when PFDJ is against the intellectual fields.

            But we are not saying push everyone to academics, you need both of them specially if the expanded definition of vocation includes, law and nursing as Sal indicated. I am saying that the PFDJ obsession with plumbing, electricians and plumbers is in keeping with its unti-intellectuals

            Sal is elevating the definition, if that is the case, fine but vocation training as PFDJ defines is not good for Eritrea

            and besides in countries like Eri where is no innovation, where are the jobs to come from to demand the skills. in Europe when science bloomed the demand of vocations increased and the guild training the scholars and that is how the university bloomed. Geman is the place for appt, but it is also a it is the home of one fine universities unlike Mai Nefhi. You can do apprentice in anything even in philosophy, that is what Pluto was and that is how all education started.

            It is the German guy (Humboldt) model of higher education who said: free to teach and free to learn and the German model now is beyond vocational training

            BY are u thinking of Paul the guy I met in the train with my calculus book and he he wrote my name on his calculus book:-)

          • saay7

            Berhe:

            To keep the issue focused in Eritrea, unless I misunderstood you, are you in agreement that the Eritrean government closure of AU and replace them with the collages?

            Not at all. There is necessity for both: but in developing countries the focus ought to be vocational: to prepare people for employment. Remember Serrays dictum: PFDJ does everything wrong.

            saay

          • Mez

            Dear Berhe,
            The interesting part in the US is around 53% of scientists and engineers working are graduates of foreign universities (non us-educational facilities) from overseas.

            Thanks

        • Bayan Negash

          Selam Sal Y. & iSem,

          It is no joke, I have a compromise on this where it is a win-win for all involved in that fasting be made once a week for an entire year, for the rest of our lives. So, TsaTse can bring up a formula using longevity of an average man/woman to see whether we would end up fasting more or less. Just in one year alone, you have 52 days of fasting, almost twice as much as the current approach of one month out of the year. The lunar calendar usually gives us 28 to 29 days in a month. This looks more promising than the Sudanese one, albeit done in a farcical manner. Allah yisamHku ya iSem wa Sal. Y.

          Beyan

    • Bayan Negash

      Greetings Gentlemen,

      It’s either the pang of hunger during the day or under the influence of gluttony in the evening, both of which are not ideal time for the muse to be on one’s side to write to a heart’s content. But, I was really glad to see a whole lot of good stuff coming by way of Awate forumers, who seldom disappoint. The only disappointment might be that I am having trouble catching up at the speed in which this conversation is proceeding. Now, too, I just want to acknowledge that I will sign off for now, but hope to come back later at night to read the rest of the entries so I mind my virtual store appropriately, Meanwhile, many thanks to you both and all Awatawyan for minding the virtual store on my behalf.

      Beyan

  • halafi mengedi

    Beyan,

    Reading your article, this quote by Hanna Arendt comes to mind, “The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.”

    In other words, pfdj is trying and succeeding, to great degree, to create a ‘sakit’ society.

    hm

    • Bayan Negash

      selam halafi mengedi,
      All indicators point that Higdef’s sole purpose for ruling Eritrea is toward dumbing down of the mind, however, fine that Eritrean grey matter is, because they know a fine tuned mind will not allow them to rule the nation with an iron fist. The United Negro College Fund in the US used to have a powerful message when it wanted to raise funds. The advert on TV, this is way before the advent of the Internet, by the way, and the crux of the visual message is always followed by “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste”. So, our Higdef has been wasting a whole lot of brain cells of our young. So, Arendt’s message right on target.
      Beyan

  • Paulos

    Selam Dr. Beyan,

    I just finished reading your article which I think could have been expanded a bit further where the comparison with the US and SA’s philosophical underpinnings might have carried more weight, say, if you had picked up where Samuel Emaha left off. Nevertheless, it is a good read.

    Certainly, if Enlightenment’s mission statement created critical departure from understanding reality through the prism of divine intervention including superstition, it was Plato who introduced us to the Philosopher-Kings who are delegated by a sense of moral responsibility to bring out the masses from the cave of darkness so that they would know, the shadow is not the real deal.

    The then Philosopher-Kings and latter-day vanguards, armed with reason and rationality set out to probe nature so that the “savage” is reborn into a new “Man.” As you have aptly put it, resources matter. But as much as Thomas Jefferson was the first author of small government and anti-Federalism, he nevertheless was a staunch believer in the government’s role in expanding education. Simply because, if they had anything in common with his lifetime nemesis Alexander Hamilton, they both were ardent students and apostles of the Enlightenment credo.

    If however, a government considers Reason a threat, it resorts either to brute force to suppress it or it creates an alternative Reason a la PFDJ ideologues. PFDJ ideologues might have thought that, colleges which emphasise more on “practical” fields as in Engeenering and Medicine are pillars for nation building, little did they know that, the greatness of America started when the Founding Fathers read John Locke’s “Some Thoughts Concerning Education” and Jacques Rousseau’s “Smile or On Education.” Liberal Arts matter!

    • Bayan Negash

      Selam Dottore,
      Points well taken. My preoccupation was in finding a way of preserving those comments that are stashed away under unrelated article. I copied and saved them all in a word document. Once the comments in this space are exhausted and the forumers move on to another piece, at which point, I will paste it all here. This is a very important subject matter that I feel needed to be not only archivable but researchable as well for our future Eritrean researchers.

      In fact, I was hoping that Samuel Emaha would come through. In the absence of such a move from Samuel, I needed to quickly come up with a piece, that’s the reason, you rightly sensed lack of depth and rigor in this article. Be that as it may, I am very happy that I did, because your input – and hopefully others will do the same – will elevate the discourse. As Kaddis once said it, sometimes the comments not only match the articles under which they are penned, but exceed it in their depth – Yours here is such a start.

      Many thanks for not only initiating the conversation but elevating it as you always do with relevant philosophical and historical underpinnings.

      Beyan