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The Moody Government Closed Italian Schools

After months old wrangling with the school administration, the Eritrean government finally closed the Italian schools in Eritrea. The school bell, “Sadly remains silent for the first time in 103 years in the Italian school of Asmara” as an Italian writer put it. But the fate of the Italian school was sealed once the authorities revoked its license.

However, the repercussions of the decisions will be reverberating in diplomatic and social circles, because “it’s obviously one of a series of premeditated actions.”

It recent cycle started last June when the Italian headmaster took a unilateral decision to close the school following the worldwide scare caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but he “failed to inform the Eritrean authorities before he did so” according to a parent in Asmara,  “it seems the government was waiting for any reason to justify the closure of the school.”

The Eritrean government hasn’t given a reason for revoking the license of the Italian school, “one of the largest Italian schools abroad is closed.”

Under the Italian colonization (1984-1941), Eritreans could only get four years of elementary education, grade 1 to 4. However, many of the famous Eritrean and Ethiopian intellectual of the time are a product of the Italian schools. But after the defeat of the Fascists in 1941, the Italian school system made an immense contribution on the education of Eritreans. Even the only institution of higher education, the University of Asmara, is now almost dead. In 1958 Catholic nuns known as Comboni Sisters founded the University of Asmara; now the government runs it. However, since it stopped enrolling students in 2003, the university  has become a hazy shadow of its glorious past.

The Italian school system ran several elementary, secondary and technical schools in many parts of the country and continued educating Eritreans under British Administration (1941-1952), the Federal Era (1952-1962, the Haile Selassie Era (1963-1974), and the Derg Military Era (1974-1991). Throughout the modern times, the world-renowned Catholic school system helped Eritreans, but the current government of Eritrea is determined to extinguish the torch of education that the catholic mission raised for many years.

Since 2001, several senior Italian officials visited Eritrea to mend the relations with Eritrea, but the attempts didn’t bear fruit. In 2014, Lapo Pistelli, the Italian deputy foreign minister made a much-advertised visit to Eritrea before continuing to other country. Lapo Pistelli said the purpose of his visit to Asmara was to inform “President Isaias personally … that Italy is ready to show a new willingness that will certainly enable the mutual trust that has been lacking among us for many, many decades.” But that visit came after October 3, 2013, when “over 350 Eritrean would-be asylum seekers perished a few miles off the coast of the island of Lampedusa, Italy.”  Lapo Pistelli’s visit was just one more attempt by Italy to appease the Eritrean  government; Italy was “still serenading the Eritrean Dictator.

But the Eritrean government has a perfect scapegoat and it soothed its frustration caused by the diplomatic rift with serious of assaults on the catholic church. And the Eritrean government continued to antagonize the Catholic church which became more vocal in airing its criticism of the Eritrean government.

After intermittently issuing a series of calls,  in 2014, Eritrean catholic priests authored a critical message entitled, “Where Is Your Brother?” And since then, the catholic church has been going through difficult times. In 2019, the government closed many catholic church-run clinics and confiscated others in Eritrea; the step triggered an angry reaction from Eritreans all over the world. The organization of Eritrean Women condemned the seizure of Catholic Church Clinics.

Finally, the Eritrean government has taken one more drastic action by closing the Italian schools which began working in the country starting from the first decade of the 20th century.

Background

The cordial relations that started between the Eritrean government and Italy in 1991 visibly started to sour since October 2001. In that year it reached its lowest level when the Eritrean government expelled Ambassador Antonio Bandini of Italy, though he just delivered the criticism by the European Union of the Eritrean government’s violation of human rights. Italy at once reciprocated by ordering the Eritrean ambassador to leave Italy within 72-hour.

While the diplomatic tug of war with Italy was going on, the Eritrean government was involved in a campaign to vilify the people it arrested. They included the journalists of the nascent free press that it closed. It was also vilifying the G15, senior government officials who included ministers and military commanders. It took the drastic measures while the world had its attention diverted to the 911 attack on the USA. But its main target was Ambassador Bandini whom it accused of instigating the dissent of those it arrested.

But many Eritreans didn’t think the diplomatic row could lead to the closure of clinics followed by schools. Importantly, a government should not close functioning clinics and schools if it has no alternative. So far, the clinics are replaced by pharmacies with empty shelves, and the alternative to a civil school is a boot camp called Sawa,

Related reading:

  1. Italy still serenading the Eritrean Dictator
  2. Eritrean Catholic bishops: Where Is Your Brother?”
  3. Eritrean Women condemned the seizure of Catholic Church Clinics.

About Awate Team

The PENCIL is awate.com's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • said

    Greeting
    Teodros Alem and alike, Eritrean haters
    You are the most wicked of men in this forum with your narrow vision about Eritrean people .You know nothings about beautiful and peace loving Eritrean people and their long diverse civilization and they are most amazing human people you will meet and their accomplishment in diaspora is one of the highest in every field and this testament love for education ,I am sure you know Eritrean courage of history. Just like Derge time in Ethiopia was horrible .Leaving aside accidental dark man IA ,who have spread poisoning our hearts, minds, and souls. If you’ve retained any capacity for outrage at willful ignorance that you ,IA lies, irrationality, stupidity, malevolence, mean-spiritedness, , treason, and incompetence, you surely know how little about good about Eritreans.
    Yes Eritrean are looking for leadership ?
    Starting and Stated at very least acknowledging that Eritrean Founders were great men, of their time 19150th . The main point from which you compelled to view them is not, for sure ,being the most favorable; their great work and deeds with less than admiration. But Yes with respect ,one need to view them in a critical light, because their failure to bring equality for all was not a desired out come, at the nation’s founding led to his own entanglement , led to abused and denied part Muslim right and equally our Christian our equal ,. Nevertheless, “for the good they did, and the principles they contended for,
    Eritreans Founders worthy of great honor? Well, “they loved their country deeply better than their own life, which by itself high honor ; though they were “men of peace and courage ,” “they preferred not make revolution and believed in peace ,but peaceful submission to the power King HSS bondage,” which is hard to understand with them, nothing was ‘ quite settled’ that was not right path ,” which is not desired out come excellent. Perhaps best of all, “with them would have come , justice, liberty and humanity were ‘final’; not slavery and oppression.” Therefore, “you may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation.
    In their day and generation. This they can do best But what they achieved, what they can and giving their situation in divided nation , though astonishing in its time, we can no longer be deemed very adequate. Indeed, it never could have been so deemed, because they did not live up to the principles they so powerfully wanted to be achieved ,that is, an absolute, a nonnegotiable—commitment to the justice, liberty, and humanity, a very. I loathed them as being the meanest as well as the most wicked of men.” The Founders could not have been exempt from this loathing:
    history is important for understanding the seriousness of the political moment that confronts Eritreans .Azmara regime has lost the confidence of masses of the people. As a moral economy, after thirty years of false promises, scapegoating, and subterfuge, it has largely run out of steam and excuse . It delivers for much fewer and fewer people believe the regime , which ring increasingly hollow which after all was always the point, no progress
    with no rights or benefits, or that promises to improve the quality of public goods and services from education to health , regime have nothing to offer for those people who have been waiting for better life, or offer credible explanations of the sources of their condition and misery. The regime will fight to preserve the current order with its force . regime must be defeated. If not, things could become very ugly in Eritrea
    A leader who is liberal Democrats’ and his commitments to democracy and democratic institutions. a leader his commitment must take precedence. As a Liberal characteristically embrace high-minded ideals of constitutionalism, due process, tolerance and “rule of law,”

    The answer might have everything to say about the future of Eritrean politics, a leader standing for a poor and clear working-class agenda, and uncompromising voice for all people’s concerns. Who redistribution fairly and no repression of the poor , and deal with Mass disfranchisement of the poor and it is not necessary to sacrifice poor people aspiration , and commitment to equality and egalitarian principles and restore basic citizenship rights and civil liberties. Protecting nation sovereignty.
    A leader who do not accommodate reactionary forces and not treating them as legitimate
    challenge their horizon of political aspiration.
    Eritrean understand the importance in leadership with “strong character, integrity and morality” Eritrean expect from a leader to tell us the truth,
    A political leader who play by the rules, leaders who does seek to gain attention by pandering to our fears, our suspicions and our prejudices.
    A leader that understand ,Eritrean people have more in common than one might realize. A leader that speak to all of Eritrea , Eritrean demanding better leader that bring unity . not a leader bring polarization and distrust .
    A leader who adhere by the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would have them treat you. Treat others as you would have them treat your family.
    A leader who acts with courage, selflessness, heroism and leadership. A great leader. Will tell the truth. Able to build consensus. Will Be inclusive. “Never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.” And that part of Golden Rule. a leader that Eritrean respect differences among our people—cultural, , religious, ethnic and political Affiliation . Recognize that Eritrean diversity is the opportunity to learn and expand our own horizons. Enright and teach for those who are different reflects a small heart and a closed mind. Bring a message they don’t normally hear. A very needed message, and convince a timely message,”

    • Teodros Alem

      said
      I didn’t read ur none sense , i accidentally read the first 2 line.
      I know u r not beautiful , never read what u have said and never pay u attention .

      • said

        Selam Tedros
        i do not expect to read, you will not be able to internalized?
        let me just brief you as haters of Eritrean, your message below A.H and Berhe .Y , speak volume of your dark heart and mindless brain and divoded of your humanity .I do not know if you are part of the old or new generation Ethiopian demagoguery, self-interest, exploitation, Nationalism, militarism, ethnocentrism, nativism, and pray on dehumanizing on Eritreans humanity is well known and you are one of them . And the banality of war and the depraved horrors inflicted by the dissolute Eritreans people, on the weak and helpless inflected on Eritreans and Eritreans hero’s resist Ethiopian colonial domination and occupation. This is an inalienable right enshrined in international law. Eritrean during anti-occupation and colonial struggled to the better end . we Eritreans have also chosen to fight for freedom , liberty and our dignity – for ourselves and our children and future generation to come . Eritreans will not let their dream of freedom die. for three decades of devastating military occupation of Eritreans land and life. Finally Ethiopian humiliating defeat at the hands of Eritreans, It was a rout of the first order. Ethiopian lost their lives in Eritrea in tens of thousands , Ethiopian war planes dropping napalm on villages and across lowland , Ethiopian scorched death policy was devastating on the population ; Of course, we’ll never know the actual number, just as we’ll never know how many died in air strikes But that isn’t to say that there were no civilian casualties No one knows how many thousands civilians died . No one thought to count. Today, Ethiopian few know much about this war crime, villages being looted and destroyed, Many homes had been peppered with machine-gun fire or battered by heavier gun and blasted by artillery, Ethiopian Heavy shelling and airstrikes have become all too common since late 1960th indiscriminate attacks against civilians and their property. that has occurred repeatedly from village to another town , each time with its own individual horrific horrors, And the killing never ended as Ethiopian slid into permanent -failed into deep -state status. Eritreans civilian population having fled from indiscriminate war . roughly vast majority % of the country’s population — have been affected by the almost three- decade – war. created tens of thousands of Eritreans refugee , who are scattered in refugee camps in Sudan, their life has stopped and their lives upended, their futures uncertain and today growing diaspora globally. Dream for return been lost forever, replaced with endless exile.

        Ethiopian ultra nationalism and the glorification of war and the Lasting Effects of War should take notices . Ethiopian should take a lesson from its recent and past history of war . the impact of civilian ethnic wars’ and abandonment of human decency as a result of orgiastic debauchery of senseless killing that will result havoc . Ethiopian should think clearly What is going on? taking a good hard look at their past mistakes, learning from the ones in from past history that nothing cannot be cured , and properly correcting the ones in the present and go forward It was never easy. It’s still not easy. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. We, the people means all of Ethiopian. Ethiopian should be ready to defend the other for their civil and human rights and the whole spectrum of freedom for all Ethiopian and equality under the law . It is unfathomable for any ethic group or of any person of conscience to ignore the horror unfolding in Ethiopia . It requires soul searching and forfeiture of one’s soul. What does war have to do with Ethiopian civilian population? NADA’ Ethiopian peace cannot be built on injustice and domination. at the expense of one ethnic group , Eritrean citizen should have the right to security, justice, dignity and peace. The life of one group should not be based on the death of the other.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,

    Today, I would like to ask forgiveness for using this primary entry space outside the article on hand. I have just finished listening to an audio at Meskerem.net by Ustaz Mahmud Saleh. For me, and if he intends to be consistent, he has launched post-liberation politics, meaning civilian politics Eritreans should engage in after the end of the current era of dictatorship.

    What I heard from him is down-to-earth bold and thorough with admirable articulation par excellence. He has censured the juvenile pro-regime posturing through focused new approach centered on sever critique of the past and present, followed by the necessary change which he termed as fundamental change, and not “cloned” one, as he put it. Frankly, he gave me hope, and I think the scent of change is being smelt on the far horizons of Eritrea.

  • Berhe Y

    Selam Haile S., Amanuel Hidrat and others,

    This weekend I come across this young man video detailing the news “Google Translate” has included Tigrinya. I think this is wonderful news and congratulate to those who worked tirelessly to see this happen.

    https://youtu.be/RR78-PrhiRw

    I did know anything’s about this work but I hope they make an effort to reach out as many Eritrean as possible (including those in Awate).

    He goes further and explain and demonstrate for what needs to be done next. The translation becomes as rich when there is rich content . And that requires the contribution of every and their ability.
    Basically there is machine learning behind the scene and the more content are added the more it enhances its accuracy.

    So I know the two of you have a passion for the language and others, and incase you don’t know, if you puke take time to help contribute. The process is simple.

    1) Go to google translate
    2) Go to community page
    3) select Tigrinya
    4) then google will give you 10 phrases and translate in Tigrinya.
    5) continue the process

    Question for you Haile S.
    I use to rely on qal.delina.org to type in Ge’ez fonts and paste them where ever I wanted. It appears the site is down. I see that you still do so in Ge’ez .

    What do you use to type in Ge’ez. This is important because, people have the ability to type in Ge’ez if they can contribute,

    Berhe

    • Haile S.

      Selam Berhe,

      Thank you for this interesting info. I just checked on my cell phone and I don’t see tigrigna on the list. Amharic is. I will try it on a laptop and goid if it works. I have yet to watch the video you linked.
      There are several online tigrigna-english dictionaries now. There is one that you can download from play store.

      To type in tigrigna, I use GeezIME. It works on Android only. At the time I downloaded it, it was not available for Apple products. It probably still is not.

      On Mac, there is Keyman tigrigna keyboard that works well.

      I hope this helps

      • Berhe Y

        Thank you Hailat.

        I will figure out this Ge’ez typing thing and will let you know how it goes. I use iPhone and I have combination of windows / Mac at home.

        Lately I was going crazy reading some people English posting. So I don’t know if they are using google translate but it hard to make sense.

        So it’s important that accurate information is added to make it useful.

        Berhe

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Berhe,

      Thank you for bringing it to our attention. The imaginative and creative mind of Eritreans (young & old) is always there, despite they are pushed out of their own country and scattered all over the world.

      • Berhe Y

        Hi Emma,

        It’s really encouraging to see these young talents. We tend to focus on politica but there quite other interesting ideas and topics.

        Below is another two YouTube channels teaching coding in Tigrinya.

        https://www.youtube.com/c/EriTechnology

        https://www.youtube.com/user/MenaCreative

        Another guy is this former teacher and short stories he has a YouTube channel teaching Tigrinya. I think he authored few books as well.

        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpmOYFszoQm9jNth0zUnwxQ

        Berhe

      • Teodros Alem

        aman h
        I didn’t know being scattered all over the world(refugee) considered imaginative and creative mindedness, i really didn’t know it is considered as such but i know eritreans r good at taking the highest misery one can take and i also know they r good at on lying for themselves and believe thier own lias and live with confusion.
        what else eritreans r good at? can u tell us what u guys r good at? don’t tell me, eritreans owns pastry shops or they own a hotel in south sudan nonsense, tell us what u guys r good at?
        I forget u guys r good at by creating one of the most dictatorship, confused and cruel system the world ever had. don’t tell us eritrea has 2-3 block Italian buildings in eritrea. tell us what u guys r good at ? Again i forget, u guys r number one and experts on insulting .

        • Berhe Y

          Hello T.A.

          It really hurts you to hear and see anything positive about Eritrean people. You are insuring the whole country and the whole society, just because they are trying to do something good, despite the hardship they have faced.

          People scattered around the world doing good. Have you heard about the Jews or the Ismali people.

          See yourself in the mirror, see how much this Hasadinet/MinqeNinet is eating you alive. You have a dead soul.

          Eritrea better days are ahead. You can count on that.

          Berhe

          • Teodros Alem

            berhe
            All i’m saying is stop bragging none sense and show us doing or trying to do something positive.
            all i’m saying is u guys has been lying to urself at derg time and u have been lying to urself after u become a country and u still lying to urself right now
            even in diaspora comparing to others, eris r low class, they r known by living in room mate, 5 people in one room house.
            And u guys r by far jealous and cowered , look at urself how u guys r red eyed whenever u see something positive about ethiopia and how u guys r trying to paint it as negative.
            If eris r not cowered i don’t know what cowered means, specially those who lived and work in ethiopia, those who grow up by ethiopians tax payers money in ethiopia.

          • said

            Selam Tedros

            Eritrea future is very bright ,in social, economic, scientific and technological development, and young and old Eritrean are highly educated and they will play a significant role in new Eritrean and diaspora will contribute greatly with regime demise will be soon ,future will endowed ,with industries, agriculture, healthcare, and education energy, transport and communications infrastructures. that are important for new Eritrea ,it is in place and it will input will increasing in economic cooperation and boost prosperity that thrive in Eritrea
            Eritrea over all have overcomes their internal ethnic conflicts; Eritrea is ready for political and economic stability and do not have major social problems. Eritrea do not face major challenges. 5 million population, in todays constraining economic growth and very good transport infrastructure across the nation and will improve access of health services, and better medical personnel and will improve the quality of medical service and improve the level of education and professional training, Eritrea will create easy access to financial services for business to develop ,and will ensure open for capital inflows and create regional cooperative banking to meet the needs of their local citizens, Creating a foundation for growth locally and nationally, in the most effective way possible, and improves quality of life for the local population. It is self evident and very clear that to solve all these problems a large-scale development programme will required , in sustainable development goals development of human capital in education and national development across Eritrea and to respect equally divers of cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity is paramount important for peace and development and invest in every field without going into great debt to plan and ensure sustainable number urban development and socioeconomic growth equally across the nation . Given Eritrean goo infrastructure and transport’s ability to spur growth in key industries. And upgrading railways offer great promise to Massawa for export and import and Red sea potential tourism .Eritrea will lack of financing and country not face specific risks to pay its debt will a major issue ., Eritrea will will have an international financing and put its house in order first will in place in order to facilitate growth in trade. and to significant portion of income from its exports.. Beside vast national resources and commodity, to trade and export and potential energy discovery , good agricultural and export mineral final processed extraction product and will create hap of industrial development Zone and boost competition and efficiency in number of field development and to boost agricultural production and to increase exports of agricultural products and committed to product . , which will determine its future…and you will see it in your life time and meanwhile tell us more the progress about your beloved mother Ethiopia

          • Brhan

            Hello
            Tedros Alem find a friend not a foe. If you keep continuing like that you will be your own foe and at that stage no one can help you.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear brother Brhan,

            Some time back, he was he wrote none sense.. in Jebena page and I told him that he don’t deserve my reply ..Honestly this man is really very critical … and later I was regretting ((something that one has done or failed to do).to this point as we need all kinds of people in this awate university..Be kind to this type of people and try to talk to them nicely..Let us have a nice collection,,.

            Let us be like brother Ismail to keep this site all kind of participants.

            KS..

          • Berhe Y

            Hi KS,

            It’s rare the I disagree with you and you can go to heaven.

            But if I had my way, I would settle the disagreement with this guy the old fashion way. He goes out of his way to insult and demean Eritreans.

            This is what he said to me yesterday, in reference to the bombardment of civilians and infrastructure in Massawa. My uncle who was a school principle died by those bombs, as thousands of others.

            U got it all wrong but 30 years ago over 1 million us dollars daily was used to bombard Eritrea's shefeta , that doesn't include the civilians and Ethiopia airline expense, just the military expenses.

            Enough. We don’t have to bend backwards to accommodate these blood thirsty individuals. If we want to live in peace and as neighbors it’s two way street….enough with this chiceto enhabka eshurur mibal.

            Berhe

          • Kokhob Selam

            Selam Dear Berhe Y,

            I got it. Nice and perfect. But we should go more finer and see from higher position. If we are going to go to heaven on this world and think differently. We should think advanced and think in the higher for peace case.. . ” If we want to live in peace and as neighbors it’s two way street….” Yes, but what do you think if we go further than those weak guys? See, it is only if we let go to see the future like what the EPLF had done to see deeply..Just by keep watching them we can go beyond this.

            KS,,

    • Desbele

      Hi Berhe,
      You may try this , it serves me good
      https://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/tigrinya.htm

      • Berhe Y

        Thank you Desbele, will give it a try.

    • Brhan

      Hell Berhe ,
      You can also use Keyman

      • Berhe Y

        ሰላም ብርሃን፡

        የቕንየለይ፡ ፈቲናዮ ሰሪሑላይ ኣሎ።

        በርሀ

  • Teodros Alem

    Selam
    Bahrain and isreal agreed to establish diplomatic relationships, after UAE, bahrain is the 2nd gulf arab country to establish diplomatic relationship with isreal and diplomat and political analysts believe saudi arabia will follow establishing relationship with isreal. but sudan is rejected by isreal.
    this whole thing shows , for egypt and smaller happy slave groups, they r no longer can manipulate middle east poltics and make money and political Alliance out of it.
    Happy Ethiopia new year.

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ሰላማት

    Part time ተቓወምቲ
    ህዝቢ ማይ ከይሰቲ
    ምስከልከለ
    የንጽፍሉ ሰቲ
    ኔሮም

    ዓመት ዓመት
    ሃገራዊ ባርነት
    ‘ንከሎ
    ከምኡ ኣይንበል
    ሃገራዊ ኣገልግሎት
    ‘ዩ ይብሉና ኔሮም

    ሕጂ
    ክልኒካት-ካቶሊክ ምስተዓጽዋ
    ——-ኤእ! ህግደፍ
    ——-ከምኡ ኣይትግበር ግደፍ
    ይፈጥሩ እዚ ዘይበሃል ዳዕዋ

    ፍርቂ-ምቅዋም ዝበሃል የለን
    ወይ ተቓወም ወይ ተወገን
    መታን ክንኣልዮ
    ነዚ ዓቢ-ዓርጌን

    ናብ ነብስኻ ምስ መጸካ ምብካይ
    ቀደም ዓሽ ክትብል ሕጂ ምእዋይ
    ኣይቅንዕናን!

    ላንጋ-ላንጋ ጽላእ
    ሕጂ ናበይ
    ብሽም ተቓወምቲ ምሕባእ?
    ‘መስለኒ የድልየካ ‘ሎ
    ፍረ-ነብሲ ምግዛእ
    ዝሸይጥ ‘ተተረኽቡ

  • Desbele

    Selam Awate,

    The closure of Italian school was attempted previously back in 2011/12?. The reason then was because a student of the school has killed the son of Alemseghed Tesfay in a gang fight.
    It was a direct order from DIA to then Minister of Education Semere Russom. Somehow it survived. Similar lame excuse is used now to close this centennial school which has produced many successful Eritreans. The assault on institutions is continuing by unhinged dictator who is hell bent on destroying Eritrea. It is very sad, that as we speak, students of the Italian school are not informed of the decision to close their school. Just like the tyrant regime closed health centers without any regard to the patients, students of the Italian school are supposed to figure out themselves what will happen to their fate.

    • David Samson

      Selam Desbele,

      Over two weeks ago, I commented on the imminent demise of Scola Italia. I even predicted Cathédrale will follow suit. I will repost my comment in a minute.

    • David Samson

      Here is the comment:

      Selam MM,

      One thing which has proven wrong so far is the demise of “Cathédrale.” When I told my friends that IA might take down the symbol of our city, many of them were horrified and shocked by how I even contemplate such a crazy idea.

      Recently, Asmarino.com has published photos of Asmara before the Chogar Danga had rolled in with their tanks and what the city looks now. I am sure that many people who were born or spent part of their life in the city are saddened by
      its demise and appears to be the shadow of its past glory.

      Many Eritreans did not pay attention to what IA said during an interview he gave in the early 90s:

      How do you define an Asmarino, or are you Asmarino? Was the benign question.

      IA shrugged off the question by saying:

      “We never heard this term before we went to Meda and it must have invented after we left the city”.

      The last socio-group to have fallen out with IA is the Catholic community.
      They had been spared from all wrath of IA, well, until recently. People
      who have never raised any eyebrows on IA despite all the wrongdoing on other faiths suddenly sprung and jumped the queue into the front-line. IA did not even react to the famous open letter by the bishops of the church: where is your brother?

      Using the pandemic as cover, IA has threatened to shut down the only Italian school left in Eritrea: Principe De Portigo”. This action had sent shock waves in the Italian capital— Roma. The Parliament had debated the issue and meant to send a
      delegate to Asmara. That was the last news I heard from a Half-Italian
      friend— who was educated at the same school.

      Who knows? My prediction might not be bonkers after all. Once IA is done with all
      things Italian, he might focus on his last hurdle and prove me right.

  • Haile S.

    Selam Awate Team,

    First thing first, it is sad. The regime never learns. It takes every opportunity to show it the “creator and the terminator” of everything under the Eritrean sky. It believes in force to inculcate vision and farsightedness on the people and country. Wrong!

    Second, the Team could have googled to find a photo something related to the Italian school, instead of placing an unrelated (except the schoolness) photo of the Asmara Red-Sea Secondary, formerly and shortly known as ቀኃሥ.

    • Sultan

      Hailat:
      “…the regime . does not learn”!
      Learn what?
      I think this measure is one of the last ditches the regime has been working hard to close all private religious and non-religious schools since 1991!

      After it closed the Catholic College of Theology and Philosophy in Asmera( The Holy Savior Major Seminary),we know where this was heading into.

      It was a long term strategy …

      The closure of the Italian School was delayed due to the pressure by the Italian Govt.
      The Propaganda Manual of the PFDJ explains the rationale behind closing all the private and religious schools was that these schools have created a knowledge and privilege gap among Eritreans( among those kids of the poor and the rich )!
      It has “succeeded successfully”!

      • David Samson

        Selam Sultan,

        Unfortunately, few Eritreans have read IA’s intentions and desire.

        It might sound bonkers, but one of the main reasons for closing UOA was that his eldest had failed his matriculation. IA did not see any reason for the university continuity. If his son had the marks, the lease of the university might have extended for another four years.

        Having read IA for years, here are my ten cents on Scola Italia.

        Contrary to conventional believe in Eritrea, the education system in Eritrea was always class-based. No many admit the fact that the sons and daughters of high-ranking officials had a privileged upbringing. They attended and enjoyed the best facilities the country could afford. You do not have to dig down to find evidence: look at the sibling of the ministers and the Hafash children.

        IA is endowed with seeing evil and positive things do not appeal to him. He always resented the special privileges his loyalists enjoyed and find ways to punish them. There are not many good schools left in Eritrea, and many of his generals send their kids to the only school: Scola Italia. IA needs to bring them down to Hafash level. But, unlike the Hafash, they could afford to send their kids abroad.

        • Haile S.

          Selam David,

          When you say “Contrary to conventional believe in Eritrea, the education system in Eritrea was always class-based.”, are you referring to before independence? Based on my experience before 1980, I never felt that. Many of us from poor families including those who trekked from Adi-Nefas oe even Emba Derho, children of peasants, we were sitting equally with children of the highest administrators, generals and rich factory owners, who were brought every morning by car or on sportivo bicycles. We went to good schools like Agazian and ቀኃሥ that you see the image above.

          • David Samson

            Selam Haile,

            You are right! I should have made it clear that I was referring to post independence.

            Many unsuspected Eritreans bought up the propaganda perpetuated by Ghedli in early 1990. Tegadalia was/is a selfless, dedicated, and patriotic Eritrean who despises injustice and believes in Egalitarian and the Neverland.

            What was hidden and unnoticed by the Hafash that there were classes within classes, but no many dared to speak out.

            IA, right from the outset made it clear that he was allergic to anything positive about Eritrea and its people. Amanuel, IA’s younger brother, had warned us a long time before his brother returned to Asmara. I knew Amanuel quite well. He did not
            mince his word lightly. He only spoke to people whom he trusted. At the time, I did not pay any attention as I was with liberation mode and did not want to hear anything bad about Ghedli, but looking back, the tale-tale signs were there.

            My point is: It is a myth that there was an egalitarian society in Eritrea. In fact, there are three distinct classes: Tegadali, the top military brass and the Hafash. The Hafash was always used as a cannon folder— both before and after independence.

          • sara

            selam ato haile,
            as far as i know , most who excelled in academia and profession
            went to those public schools we have before and after independence,
            those who went to private schools did well in certain aspects of life but not much that could be recognized excellence in any field.
            thanks to our public schools…. most of all we have that gravitation
            to Eritreane’s.

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            ሳራ
            [those who went to private schools did well in certain aspects of life but not much that could be recognized excellence in any field]
            ዚኣስ ካብ ማህደር ፕሮፖጋንዳ ህግደፍ ዝመጸት ትመስል።
            ድኻ ምስ ቀነአ: ሃብቲ ሕማም ‘ዩ ይብል መሲላ!
            There are a lot of successful professionals that went to private school. Ask ex-Comboni HS students, for instance.

          • sara

            selam ato mehandis
            if you are adamant to think any thoughts different than yours is pfdj,
            you know well the opposite response you will get… which i dont want to repeat here. As for private versus public schooled achievements, no need to go further than in this forum… most from my reading those i think excelled in academia or profession are from the public schools all the way to colleges and universities at home and abroad…
            more so those who are seniors and active in our national politics are also from public schools, but bear in mind i am not saying there are non from the private schools…. what i mean is the majority…

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Selamat Sara,
            [what i mean is the majority].
            Of course, because the ratio for people who went to public school to private school is huge. But that was not your earlier comment.
            BTW, you can call me whatever you like since I know who I am.

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Haile and AT,

      This link has picture of the school, if it’s accurate.

      http://www.asmera.nl/asmara-schools.htm

      Berhe

      • Haile S.

        Selam Berhe,

        Yes. There is also Santa Anna, now renamed Semaetat. Thanks

        • David Samson

          Selam Haile,

          Semaetat Secondary School Asmara.Delete
          Santa Anna
          Godena Harnet: Delete:
          Vittorio Emmanuel 3rd.

          Barka Secondary School Knowledge Street Asmara: Delete
          Daniele Comboni: The Camboni Brothers.

      • A.Osman

        Selamat Berhe,

        The one at the bottom is the primary school, they moved the secondary and high school to two building near Cinema Roma, next to the Israeli Embassy.

        Access to the school is not like before, it is much harder now. Probably it is catering for a bigger number of EU nationals, children of diplomats and high ranking officials from the GoE.

        The school children were quite lucky compared to others, as they were exempt from the sawa 12th grade programme. On graduation, one can get easy admission to a University in Italy, making it easy to get a visa (with only exit being the problem). While the government was taking over private schools, on many levels the Italian school was one beyond their capacity.

        It seems now DIA found an opportunity to strike. It is quite sad that it started from the University and it reached to such a low level.

        Regards
        AOsman

      • Abi

        Hawna Berhe
        Thanks for the link
        Have you checked the list of the schools? Of course, paying attention is not your strong quality:)
        There is Hamid Idris Awate Elementary school in Asmara. I hope it will house the future Awate university.

        Asmara University is still on the list.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Abi,

          I don’t think page has been updated since 2001.

          Berhe