Education System in Eritrea
Education in Eritrea is officially compulsory for children aged between 7 and 14, and the government is striving to make this a reality despite sectarian conflict. The system follows 5 stages, beginning at kindergarten level, and for some perhaps ending with university degrees. The system is intended to overcome traditional taboos and rural poverty. Perhaps inevitably though, larger urban areas are often better endowed.
Primary school, which lasts for 5 years begins at age 6 and takes place in mother tongue. All teachers must be qualified.
The second and final phase of compulsory education takes place at middle school in English. At the end of this period, students write their seventh grade national examination at the national examination center.
There are 2 streams of secondary education, namely science and commerce, and teachers must have appropriate degrees. Students may take the concluding Eritrean school leaving certificate examination in march of any year. Those still at school after age 18 are required to engage in annual summer work programs that aim to foster a sense of social awareness and responsibility.
Good progress has been made with implementing vocational training too. A number of training centers processed 27,000 students during 2010 in a variety of specialties, and it is hoped to introduce several more institutions shortly.
Eritrea has a variety of smaller educational colleges and technical schools for further education, where subjects as diverse as agriculture, arts & social sciences, biology, business & economics, and nursing & health technology may be followed.
There are 2 universities too, namely the University of Asmara and the Eritrean Institute of Technology. The former is the older, having been originally instituted in 1958 by the Catholic Church, but has migrated across the years from being a school for expatriate Italian girls, to becoming a national institution.