“We Should Start Teaching Web Designing in High School “

Temesgen is an experienced Engineer who develops software and hardware. He has contributed to the successful establishment of the EdTech lab at the Eritrean Institute of Technology (EIT) and worked on several projects that enhanced the campus internet services. He also volunteers as a teacher, teaching robotics. He is reputed for his time management, while his willingness to help individuals who practice his field of expertise is one of a kind. He is set to show every one that web designing could be developed by anyone who is keen to studying the field; especially at a young age.

• Thank you for your time! Please tell us about yourself?

My name is Temesgen kidane. I was born and raised in Asmara. After completing my 11th grade education, I went to Sawa with the 21st round to complete my high school education and fulfill my national service. At those times, joining the Computer Engineering department at the Eritrean Institute of Technology required outstanding grades, but because I scored 3.8 on the matriculation exam, I easily joined the Computer Engineering department. The main reason I chose computer engineering was that as a child I was always fascinated by the limitless tasks a computer undertakes , especially games and movies.

• How was your college experience?

I personally believe that college is where you build your future. The projects you work on have the power to decide where your future is headed. So I thrived to create and embarked on a lot of things that I assumed were useful projects. Some of the projects are; a small project about creating online shopping website and for the senior year project, I and my friends created a prototype of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Moreover, I was also a part of a major project initiated jointly through the partnership of Eritrea and Finland. The main goal of the project was to create EdTech lab at the EIT and the team successfully founded the lab. The EdTech lab project was fully funded, so I had the opportunity to make an FM transmitter and later a pyramid hologram. Honestly, the EdTech project was a turning point for me; I have learned a lot especially the basics of robotics and I am still working with the knowledge I acquired back then. It was a lab where we were able to come up with variety of ideas and with the facilities we had, they were easy to execute. That journey lasted for three months.

• What happened after EdTech?

By the time the EdTech project was finalized, I had also finished my college studies and was assigned to work at the Beleza database center. After working for two years there, I was reassigned to the Asmara Duty Free Center. The reason I was reassigned was because they wanted to create inventory software to facilitate their activities. It was not just a simple inventory software, it also included monetary exchange rates. Additionally, I am currently engaged on projects that help the rest of the duty free branches around Asmara.

• On top of being a developer you are a writer too, enlighten us about that?

Yes I have also wrote a book. The reason that pushed me to write a book was that many computer engineering students always come and seek my assistance with their variety of projects. So I figured that I couldn’t reach them all and the only way to give them a guide all at the same time is by writing a book and share it with everyone. The book is called Web Development with Framework. It helps you to build your own website using Codeigniter. Not to sound condescending, but I want the people who work with me to know what I know, they should be able to understand and read the software I built, so that’s one of the reasons I donated the book. Anyone who is interested on web design and is not able to find my book could contact me and get it for free. I voluntarily teach robotics and so I started writing my second book. The book is a bit upgraded from what I teach but basically it’s about robotics and how to create one.

• How was your teaching experience?

The program is fully funded and anyone interested is welcome to attend the classes and learn for free. Most of my students are young and I like that because I believe that youngsters should learn the basics of web designing or building a robot at a young age. I don’t like the fact that anyone has to wait till college to get the basic knowledge of robotics and web designing. We start learning the basics in college and the time to build bigger projects could be limited. I hope we could reconsider situations like this and make college the platform for creativeness and path to the upgraded technology. So the program I am volunteering at could be one way to tackle such problems and I strongly advise people to attend. Also, I would like to note that it’s not for the young generation only anyone who is interested in making robots can join.

• Future plans?

As I said earlier, I have several upcoming projects with the Asmara Duty Free Center and I will continue teaching.

• Thank you and we wish you

Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea

Orotta College of Medicine and Health Sciences held its Commencement

Orotta College of Medicine and Health Sciences (OCMHS) held its annual graduation ceremony on Saturday, 27th of November, at the premises of the University of Asmara. The ceremony, which was the 11th commencement of Orotta College of Medicine and Dentistry (OCMD) and the 13th of Asmara College of Health Sciences (ACHS), was attended by members of the academic commission of OCMHS, department and program heads of the college, families of the graduating students and representatives of the graduating class of 2021. OCMD and ACHS were separate colleges before their merger in 2018 to form OCMHS.

With a mission to produce competent, compassionate and knowledgeable health professionals who meet the healthcare needs of the country, OCMHS has graduated this year 230 students, of which 52.6 % were female, in general medicine, pharmacy, nursing, clinical laboratory science and environmental health, dentistry, optometry, radiology technology and public health.

At its 13th commencement, ACHS has graduated a total of 194 students, 51.8% in degree and 48.2% in diploma programs, while OCMD has graduated a total of 36 students, with a degree of doctor of medicine, at its 11th commencement. Since its inception, ACHS has graduated a total of 4753 students, 2060 in degree and 2693 in diploma programs, and OCMD has since its inception graduated 409 doctors of medicine and 83 dentists.

In line with the launching of the postgraduate specialist training program in clinical medicine, the Government has allocated money for the recruitment of highly qualified professionals who work both as instructors and as clinical and specialized health service providers. Currently, there are 14 expatriate clinical professors working at the college.

After acknowledging, in his speech, the Eritrean government for its commitment to train highly qualified healthcare professionals, Dr. Yemane Seyoum, dean of the college, shared his sincere congratulations and wishes of luck to the graduates and their families who attended the ceremony as well as those that had to graduate in-absentia to avoid overcrowding and maintain distancing made necessary by Covid-19.

Dr. Yemane reminded the graduates that while they were students at the college they were taught to start thinking like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, clinical laboratory science operators and public health professionals. He said it did not take the college long to realize that each one of the students had remarkable and unique perspective to bring to the medical education in the coursework, during the physical exam, on clerkships and while taking care of patients. Dr. Yemane assured the graduates that the college has prepared them to face challenges during their future medical practice in any heath care providing facility and community setups and called on them to be prepared to devote their professional energies not only to their patients’ needs but also to the unmet health needs of the society as a whole.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating class, Yonathan Araia congratulated his colleagues, thanked the instructors and said although the world has never been as connected as it is today due to advances in science and technology, it is more divided than ever. But in Eritrea, he added, unlike the developed nations where individualism and ego-centrism are characteristics of many youngsters and college students, we do everything together, helping one another morally, academically and socially.

Yonathan added, “Most of us had the opportunity to serve our community and tried to use the knowledge gained in college to help those in need. There is no greater merit and satisfaction; nobody can argue about that.”

Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea

Eritrea’s Effort in Respecting the Rights and Interests of Children

International Children’s Day was celebrated on 20th November for the 30th time in Eritrea and the 63rd time internationally.

The Government of Eritrea has been working to create the necessary conditions and opportunities for children to ensure their psychological, physical, and mental well-being. It has designed policies and strategies to support and guide children, for them to enjoy special protection, and to have access to opportunities and facilities. Eritrea has made impressive progress in attaining children’s rights over the years.

In terms of health care progress has been made in prenatal and postnatal care resulting in a reduction in infant mortality. Vaccinations carried out nationally help reduce mortality and disabilities among children. Reports show that polio has been eradicated, malaria has been reduced by 90% and the incidence of neonatal tetanus is less than one percent. This has been made possible because of the Government’s unremitting commitment to make health care accessible all over the country, including remote locations.

The Government’s commitment to ensure children’s welfare is also seen in education. Schools are built all over the country so that all children could go to school to grow mentally, physically, and spiritually.

To raise awareness of the society about the right guidance and support for children, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW) works with other stakeholders. Committees that work to bring an end to underage marriages and protect children’s and women’s rights have also been formed. Such committees at regional and sub-regional levels give protection to disabled children with a special focus on those who have extreme disabilities. Special schools for disabled children have also been set up, including the school for the deaf and Down’s syndrome.

Although orphanages provide homes to children who are left without parents, community-based rehabilitation programs have been found to be more effective and beneficial to children. As Mr. Mehreteab Fessehaye, Director General of the MLSW, said a couple of years ago, “Eritrea’s community-based rehabilitation program served the best interests of the child much better than institutional mechanisms, and the integration of orphans into their extended families had proven to be a cost-effective, sustainable and useful approach to the psychosocial healing of those children. Institutional facilities were only used as a last resort for the placement of children in difficult circumstances.” He added, “The policies issued by various governmental entities on the right and welfare of the Eritrean child attested to the endeavors of the government to guarantee the development of the child to the maximum extent possible.”

In Eritrea, the concept and principles of the best interest of a child were inherited in the customs and culture of the Eritrean people and expressed in popular sayings such as “our children are our future”.

International Children’s Day was established in 1954 as a universal children’s day and is commemorated on 20th November to promote international togetherness and to improve child welfare. The convention on the rights of children was the first international convention ratified by Eritrea following its independence in 1993, signifying that the rights of the child are a top priority. Eritrea has been commemorating International Children’s Day by organizing events such as performances by children, exhibitions, and speeches.

 

Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea

Orotta College of Medicine and Health Science graduates 230 students

At a ceremony held today, 27 November at the Asmara University compound, the Orotta College of Medicine and Health Science graduates 230 students including 121 females in degree and diploma.

The graduates were 136 in degree program including 36 Doctors in General Medicine, 27 in Clinical Laboratory Science, 9 in Optometry, 7 in Nursing, 3 in Ophthalmic, 32 in Pharmacy and 22 in Public Health and 94 in Diploma including 88 in Nursing, 3 in Pharmacy, 1 in Laboratory Technician, 1 in Radiology and 1 in Environmental Health.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Yemane Seyum, Dean of the College, said that human resources development in the health sector is the cornerstone among top priority strategies in the country.

Dr. Yemane went on to say that the Orotta College of Medicine and Health Science is determined to produce competent, compassionate, disciplined, and knowledgeable health professionals who will be committed to satisfying the health needs of the society through the provision of accessible, equitable, affordable and efficient care service.

Representative of the graduates on his part commending for the opportunity they were provided expressed commitment to diligently serve the society with their profession.

 

Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea

Mother Eritrea: A Review

On Saturday, 13th November, at the auditorium (Junior Club) of the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students, I was given the honor of presenting my impressions of an Italian novel entitled Mother Eritrea (the story of a mother raising her two young sons in Asmara when Eritrea was ruled by the Dergue regime) written by Daniel Wedi Korbaria, an author and journalist. The following article is a recap of that review.

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once talked about the danger of the single story. She explained saying that because of the “overwhelming presence of Western literature,” she had at one time become convinced “that books, by their very nature, had to have foreigners in them,” the consequence of which was that, as she put it: “I did not know that people like me could exist in literature.” Books like Mother Eritrea are the antidote to the single-story, giving the world another perspective with which to view Sub-Saharan countries like Eritrea, which are often represented “as a place of negatives, of difference and of darkness.” However that is not all Mother Eritrea does: by simply existing, it represents every Eritrean, and it provides us with yet another great book with which we can relate. Having books and literature that describe boys and girls that look like me, my family, and my friends and our way of living is not something to be taken lightly.

There are a number of things that I have truly admired and appreciated about the novel, and while I feel that I can write endless pages about them, here are some of the most impressive.

The novel is written in a beautiful, expressive, and descriptive manner that can best be defined as cinematographic, with a plot that twists and turns in the most attention-grabbing way. The words instantly draw a vivid image in your head, almost like you’re watching a film as you’re reading. Asmara, for instance, is described in a way that captures its unique charm and is referred to as if it were a character itself. As someone who was born after independence, I knew very little about Menghistu Hailemariam’s rule. I may have been able to produce a few important dates and generally explained that it was a time marked by bloodshed and cruelty, but in my mind, it still remained a vague, faraway concept. Only now do I fully comprehend the trauma. Thus, with his book, Wedi Korbaria managed to transport us to Eritrea in the time of the Dergue, allowing us to experience the Eritrean people’s pain and their continuous struggle to survive.

I found it astute that the author did not attempt to translate certain Tigrinya and Amharic words but rather chose to explain their meaning in the footnotes. Objects like “Jebena”, “Sciahi”, “Himbasha”, “Shehani”, “Cubaya”; expressions like “Wey Wedey”, “Ezghio Meharena Christos”, “Besme Ab Bel” or “Eway Eti Idley!” and words like “Tegadalay” were written as they are to ensure that they would not be lost in translation. Even the use of typically Eritrean onomatopoeia such as “Torogrog” and “Cherekrek” accurately portray Eritreans and their way of talking in a comprehensive manner.

While the story is centered on a terrible time in Eritrean history, the tone with which the story is told is not one of total misery. The best description I can give it is bittersweet, which I find to be the most fitting tone to describe the experiences of the Eritrean people: even in the hardest of times, they never fail to find some semblance of beauty in the darkness.

Wedi Korbaria managed to show what a tight-knit community Eritrea has: here, neighbors are more than just neighbors, they are family. The novel portrays the typical Eritrean community, unconditionally supporting its members in their times of grief and hardship while always present in their times of celebration. Customs and norms such as “Hazen”, “Debes” and “Ngdet” are all well explained, highlighting the rich culture that Eritrea possesses. The affection with which Daniel Wedi Korbaria wrote about his country was evident from the start. Any Asmarino/Asmarina could tell that this is a story written by a man who lived the authentic Eritrean life or, dares I say, one of us.

I also found the characters to be highly realistic and three-dimensional. Even their conversations banters and their relationships were typically Eritrean and very relatable. They were so real I felt like I knew them all in real life. I slowly started viewing Yoni and Sami as my younger brothers, while I took their neighbors Adey Zimam, Freweini, Askalu, and their neighborhood Tabba Gheltemtem to be my own. I noticed that I had slowly immersed myself wholeheartedly in the story, laughing when they laughed and weeping when they cried. The author was absolutely right when he said “personaggi credibili capaci di incuriosire anche il lettore più distratto” (Translation: believable characters capable of exciting curiosity even in the most distracted reader). Part of what made them so realistic, I think, was the fact that the characters were not perfect. The protagonists were no saints and the antagonists were no Satan either. They were just people.

I imagine that being an adult man writing from the point of view of a child was no easy task, yet Daniel Wedi Korbaria very successfully captured the spirit of a child, with its childish defiance, whims, fights, fears, and, more importantly, its child-like innocence, and in the process reminds Eritrean readers of our unique childhood games like “Tembo”, “Kiccia-Alem”, “Tobi” and “Sensatobi”.

The book is peppered with just the right amount of witty humor, the kind of humor that doesn’t diminish the seriousness of their predicament but still highlights that the characters don’t take their circumstances too seriously. One of the lines that had me laughing outrageously and running to tell others was this:

“A pensarci bene, le mosche di Dawit erano diverse rispetto a quelle di casa nostra, mi sembravano persino più educate”

(Translation: The more I thought about it I believed that even Dawit’s flies [the flies in Dawit’s house] were different from those at home; they even seemed to have better manners).

I confess I had initially been confused by the title Mother Eritrea. I had often wondered “why is Mother written in English? Why not Madre Eritrea or Mamma Eritrea?” but I soon came to understand, as was explained in the novel itself, that the title Mother Eritrea is an adaptation from “Mother India”, a famous Indian film from the 1950s, and I found that Mother Eritrea, English and all, was the right name.

It is impossible to talk about the novel without talking about the character Selam. Selam is Yoni and Sami’s mother and the title character Mother Eritrea: a woman who did everything to raise her children. She had to endure years of prostitution, menial jobs, and even living with a torrserawit, all to ensure that her children were fed, clothed, educated and unharmed. She is the representation of the Eritrean mother who, for the sake of her children, would risk her life, her honor, and (as she says herself in the novel) possible eternal damnation. By doing so, she also runs the risk of being judged by her own children. In fact, it is only as an adult that her son Yoni truly understood her sacrifices and her reasoning: “prima la pancia piena, poi la morale” (Translation: first the food, then the morality).

So far, I have only explained the reasons for which I find this book to be so great. Now I will say why I thought it was one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Personally, I find that the best books are non-conformist: they refuse to fit into a single genre. Mother Eritrea is a historical novel, yet it is also a story about family, brotherhood, and love. It contains within it witty humor while still being a tragedy. It is a coming-of-age story but also an adventure.

Secondly, the best books go beyond the experiences of the characters it describes. The best books can transcend time and space, borders and generations, and can allow readers from anywhere in the world and readers of every age to relate because books like Mother Eritrea go beyond the Eritrean experience. In a way, they describe the collective human experience. And who can’t relate to that? This is certainly a book worth reading and re-reading, as it is worth translating and adapting into a film.

To conclude, I include another quote from the introduction, also written in the book’s back cover:

“Ho capito allora, che bisognava trovare un modo diverso di presentare la mia narrativa: più trascinante, coinvolgente, perché le informazioni vere, esposte in maniera cinematografica, sono più scorrevoli e avvincenti. Se avrò raggiunto questo obiettivo, saranno i lettori a deciderlo”

Translation: “I understood then that I needed to find a different way to present my narrative: more enthralling and engaging because real information expressed in a cinematographic manner is more fluent and compelling. If I have reached this objective, it is for my readers to decide”

Daniel Wedi Korbaria, with this novel, you have definitely reached your objective.

Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea

Students to Return to Class After Cameroon University Bombing

YAOUNDÉ, CAMEROON — On Thursday, fewer than 2,000 of the 14,000 students enrolled at the University of Buea showed up for class, a day after about a dozen students were injured when police say someone set off an explosive device at the school in western Cameroon.

The governor of Cameroon’s southwest region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, urged everyone to return, saying the military has been deployed to protect students and staff members.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government blames separatist groups. Buea is an English-speaking town in Cameroon’s southwest region. Government troops and separatists have been fighting each other in the region since 2017, when teachers and lawyers protested alleged discrimination at the hands of the French-speaking majority. The military reacted with a crackdown and separatist groups took up weapons, saying they want the western regions to be an independent country.

Horace Ngomo Manga, the vice chancellor of the University of Buea, said the IED exploded at the school’s amphitheater on Wednesday evening.

“So far, we have one male student and eleven female students at the solidarity clinic, where they are following up treatment,” he said. “The students are being carried one by one for X-rays for further investigations into the depth of their injuries.”

The military said that last month, separatists warned all schools and universities in Buea to seal their doors but gave no further explanation.

Bilai said students should not be intimidated by the explosion, and that education is crucial to the country’s future and must be allowed to continue without interruption.

“We must bear in mind that we are dealing with the education of our children who are the leaders of tomorrow,” he said. “I therefore expect everyone to support the educational sector by denouncing any form of disorder which could disrupt the smooth functioning of our schools.”

However, some on campus are uneasy after the explosion. Ekane Manga, a lecturer at the university, said the presence of soldiers on campus may have invited fighters to attack the institution.

“There should be coordination amidst the ranks of the soldiers because having people with guns around students is not the best thing,” he told VOA.

Separatists in Cameroon have attacked and closed hundreds of schools in recent years, but authorities say this is the first time they have set off an IED at a university.

Source: Voice of America

Green Business College Tackles South Africa’s Hunger, Unemployment

A homemade bomb thrown through the roof of a university lecture hall wounded 11 students on Wednesday, the vice chancellor said, in an English-speaking region of Cameroon in the grip of a bloody separatist conflict.

University of Buea vice-chancellor Horace Ngomo Manga said “the device fell to the ground and exploded.”

One boy and 10 girls were wounded, he told state radio CRTV, adding that all were in a stable condition.

He did not elaborate on the nature of the bomb or who might have thrown it.

Buea is the capital of Cameroon’s Southwest region. Both the Southwest and Northwest regions are mainly English-speaking in the otherwise predominantly French-speaking central African country.

A decades-long campaign by militants to redress perceived discrimination at the hands of the francophone majority flared into a declaration of independence on October 1, 2017, sparking a crackdown by security forces.

The conflict has claimed more than 3,500 lives and forced 700,000 people to flee their homes, according to NGO estimates that have not been updated in more than a year despite an escalation in violence in recent months.

The United Nations and international organizations regularly denounce abuses and crimes committed against civilians by both sides.

Wednesday’s bombing has not been claimed, but the anglophone separatists have regularly attacked schools and universities that they accuse of favoring French-language education.

The separatists have also recently ramped up attacks on the country’s armed forces using improvised explosive devices.

In September, a Buea court sentenced four men to death over the killing of seven schoolchildren a year earlier, however Human Rights Watch called the trial a sham.

Source: Voice of America