Finn Church Aid to enter partnership program to improve education in Eritrea

Photo: ELCJHL / Elizabeth McHan

Finn Chuch Aid (FCA) has entered into a three year agreement with the Eritrean national Commission for Higher Education to form an educational partnership aimed at revitalizing the education system in Eritrea.

The agreement will run until Decemeber 2017. Members from the FCA will collaborate with Eritrean teachers to develop a comprehensive education program that will cover all schools in the country.

Eritrea, a country located in the Horn of Africa, currently lacks a number of trained educators and schools.

Based on a country profile by the Library of Congress, only 65-70% of children go to primary school. Estimates also peg that there is an average of 63 students in one classroom, school hours are around 6 hours per day, and illiteracy rates range from 40-70 percent.

In addition, there is a shortage of funds invested into the educational system.

Finland's education system is among the most developed in the world. According to an article by the Center on International Education Benchmarking, teaching is the "most respected" profession in Finland, with primary school teachers being the popular career choice.

Finland is known to have a very selective teacher preparation program, and successful applicants are very highly thought of in the community.

Antti Pentikäinen, an FCA Executive Director, termed the agreement as a great opportunity to address the current challenges faced by the educational system in Eritrea.

"The new agreement represents a welcome opportunity to renew partnership with Eritrea. Strengthening the teacher education is a great entry point to develop the education system as a whole," he said, in an article by ACT Alliance.

In addition to the education reform, the FCA also plans to create an Innovation Center in Eritrea. The goal is to cultivate discussion and encourage solution-building towards creating more jobs, providing more educational opportunities for the marginalized, and improving energy provision.


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