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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Language, Education, and Public Policy in Eritrea
Author:Woldemikael, Tekle M.
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Eritrea
Subjects:educational policy
language policy
languages of instruction
Education and Oral Traditions
Politics and Government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1514983
Abstract:After an Eritrean nationalist movement gained Eritrea's independence from Ethiopia in 1991, the newly formed government introduced a national education policy based on the use of mother languages as the medium of instruction in all public schools. The stated purpose of the policy was to foster national unity, identity, and development while respecting cultural diversity. Nine different languages are spoken in Eritrea, among a population that consists equally of Christians and Muslims. The government has shown considerable flexibility in applying its language policy, particularly in its response to resistance from some predominantly Muslim segments of the population. Yet the implementation of the educational policy shows that three languages - English, Arabic and Tigrinya - have come to dominate the majority of schools in Eritrea. This article examines how the State carried out its language policy from 1991 to 1997 and explores the problem it confronted in implementing the policy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]