Surveying theories, aims, and practice of British education in Eritrea following the collapse of Italian East Africa in World War II, this article focuses on the period between 1941 and 1947 when the British caretaker administration took an unprecedented role in crafting an education policy for the Eritrean pupils. Due to unedited and never used archival primary sources, continuity and breaks with the poorly Fascist school policy are stressed, together with the Eritreans’ agency. What emerges from the historical analysis is that, despite the British policy was fraught with confusion of purpose and lack of resources, the Eritreans were crucial for the expansion of the school systems. The fresh impetus given by village communities, self-help organizations and school teachers show how much education was left to local initiative and voluntary effort. Besides the role of missionaries and of private schools, it is analysed how external players, such as Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, contributed in developing educational policies meant to be socially relevant and financially feasible and, most of all, engines of politically oriented youngsters, thus supporting the formation of an élite in a time when education and politics became more intertwined than ever, mirroring international rivalries.

Reengineering Education in Eritrea and Grassroots initiatives (1941-1947): Crucible of Transformative Leadership?

Guazzini, F.
2017

Abstract

Surveying theories, aims, and practice of British education in Eritrea following the collapse of Italian East Africa in World War II, this article focuses on the period between 1941 and 1947 when the British caretaker administration took an unprecedented role in crafting an education policy for the Eritrean pupils. Due to unedited and never used archival primary sources, continuity and breaks with the poorly Fascist school policy are stressed, together with the Eritreans’ agency. What emerges from the historical analysis is that, despite the British policy was fraught with confusion of purpose and lack of resources, the Eritreans were crucial for the expansion of the school systems. The fresh impetus given by village communities, self-help organizations and school teachers show how much education was left to local initiative and voluntary effort. Besides the role of missionaries and of private schools, it is analysed how external players, such as Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, contributed in developing educational policies meant to be socially relevant and financially feasible and, most of all, engines of politically oriented youngsters, thus supporting the formation of an élite in a time when education and politics became more intertwined than ever, mirroring international rivalries.
978-88-6292-967-7
Eritrea; Education; Decolonization; International Politics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12071/1748
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