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ERIC Number: EJ1050681
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Origin and Development of Multilingual Education in Eritrea
Asfaha, Yonas Mesfun
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v36 n2 p136-150 2015
In an attempt to describe the historical origins of multilingual education in Eritrea, Horn of Africa, this paper looks at how missionaries, European colonisers, successive Ethiopian rules in Eritrea and the independence movements that fought Ethiopia defined ethnic, religious and linguistic differences of communities in the country. These definitions of differences are then related to broader political aspirations of these forces and their specific education policies. Italian and Ethiopian rules, chiefly concerned with control and pacification of the territory, imposed Italian and Amharic languages, while missionaries, the British Military Administration and the 1950s government of autonomous Eritrea, despite their divergent interests, laid some ground for pluralistic language policies in the country. But it is the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, predecessor to the current government, sceptical of the policies of all these forces and charging them as divisive, that sought to de-politicise diversity by embracing it. As a direct result of this stance on diversity, and as a result of other contributing factors such as the Marxist ideology of the organisation, Eritrea now has a multilingual education policy that uses the country's nine languages in schools. The application of language rights perspectives to the policy raises a number of questions (e.g. on policy implementation) that require further attention.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Academy of Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Eritrea
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A