Militarized Education Print E-mail
By Aklilu Zere - Jan 15, 2004   

There are those who are of the opinion that an issue has to be repeated to sink into the general consciousness of people. And there are those who believe that repeating will either cheapen or desensitize an issue.


I am with those of the first opinion based on the theory of “the relative maturity of the masses”. The theory stipulates, and is also proven to be true, that mass consciousness lags behind any critical socio-political, cultural and economic developments by ten and in exceptional situations up to twenty years. So unless the elite of the society update and stimulate the masses, (of course by repeating and thus simplifying a complex issue) they will always remain behind and at times with disastrous consequences. Who among us could possibly forget the University students’ repeated revolts against Haile Selassies’s rule. And in every revolt their demands and purpose were the same.


And now we Eritreans are confronted with similar situation and I don’t doubt that we have to utilize the proven method to expose it and to find a viable and lasting solution.



But first thing first. It is good to know the peculiarity of dictators, (of course they share a disproportionate amount of similarity too), not that it matters much, but might provide a useful clue as to how to confront and defeat them.


Dictators come in many peculiarities. As Fuhrers (Hitler); as Fascists (Mussolini) as Totalitarians (Stalin); as Absolute Monarchies (Haile Selassie); as Despots (Idi Amin and Bokassa); as Juntas (Mengistu); and even as deranged men (Pol Pot and Nero).


And there is a question of motif. Some dictators embody an ideology as a motif (Stalin, Castro, Kadafi and Saddam); some embody tradition (Kings and Queens); some a hideous racism and domination (Hitler) and there are those whose motif is either unknown or emanating from psychological disorders (Pol Pot and Nero).


And then there is the question of form as opposed to content. Some are hedonists (Saddam with his palaces and Mobutu with his mansions in south France). Some are exhibitionists (Idi Amin who demanded to be physically carried on diplomats’ shoulders) and of course some are traditionalists (like the Monarchs who flaunt their regalia in public).


So what is the peculiarity of our POE?


I will start with the irreverent and often comic question of form. Our POE is not hedonist. He is not exhibitionist and of course he is not traditionalist. Then what is his motif?


As far as I know our POE’s motif is not based on Ideology. Simply put Isaias has no “fixed” or “defined” ideology: once upon a time he was a communist; another time he was capitalist; now vague and none of the times was he ideologically religious or tribal.


With no distinctive form or fixed Ideology, the only motif that is remaining that will fit to the peculiarity of the POE will be a psychological disorder or derangement not with the magnitude of crime but just like Pol Pot, and not with the pomposity but just like Idi Amin.



But there is one trait that will differentiate him from all modern dictators and that is our POE is anti education and he hates educated people. His hatred towards educated people and his disdain towards educations was only surpassed by the Khamer Rouge’s leader Pol Pot.


During the armed struggle EPLF was lucky in attracting the lion’s share of University students from inside and outside Eritrea. But most of them perished without fulfilling their potential that could have benefited us all. There were certain positions that were off limits if someone has a university education. One cannot become a political commissar and of course one cannot become a military commander. One cannot be trained to become a unit nurse (in Gedli’s parlance Hakim or Dotore) and above all one cannot be assigned in Halewa Sewra.


If in rare occasions if one is able to become one (Sebhat, Petros) it is because they peasantized themselves. If one proves, despite ones education, that he/she has completed the transformation (negative metamorphoses) to become “Gebar”, “Cheguar Danga”, “Harestay” then there is a narrow window of opportunity of being allocated those off –limit positions. Otherwise forget it. But that is not it. An educated person in EPLF was an object of constant jeer, ridicule, derision and suspicion. And most of them dreamed of quick martyrdom. And of course they died.


And the funny thing was if uneducated or low educated person showed a trace of upward transformation (positive metamorphoses) that person’s fate was the same like the educated people: Eternal damnation.


The rest is history.


The POE is officially the Chancellor of the UOA but never attended graduation ceremony. Why should he participate in something that he abhors?


The POE conscripts all high school graduates. Of course why would he allow them to go the place he abhors?


Sawa is transformed into a high school and the POE is a regular visitor. Why not?

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