The school in the village is attended by approximately 500 children from the age of 7 years. The younger children attend in the mornings and the older children in the afternoons.
The school is both a primary and a middle school with a growing roll. Bogu is a Bilen-speaking village. There are 9 main languages spoken in Eritrea in addition to English and Italian. Bilen is a minority language and is only spoke by about 30 villages (approximately 30,000 people). One of the difficulties faced by the community is that the majority of the teachers only speak Tigrinya, whilst the children speak only Bilen. To add to the communication problems; the older children are being taught English and by the time they get to secondary school, most lessons are supposed to be taught in English.
Any country recovering from a protracted war has difficulties to overcome. Eritrea has a shortage of both teachers and schools especially in rural areas. Many schools, like Bogu, lack electricity and water. The style of instruction in Eritrea is very teacher-centred with rote-learning. This is effective in improving literacy but is unlikely to produce individuals who will remain in Eritrea to help solve national problems. Although young people in the cities have access to phones, computers and internet cafes, rural schools have no access to new technologies at all. Even the pcs we have been able to install in Bogu have no internet connection and there are no phones in the village. There are many problems facing the children in Bogu; poverty, poor sanitation, malaria, restricted diet and cultural and social practices. In addition, education is not free in Eritrea and there are many domestic demands on children in rural villages.
Teachers are often on extended periods of national service. They are poorly paid and in many cases are isolated from their families. In Bogu, because it is isolated, most of the teachers sleep in the classrooms at night, returning to Keren at the weekends.