New school offers hope for children in Mogadishu
Mogadishu December 2012- The children of Somali’s capital Mogadishu have a rare cause to celebrate with the opening of a newly renovated school in the city offering free education to pupils.
Ten-year-old Muniiro Ahmed Hassan who is attending school for the first time, is among 380 children who recently enrolled and are learning in Dhagaxtuur primary school.
“I like my new school so much, there is clean tap water and latrines and each morning we sing the national anthem and we lift the flag. I love it,” Muniiro said.
UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education, and SAACID, a Non-Governmental Organization rehabilitated the school which had been run down during the conflict.
There are now 13 schools providing free primary school education under an Emergency Education Programme (EEP) for displaced children affected by drought and conflict run by SAACID with support from UNICEF.
The EEP provides a safe learning environment for children of primary school age. The schools are in Mogadishu and the Lower and Middle Shabelle Regions.
Speaking during the inauguration of the school on 5 December 2012, the Acting Director General for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education, Abuu Ali Sheikh commended UNICEF and SAACID for reviving Dhagaxtuur primary school in Mogadishu and for providing free primary school education.
He urged partners to open more schools in the other districts and to continue to partner with the Somali Government in developing a new era of education in Somalia. The Acting Director General pledged that the Ministry would play a key role in supporting the training of school teachers.
Mariam Abkow, UNICEF’s Education Officer in Mogadishu, urged parents to take advantage of the free education and ensure their children are enrolled in school. She reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to support education for children in the country.
Faadumo Sheikh Nor Abukar who brought her two sons and a daughter to register at the school said, “I am very glad to have my children access free education. The opening of this new school is a sign of progress.”
The school’s Head Teacher, Hawo Abdulle, said the enrolment in the school is rising as more parents get to know that the school offers free education.
Despite the disruption in education for thousands of children displaced by the drought and famine in Somalia, UNICEF is working with partners to ensure that learning continues.