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Never too late to learn – 65 year old farmer joins his children at school

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Vinod
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Vinod
Four parents join their children to learn at a UNICEF-supported school.

By Hema Vinod and Abduladhif Sheikh – UNICEF Somalia Education Staff

Baidoa, Somalia, 20 July 2017 - Sixty-five year old Mohamed Sur sits at the back of the classroom in Beled Amin school in Baidoa, southern Somalia. He has three children at the school - Janow aged 10, Habiba who is 6 and Shamsa aged 4. But Mohamed is not here to watch. He is one of four parents who have come to learn alongside their children.

Mohamed, a farmer, fled from his village, Baanow, 65 Kms south west of Baidoa because of the drought. He saw his children learning to read and write and wanted to learn the same skills himself.

“I had never even seen a school or attended one - this is an opportunity,” he said. “I wish to learn to read and write Somali and escape from the ignorance which I have suffered all my life.” 

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Vinod
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Vinod
65 year-old Mohamed Sur shows how he can write his name after attending school with his children.

He was also well aware of the benefits of numeracy to help him manage his finances. He said he had been cheated many times due to ignorance and he felt education was the best means to overcome life’s many problems.

The school which has two classrooms one for boys and the other for girls was established in 2014 and UNICEF currently supports the school using United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support teacher training, training of members of the Community Education Committee, provision of mini grants to schools, safe drinking water and teacher incentives.



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