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Puntland school children takeover Ministry meeting to mark World Children’s Day

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Usui
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Usui
Puntland’s Director General of Education (left) listens intently to 14-year-old Nasteha during a children’s takeover of a Puntland Education Ministry workshop to mark World Children’s Day.

By Sayaka Usui, UNICEF Somalia Education Specialist

Garowe, Puntland, Somalia, 20 November 2017 – Top officials from Puntland’s Education Ministry took a back seat today as children from a local school took over their training workshop to celebrate World Children’s Day.

Fourteen year old Nasteha assumed the Director General’s (DG) role and delivered the opening remarks. She told meeting which included the DG Mohamed Abdulkadir and 28 District Education Officers (DEOs), that equal access to quality education was not only a fundamental human right ensuring the development of each child, but also a driving force for peaceful and sustainable nation building.

She was joined by four classmates from Darwish school which is supported by UNICEF. They included Basir who read a poem about World Children’s Day which is celebrated every year on 20 November. It is also the day when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) an international legal agreement (or ‘treaty’) that recognizes specific rights for children. Somalia ratified the CRC in 2015 – the 196th country to do so.

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Usui
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Usui
Five local school children stage a takeover of a Puntland Education Ministry workshop to mark World Children’s Day.

‘It is very important to celebrate 20th November ever year so that we all remind ourselves about the rights of children, as well as the historical background and how it has been marked all over the world,” said Basir.

This year, to mark World Children’s Day, children all over the world have been encouraged to take over taking over key roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to voice their support for millions of their peers who do not enjoy their rights. The children, the DG and DEOs together watched a video about the Convention of the Rights of the Child which was followed by a discussion on the situation of the rights of children in Puntland.

The adults joined in with Mursal Said, the DEO of Hingalol district of Sanaag region, sharing his impromptu style poem inspired by the event on the wide range of child rights. 

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