Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Free education lures Somali kids from streets  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 08/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) Two years ago Mohamed Aden was a shoe shiner in Mogadishu, walking the streets of the Somali capital in search of clients even as his friends attended school. Now the 12-year-old boy sits proudly among classmates.For Aden, a poor boy whose family lives in a derelict building in a Mogadishu slum, the transition from streets to classroom might never have happened without a new government-run program called Go2School that seeks to give a free elementary school education to at least 1 million children.Many in Somalia are happy with the new program, but the country’s Al-Qaeda-linked militant group this week warned that schools are legitimate targets for attack. Sheikh Ali Mohamed Hussein, a senior Al-Shabab official, told reporters on Tuesday that the education program seeks to secularize Somali children.Despite a long history of such anti-education threats, the donor-funded program has proved popular with parents as well as children who otherwise would have no opportunity to get even the most basic education in a country with one of the worst literacy rates in the world.On a recent morning, Aden gleefully worked on an English exercise as a teacher stood by the blackboard offering instruction to dozens of boys and girls at Mogadishu’s Macalin Jamac School, where some 700 students are trying to catch up on lost school time. Launched late last year, the program has already enrolled more than 35,000 students in 16 schools across the country.“I’m happy now because I am learning at a school,” Aden said. “I’m going to become a doctor when I finish studying.”Abdiwahid Sheikh Ahmed, the school’s principal, said his goal is “to bring many lost children back to school.”The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, is urging donors to keep the program running. Only 42 percent of Somali children attend primary school, according to one estimate by the UN Of those, only about a third are girls.The poor attendance rates are partly a legacy of instability in the Horn of Africa nation. Public schools collapsed in the decades-long chaos that followed the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991. Schools, expensive to run and often targeted by militants as agents of so-called Western indoctrination, were among the hardest hit.Although some private schools exist, few Somalis can afford the tuition in a country where many live in extreme poverty. Annual per capita income was 107 in 2011, according to UN data. Unable to go to school, many Somali children have ended up on the streets, offering cheap labor at building sites. Others have been targeted as potential recruits for a terrorist campaign by rebels.Somali education officials believe many children can be lured to the classroom as the country gradually becomes more peaceful. The program is funded by the UN and countries including Qatar, a key supporter of Somalia’s president. Parents only have to pay for a uniform and scholastic materials for their children.“So far, the program is going well. We want to increase the low enrolment rate in the country,” said Mohamed Abdiqadir Ali, a director at Somalia’s Education Ministry. “We are also considering setting up mobile schools in the rural areas and regions.”Boys sit side by side with girls in schools run under the Go2School program, a gender mix that has alarmed some parents in this conservative Muslim country. Many keep their daughters away.Ali, the Education Ministry director, said they are yet to design a standard national school curriculum, raising questions about the quality of teaching now on offer. Some teachers said that often their monthly pay comes late, and others were said to have stopped teaching because of safety concerns amid militant threats.Some critics, noting the country’s lack of strong institutions, worry that the program may be derailed by official corruption.“It’s the most excellent program Somalia is undertaking in decades, but there’s question of its sustainability given the country’s corruption background,” said Mohamed Ali, a retired university professor in Mogadishu.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 May 7 2015 - Kuwait- Anti-Obesity Programs 'Launched' At SchoolsArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) A Kuwaiti-based anti-obesity campaign announced Tuesday that its anti-obesity awareness program at schools has accomplished significant results among students through physical ...

 May 7 2015 - HH The Amir Lauded For His Support For Cancer PatientsArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Al Sidra Association for Psychological Care of Cancer Patients organised an operetta entitled "Sidra of Hope" on Wednesday under the patronage of His Highness the Amir ...

 May 7 2015 - Kuwait Offers $3 Million To Quake-Stricken NepalArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Sate of Kuwait has donated $3 million to the United Nations to meet Nepal's emergency humanitarian needs after the devastating earthquake that hit the country just over a ...

 May 7 2015 - Qatar To 'Build' Seven Cities To House 250,000 LabourersArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Qatar is to build seven "cities" to house more than a quarter of a million migrant labourers building major infrastructure and projects for the 2022 World Cup, officials said ...

 May 7 2015 - US Bounties Target IS LeadershipArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The United States ratcheted up pressure on the leaders of the Islamic State jihadist group on Tuesday, adding four names to those targeted by multi-million-dollar bounties. The ...

 May 7 2015 - Malay David takes ninth women's Asian squash title in KuwaitKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Malaysia's Nicol David won her ninth women's Asian Individual Squash Championship in Kuwait on Tuesday as Leo Au of Hong Kong snatched the men's title from ...

 May 7 2015 - Kuwait- Amir Lauds GCC SolidarityArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah said on Tuesday the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have proven their solidarity in dealing with ...

 May 7 2015 - Kuwait- MP Dashti Seeks Open Debate On 'Gulf Security Agreement'Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Gulf Security Agreement should be discussed fully while deliberations should not be restricted to the Parliament and government because the opinions of numerous ...

 May 7 2015 - Kuwait- Efforts Of GCC Leaders Regarding Security, Safety In Region HailedArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Cabinet late Monday was notified about the delegation accompanying His Highness the Amir to the 15th Consultative Meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders to be ...

 May 7 2015 - Kuwait- Plan To Hire 1956 Census Bedoun Men In Police ForceArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Ministry of Interior is planning to hire bedoun men, who are included in the 1956 census, sons of martyrs and sons of Kuwaiti women married to bedoun men, into the police, ...

more...


 






Google

Arab Advisors_12th convergence conf

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help