Arab Today, arab today school year begins in warweary somalia
Last Updated : GMT 15:39:00
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Arab Today, arab today

School year begins in war-weary Somalia

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today School year begins in war-weary Somalia

Mogadishu - Xinhua

Schools in the Somali capital and throughout the Horn of African country have reopened as the new school year begins this week. Students of primary and secondary schools are the lucky ones in a country seen as having one of the lowest primary school enrolment rates in the world. The educational infrastructure has been destroyed during the two decades of civil conflict but some have been rebuilt particularly in cities and towns in Somalia. Most of the schools that are operating can enroll the few students who can afford the sometimes prohibitively high tuition fees charged for primary and secondary education. United Nations Children\'s Fund (UNICEF) says education and formal classroom learning opportunities are limited and unavailable for a majority of children in Somalia. Since the educational system in the war ravaged country collapsed, there has not been much development in a unified national curriculum. Individual schools or groups of schools follow adopted curriculums from other countries, mostly Arab states and neighboring Kenya. Schools use three languages namely the local Somali language, Arabic or English as a medium of instruction depending on the curriculum used. In this particular school at the heart of the Somali capital Mogadishu students are taught in English. Students at schools in Mogadishu have been daring general insecurity in the city to get education but as security is improving both teachers and students at this school are upbeat about the future of Somali education and the country at large. \"This school is growing and students enrolment is increasing because of our highly qualified teachers who teach at this school. We are very confident that things will improve further in our educational system and in the country as a whole,\" Faisal Sheikh Abdulahi, Mamur Secondary School principle, told Xinhua. Education is highly regarded among Somali society and families. Those who can afford to send their children to school do not hesitate to put all of their children both boys and girls alike to school. But since the school fees and other costs are too high for most people, families send some of their children to receive education while others miss out. Students say they are determined to come to school regularly despite the constant danger they have to face on a daily bases as flare-ups of violence can suddenly erupt as they come or leave school. A number of students and teachers have been killed or injured when they went to or from school and were caught in crossfire or roadside or car bomb explosions that is a daily reality in Somalia, where radical Islamists are fighting against Somali government. \"It is very tough studying in a violent zone but we have to because we don\'t have other option but to study and improve our lives. I have decided to come to this school after I was advised to do so by my parents,\" Abshir Abdi Jama, a secondary student told Xinhua. Schools in Somalia are trying to face the challenge of educating the country\'s young despite the seeming insurmountable hurdles to achieve the goals. Somalia has been through almost two decades of civil conflict that destroyed much of the country\'s infrastructure including schools and universities. Early this year, Somali government which is struggling against Islamist insurgency for the past three years managed to open the first state-run school in Mogadishu, a sign many say education is returning to the priority list of Somali government.    

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