Nairobi - As Somalia is grappling with the worst drought in 60 years, the country’s ministry of education has offered a ray of hope announcing a new plan to invest in higher education.
The plan would provide scholarship opportunities for Somali-based students as well as students drawn from the world’s largest refugee camp, located in Dadaab Kenya. Close to 1,000 high school graduates who have registered for standard tests in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia will compete for these scholarships.
“This is the first time that Somali refugees outside of Somalia will participate in these competitions. Currently, students at Dadaab Refugee Camps only receive up to high school education and many are left without any formal education beyond high school. Over 200 Somali Refugee students in Kenya including those from Dadaab camps will compete for national scholarships for Higher Education. The Ministry planned to include refugee students in Yemen to also participate, however, security conditions there halted the plan” Says Hodan Nalayeh of the Somali Refugee Awareness Project.
Hodan adds that “Ten students selected from the Refugees in Dadaab and the other camps will be awarded $500 grants towards their education donated by the Somali Business Community of Nairobi”.
Students will be tested on Math, Science (Chemistry, Biology and Physics), Social Studies and Islamic Studies. Tests will be given in Arabic and English.
The Somali Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education, Dr. Abdinur Sheikh Mohamed Mohamud, will hold a ceremony today in the Somali Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, honoring Somali students who will be pursuing a higher education. The ceremony will bring a ray of light to many Somali Students who will receive scholarships and full tuition assistance towards higher education institutions.
According to Somali officials, Somalia’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education “is committed to improving the delivery of education in Somalia and to restore the quality of the educational system. The Ministry believes education is the pathway for conflict resolution, peaceful co-existence, human and National Development. Education is not a privilege but a right for all citizens in Somalia”.
“We want to restore hope and structure to Somalia’s education system. We want the world to know how talented and educated Somalia’s youth can be if we invest in them now. We are building amongst the suffering, but with an investment in education, you can never lose,” Said Minister Mohamud.
As an educated Somali from the Diaspora, Dr. Mohamud was appointed by former Prime Minister, Farmajo, to take over Somalia’s failed education system. He brings wealth of knowledge from his previous position as a professor at Ohio University and was a long time employee of State of Ohio, Department of education, in the United States.
The ceremony will be attended by:
Education Minister, Dr. Abdinur Sheikh Mohamed Mohamud
Famous Somali singer Saado Ali Warsame
Augustine P. Mahiga, UN Special Representative to Somalia
Mohamed Ali Nur, Somali Ambassador in Nairobi
and many community leaders.