Somaliland: An Open Letter to the Minister of Education and Higher Studies

Somaliland: An Open Letter to the Minister of Education and Higher Studies
Would the minister of education in Somaliland listen attentively to concerns raised by students? Dr.Abdi. E.Obseyeh

Somalilandsun: Two weeks ago the minister of education had a trip/tour to the western regions of Somaliland to find a solution the challenges of education. Yes, almost all the regions had their say; but may be some of them had spoken in a low voice and I couldn’t find them in the media (don’t laugh). Fortunately, last week I have watched some activist students from Gabiley region who had addressed wisely their complains in front of the minister.

What were the complains of the students?

“Mr, Minister,” The first student starts “I have finished my primary school and intermediate school and can’t speak; can’t write some useful English sentence. My plan was to go to secondary school for further learning, but alas in secondary school all subjects are in English so I can’t precede to”. Applause.

“Mr. Minister” the second student clears his voice “I have recently graduated from secondary school, my intention was to go higher schools and university but still I have to improve my English. What my colleague highlighted does not concern only to our school, it does concern all the schools. So, Mr. Minister what is your plan in the future?” Applause.

There was murmur and waves of astonishment as voices of discussion started in the meeting hall. Of course many of the parents were not aware such certain issue, while others can’t believe what they heard.

Last year I have visited a certain intermediate school in Borama which my friend was the English teacher. Before the class was over I had ten minutes to interact the students hence I asked them if someone can say “there are 3 cats in the class”. No one could correct this simple sentence!! Next, I checked the textbook of their curriculum and read in silence some of the topics inside. The following were the topics I have checked from the textbook; 1) Climate change,2) The Johannesburg news.3) Global warming. 4)Air pollution. 5) Welcome to computer job, I then asked myself how someone could grasp such sophisticated topics while they could not produce some simple sentences!!

I appreciate much how Dr,Kassey encourages the students to make free conversation and debates in the class. In an interview Dr. Kassey who is our professional English teacher in Adal Medical university in Borama told me that most of these bright students have graduated from Ubaya secondary, Islamic online university, waberi institute and Awdal college

It is true that proper education can play a great role in shaping our future generations and is an essential part of human life; A well educated person is the one who can be a good citizen, successful, helpful and   provide solutions to most of our social problems. The topic of education and how it affects our community is notably absent in all our debates so, I advise to enrich this topic since it is an essential part of the human life.

The following are some recommendations which I think may be helpful:

  1. -Curriculum building decision in the hands of the stakeholders (including higher schools and universities, educated persons).
  2. – Early intervention. Somali, Arabic and English can be started as early as possible.
  3. -Give enough training to teachers and raise their standard.
  4. – Focus on supervision to schools and the teaching methods

By Dr.Abdi. E.Obseyeh,Borama,G/Awdal.