In our first eight months in Somalia IBC has given support to schools like Korsan IDP camp, Hamar Jab Jab primary and secondary school and Rage Ugas primary school.
During our visit in Korsan IDP camp we meet Nasteha Farax, a 17 year old teacher in the school. Nasteha and her family fled from Lower Shabelle in such of basic needs such as food and water which became a rear commodity due to the devastating drought.
Nasteha is a teacher to 40 IDP children in Korsan IDP School supported by IBC. After having an interview with her she said the following.
“I am not that educated and I finished high school just last year and could not afford to go to the university to further my studies. After coming here, I saw this school being constructed and I decided to educate these children and teach them, Math’s, English and science.”
When we ask why she decided to become a teacher?
“These children are the leaders of tomorrow and they need to be educated, they need to be in school for a better future. Besides that I also needed a job.” She says.
Figure 1: Nastexa Explaining notes to one of the students What are the difficulties you face in school?
“it is hard to keep the children in school, they don’t have exercise books, there are no text books, there are no desks for them to sit on , as you can see they sit on the floor and this makes them not to concentrate during learning because they get bites from insects.” She says.
“In addition there are no feeding programs in the school. Most of these children skip classes because they have to go out in the name of supporting the families.” We are asking for help from international organizations to assist this children by giving them uniforms, books, desks and feeding programs to keep them in school, to keep them from joining militia groups by creating a child friendlier enabling environment.” she says.
Figure 2 : the children in class singing songs of joy.
This is the appeal of 17 year old Nastexa who is currently teaching in this child friendly center. There is need to educate these children regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or circumstances and its target towards access to a quality education by targeting the camps, most disadvantaged children, the excluded, and the vulnerable children
When asked how was the performance of the children despite the conditions they live in, she replied:
“Their performance is good, but there is need for more class rooms. This is the only class room we have and after the child graduates from this class he / she does not have anywhere to graduate to and I am afraid their education will stop. We need more class rooms.”
This is the reality on the ground for these children, no playing grounds, no good schools, any desks and chairs, no uniforms anything. Even there are no incentives to support the teachers.
IBC has decided to help these teachers with incentives. Nasteha was one of the teachers that benefitted from the project. It was a kind of incentive whereby IBC wanted to reward teachers that have endured educating their community at a time they need it most. The schools that we selected were almost those in need and in IDP camps.
It was a pilot test for the teachers in Banadir and if it becomes successful it will be extended to other parts of the country. It is intended to decrease the level of illiteracy in Somalia. The education system in Somalia was promising almost 2 decades ago before the protracted civil war that destroyed all the essential facilities and hence making it difficult for the Somali children to access quality education. During this time all infrastructure were destroyed, education material looted and many students, teachers displaced.
Having a memory recall of how education was treated by then shows the value of education before the civil war and now the cumulative effect of drought which reduced the purchasing power of the community. This has restricted the school going children unable to access education and if one exists, the lack of basic school materials and fees.
As a result of the need, International Blue Crescent (IBC) intervened and gave emergency support in terms of food, water trucking, building of latrines, health facility’s and education in Somalia.