International Day of the African Child Marked in Mogadishu PDF Print

 

Mogadishu, Somalia - A colourful ceremony was held at Mogadishu’s Jazeera Hotel to Mark this year’s International Day of the African Child on June 16th.


The event was organized by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in conjunction with other stakeholders in education including CISP. CISP Mogadishu team joined government officials, humanitarian organizations' and local universities' representatives who took part in the event. The main theme of the day was advocacy for free and quality education for the Somali children.


In his opening speech, MoE’s acting secretary Professor Toohow cited the objectives of The Day and the challenges that Somalia is facing to realize them.

 

“The right to education is a universal right and it is the duty of the Somali community to collectively strive to achieve this right.  A neighbour’s child’s failure to be educated will affect the other children going to school. Therefore, safeguarding the right to education should involve all of us,” noted Maryan Abkow a representative of UNICEF.


On his part, the minister for postal and communication who had also attended the event said, “We must reclaim the history of Mogadishu as a beacon of knowledge full of libraries and books.”


The amount of importance attached to education on the African Child Day’s celebration clearly and decisively indicates that the Somali people strongly believe in the power of education as a tool to bring the change and development needed in Somalia.


According to Honourable Haamud, the Deputy Minister for Education, there has been a lot of progress made in education in Somalia today. The government’s initiative to avail free education to all Somali children is gaining momentum. “Currently, there are more than thirty six thousand children in over eighty schools in South-Central Somalia benefitting from the Go to School project.” the assistant minister said. “The government is also working hard to unify the syllabus, national examinations and certifications in all parts of Somalia,"the minister concluded.


16th June has been marked as the International Day of African Child Since 1991. All over the continent this day is celebrated to honour those who participated in the Soweto uprising in 1976 and raise awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children. The theme for 2014 was: A child-friendly, quality, free, and compulsory education for all children in Africa.


By Hussein Somo and Salad Ghedi, Mogadishu

 

 

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