Somalia Children and School

Do the children in Somalia even go to school?

In Somalia, the state pays little attention to children’s education. There are schools that are organized privately or religiously, such as the Koran schools. There are also projects by international aid organizations. It’s hard to believe, but in Somalia only a very small proportion of children go to school at all, 13 out of 100 boys and seven out of 100 girls.

The poor education system unfortunately has a long tradition in Somalia, a country located in Africa according to itypetravel. Even during the colonial era, little attention was paid to children’s education. The Somalis were supposed to serve the colonial rulers as cheap labor and education only stood in the way.

Somali history was also a problem. Knowledge was mostly passed on orally in the family. The children learned what they needed to know from parents and grandparents. And no value was placed on the education of girls. But the boys should help their parents with their work.

Therefore, with the exception of the Koran schools, there were almost no schools. It was only when the Somali language, Somali, was written down that educational opportunities improved. During the government of Siad Barre, the state made efforts to at least teach Somalis to read and write.

Best wishes, but what is the reality?

Officially, children should actually go to primary school for eight years from the age of six and then have the opportunity to attend secondary school for another four years. For the nomads, who move around with their families, there should be their own form of school policy, according to which the children should always go to school for half a year.

But even today the percentage of children who go to school is low. The Koran schools allow the children to learn a little, such as the Arabic script and the Koran, but little emphasis is placed on education outside of religion. Aid organizations like UNICEF but also local organizations are trying to increase the number of children allowed to go to school.

Somalia Children


Why are there pirates in Somalia?

Politically, the situation in Somalia is very unstable. There are no coast guards and large fishing trawlers – that’s what the big fishing boats are called – fish in the waters off Somalia, even though they are not allowed to do so. Often there is nothing left for the local fishermen, although the fish would be an important livelihood for them. They cast out their nets and those nets remain empty.

Many fishermen resisted this approach and began to hijack ships with crews and demand ransom for them. This is of course not okay, but it was often just an act of desperation. Mostly criminal organizations were behind the kidnappings. They took advantage of the fishermen and the money flowed into dubious coffers. Especially in the years between 2008 and 2011, these kidnappings and ransom extortions occurred again and again. In addition to illegal fishing, some countries also dumped their toxic waste into the waters around Somalia.

The consequences of piracy were bad for the Somali population because there were fewer merchant ships and the supply of goods or the necessary relief supplies to the Somalis was also severely restricted.

In the end, the pirates were dealt with strictly, persecuted, arrested and sentenced. Many countries got involved and sent soldiers to protect the merchant ships. The attacks have now been contained. The number of kidnappings is falling.

But that doesn’t solve the problem. Now that the pirates no longer threaten the ships, or at least less threaten them, the large fishing fleets come back and begin again to empty the sea.

But how could the problem be solved?

As long as Somalia does not have a functioning government, the country is repeatedly hit by drought disasters and the people have no livelihoods, there will continue to be people who, in their desperation, also commit crimes.

Only if we succeed in helping the country and creating an economic basis for the people will this really change. Unfortunately, Somalia is still a long way from that.

Hard work and little play: everyday life for children in Somalia

The war has set Somalia back in its entire development. In East Africa, it is certainly the worst off country for the people. And the consequences of war are not eliminated overnight. Industry and especially agriculture were destroyed and many people lost hope. Why should I order my garden when I know that it is about to be destroyed again?

Then there are the times of drought. Then the herds die. The people – especially the many nomads who roam the country with their herds – are robbed of their livelihood. The children’s aid organization UNICEF found that one in five children in Somalia is not getting enough food. These numbers increase in times of drought.

Children in Somalia have to take responsibility very early on. They take care of their younger siblings, go fetch water, help with the household and with the animals or in the fields.

And when do children play in Somalia? They play very little. In addition to housework, they often have to earn money with small jobs. But if they do, then like many other children they play football with enthusiasm. If there isn’t a real ball, people like to make one from scraps of fabric or plastic bags. Children in Somalia also have imaginations.


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