For many children in Somalia, the arrival of September meant the start of a new school year. But, for a huge number of children, school remains inaccessible.
In South Central Somalia, an estimated 1.8 million children aged between 5 and 17 have been out of school. This number looks set to grow even bigger with the influx of internally displaced people caused by the country’s food crisis.
For children facing these risks, education is essential to provide protection in a safe environment. Children learn life-saving knowledge and skills, and they become more linked into other services – food, nutrition, health, water, sanitation and child protection.
That’s why our emergency team in Somalia is making access to schools a priority. We’re building on Save the Children 20-years’ experience here. We’re now running in South Central Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland.
Another is the project in Somalia called Strengthening Capacity for Teacher Training, which works with primary and secondary school teachers. Teachers are trained in teaching skills, and the project focuses on girls’ education and on using effective teaching methodologies that incorporate local materials developed by Somali staff.
Fleeing from drought or violence leaves children with a legacy that doesn’t always make them good students, says Kaissa.
“They are not used to rules,” he says. “They come to school today, but maybe they don’t come tomorrow.” To prove his point, only the most serious students attended school on the first day of term. It would take the rest of the week for the others to take their place in class.