Buhodle schoolgirl dropouts on the risePhoto | Sawir/Cabdikariim/Ergo
Education officials in Buhodle town, Togdher region, have expressed concern over the high number of girls who have been dropping out of school in recent years.
Mukhtar Ahmed Farah, administrator of Hawd primary and secondary school in Buhodle, said that 50 girls had dropped out of their institutionsince 2012, citing lack of moneyand early marriage as the main reasons.
“In 2012, the number of girl students in our primary school was 119. Today, there are only 69 girls,” said Farah.
He also said that many secondary girl students did not complete their education because of early marriage problems. “There are only 12 girls in the secondary school now. Many girls are leaving school for marriage,” he said.
He added that an average of three girls dropped out of the school every month due to various challenges. “Most of the girls stop education to help their parents with money or look after their animals,” he noted.
He called on the local authority to tackle this problem by encouraging parents to enroll their girls in schools and keep them in schools until they complete their education.
Halima Mohamed Jama is a mother of 11 children, five girls and and six boys. She told Radio Ergo that only one of her five daughters goes to school, while another three sell vegetables in the market and the sixth looks after the animal.
Some parents in the area have none of their girls enrolled in schools.
Ibado Ali Mohamed is a mother of six children, two girls and four boys. She told Radio Ergo that none of her daughters goesto school. When asked why she didn’t enroll any of her daughters in school, she cited economic reasons.
“I sent one of them to school, but I couldn’t afford to pay the school fees,” said Mohamed.
“Their father is very old and doesn’t go to work. I depend on 150 USD sent to me by a relative living abroad. And this is not even enough for our living.”
Most of the schools in Buhodle town are privately owned. Parents whose children go to the primary schools are required to pay 7 USD a month, while others whose children go to secondary schools pay 11 USD a month.
The head of Care International in Sool region, Ibrahim Hassan Bile,said they were aware of enormous challenges that keep girls away from school.
Bile said their organization was working on a project thatwouldsee the establishment of six schools in Buhodle district and surrounding areas in the near future.
He said several of the schools they were going to build would be for girls only and would provide free education.