New school curriculum set to 'unify Somalia'

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Wasiirka Waxbarashada Soomaaliya, Cabdiraxmaan Daahir oo ka hadlaya shirweynaha waxbarashada/Munasar Maxamed/Ergo Photo | The minister of education speaking during the new curriculum conference/Munasar Mohamed/Ergo

Radio Ergo 10 May, 2017 MUQDISHO


(ERGO) - Somalia is to adopt a new national curriculum in all primary and secondary schools in the country, replacing seven different curricula that been applied by various different education networks.

The new curriculum was endorsed at a national conference organised by the ministry of education in Mogadishu on Tuesday. The conference brought together the education ministers of the regional states of Puntland, South West, Jubaland, Galmudug and Hirshabelle, as well as educationalists, teachers, religious leaders, and civil society groups.

Somalia’s federal minister of education, culture and higher education, Abdirahman Dahir Osman, told Radio Ergo that adoption of the new curriculum was mandatory for all schools. The same examinations would be held across the country from next year.

The minister said the single curriculum would help to unify Somalia.

“The biggest problem arising from the lack of a single curriculum is the emergence of people with different ideologies and purposes, who have different interests and that is the biggest problem we are facing now.  Today we are divided, the government and its citizens are not in the same boat and these are the results of the different curricula that have been used in the country for the last 25 years,” the minister said. 

Preparation of the new curriculum has been going on since 2010. It stipulates that Somali children will spend 14 years in school: two years in Koranic classes, eight years in primary school and four years in high school.

Children will go to school for six days a week from Saturday to Thursday. Ten basic subjects will be offered in primary classes including new subjects social studies, art and craft, physical education and technology. Students in high school will be taught 12 subjects.

The curriculum also includes courses on peace education, environment, nationalism, human rights according to Islam, conflict management, dangers of mines and improvised explosive devices.  

The minister said key education organisations have all agreed to adopt the new curriculum. Since the collapse of the central government in 1991, seven different education systems have been in use in Somalia, including some copied from Kenya, Saudi Arabia, UAE and India.  Some schools have been following the former national curriculum developed under Siad Barre’s regime.

Mohamed Hassan Diriye, chairman of the Somali Formal Private Education Network (SOFPEN), told Radio Ergo they were ready to adopt the new curriculum throughout its schools.

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