The number of children and young people going to school and university in Beletweyne has risen dramatically over the past two years, according to local educationalists and parents.
Abdisalan Abdullahi Elmi, the registrar of Hiran University, told Radio Ergo’s local reporter there were now nine high schools and six universities in Beletweyne.
Most had opened in the past two years.
Abdinasir Farah Elmi, chairman of development services in the region, said research in 2014 showed that 800 students had finished high school and 500 had joined university.
Students are even coming to schools in Beletweyne from remote rural areas and villages across the border in Ethiopia.
Al-Ihsan primary school provides free education for children from displaced families and poor families.
Dr Qassim Ahmed, the administrator, said they opened in 2013 with 115 children and now have over 400 students. In 2014, the school had enrolled 86 girls and 73 boys.
Halima Mohamed Hussein, a mother in Hawatako neighbourhood, said parents had understood the importance of educating girls. “Two of my daughters are enrolled at Al-Ihsan primary school. Girls are committed to learning more than boys, who are busy thinking about doing other things apart from school!” she said.
Beletweyne education has made a good recovery since it hit a low point in December 2008, when armed groups killed four teachers at the former Hicap School, leading to the subsequent closure of the school and displacing of many teachers.