(ERGO) – High school students and teachers from a school in central Somalia’s Mudug region have been spending the school holiday giving adult literacy classes to pastoralists.
A team of 50 students and 10 teachers from Amara secondary school in Amara, Hobyo district, have travelled to six villages to give classes to 150 people from pastoralist communities.
Hassan Dahir Hussein, 40, who lives in Qoriley village 15 km east of Amara, has been attending classes with his 12–year–old son every morning for the last few weeks.
He was proud to be able to read text messages in Somali on his phone, which he was unable to do before.
“We did not know how to read and write before but now both of us are able to read and write Somali and also we can do multiplication of numbers,” he said.
Hassan, who has 10 camels and 100 goats, leaves his livestock to be tended by his wife and six other children as he and his son attend the literacy classes.
The programme began in July and runs for two months, targeting the villages of Qoraley, Koradi Silgo, Meygag, Qonjar and Dhagahley in Amara division.
Hassan Ali Ahmed, a teacher at Amara school, said they were teaching Somali and mathematics.
“The majority of these people are adults, who have never attended school, but want to learn to read and write. They are now interested in learning.”
Yussuf Salad Mohamed, the Amara area chief, commended the project saying it is important these days for all people to be literate.
“Nowadays, nobody uses cash; everything including sending money via mobile service depends on writing and reading, so for this reason we decided to teach them,” he said.
The chief expressed concern over the lack of shelter to house the visiting students. The local administration helps the students and teachers with transportation.
Books and pencils have been donated by two local NGOs, Iftin and Rajo.