(ERGO) – The number of girls going to school in Mudug region has more than quadrupled over the last two years as a result of free education and awareness campaigns.
Mudug regional education commissioner, Ahmed Jama’a Qodeye, told Radio Ergo that the number of girls attending local schools had risen from 150 to 646.
The schools that have seen an increase in girls’ enrolment are in Hobyo, Bajela, Haro, Budbud, Eldibir, Wargalo, El-gula, Bandiradlay, Wisil, Gabarbarwaqo, Do’ol and Gawan.
Girls now outnumber boys in many places outside Galkayo town, where 55 trained female teachers have been deployed. These include Wisil, Eldibir, Hobyo, Wargalo, Budbud, and Bandiradlay. The presence of female teachers has encouraged the enrolment of girls in these schools.
Dahir Hassan Mohamud’s daughters aged 10 and 12 have been going to Bajela primary school for two years. He told Radio Ergo that he changed his mind about girls’ education after being won over by the ‘Go To School’ awareness campaign and by seeing educated girls returning to the area
“I used to believe that girls were meant for housework and that there was no value in teaching them, but I have since realised that girls are no less valuable than boys,” Dahir said.
The father of eight commended free education, saying he would not have been able to afford fees to put all of his seven children in school otherwise.
The education commissioner said parents were now lessening the domestic chores assigned to girls at home to allow them to attend school.
Most of the village schools are supported financially by Galmudug Diaspora Community. Mohamed Abdi Said, the chairperson of the community’s awareness committee, said they have been working for six years to convince parents to enroll their daughters in schools.
“Most people in Mudug region have understood and realised the importance of educating girls. Educated girls returning from abroad and those who studied in the country have become role models for the parents,” he said.