• Mogadishu

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 4:59 AM
    Last Update : Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 4:59 AM

Life of Displacement Robs Somali Children of Schooling

(AWP) - In a refugee camp in a suburb of the Somali capital Mogadishu, hundreds of displaced families who have fled floods, wars and droughts in the country’s southern regions, find themselves barely able to make ends meet and unable to afford to send their children to school.

More displaced people have recently arrived at the al-Adala camp, in the hope of better chances of survival after fleeing harsh conditions in their home regions.

The biggest concern for the displaced is to make a livelihood above anything else, even if this means sacrificing their children’s education.

Hawa Abu Bakr, a displaced Somali woman, said, “God gifted me with these children, some of whom have reached studying age, but I cannot get them into schools. Schools require monthly fees and other supplies, which are not available to us. We are struggling even to provide bread.”

According to official statistics, the enrolment rate of children in education is less than 20%, with a dropout rate of around 40%.

Adam Mohamed Othman, the headmaster of a school at al-Adala camp, said, “Education opportunities are not available in these camps due to the living conditions. The rate of displaced pupils who enrolled in schools this year does not exceed 10%. The rest cannot access education due to high tuition fees.”

Fatima Abdul-Qadir, a teacher at the camp school, said that thousands of displaced pupils do not have access to education because their parents cannot afford the fees and other supplies.

“[The pupils] end up playing with unexploded war remnants, putting their lives at risk,” she pointed out, regretfully.

Abdul-Qadir explained that the families in the camps are focused more on immediate basic needs such as putting food on the table than on enrolling their children in schools.

Camp officials confirm that it shelters 754 displaced families in deteriorating living conditions because no humanitarian aid has been received in five months.