HARGEISA, 3 December 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Education generally refers to the knowledge which is provided in Schools, Colleges and Universities, with structured hierarchy of classes, syllabus and grades. Education is not only recognized as fundamental human need, but recognized as basic human right. We need to gain knowledge. We need education to invent and discover, we need education in order to master and surmount the world around us to remove the anonymities of life. We need education to understand not only what is happening around us, but also how it affects us now and in the future. Starving ones mind is worse than starving ones body.
For many years Somaliland people endeavored to realize the implementation of an effective educational system in their home land. That time Somaliland’s education system was in a state of despair and all social infrastructures were ceased during Somaliland’s war for independence. That conflict smashed many schools and learning facilities, and disturbed the education of thousands of children in every region in Somaliland. Avery little proportion of children went to school, sheltering under the shadow of trees and collapsed nude houses.
The young are squatting on plain areas and had no books and used to sit on old tin cans. Today, More than 50 percent of Somaliland’s primary school age children go to school every day, while the majority of Somaliland’s secondary and professional technical schools works in good manner. The citizens of this peaceful country either inside or outside the country contributed more funds that proved to be necessary for the establishment of higher learning institutions such as Hargeisa University, Burao University, Amoud University and Berbera Marine Collage which is now replaced Berbera University. These institutions produced people who led the way forward and greatly contributed the development of their country.
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Though the access to university education has been increasing, the quality of education in many Somaliland universities appears to be on the shrink. Lack of well-trained and motivated lecturers and poor & inappropriate curriculum is among the main reasons explaining this diminishes. It is also clear that it does not provide needed skills for young Somali Landers to compete in an increasingly competitive labor market. Consequently, the likelihood of poorer young people proceeding to secondary and tertiary education is hindered due to the massive challenges and uncertainty they live.
To reach our full potential and lay the foundations for future development of our country, University of Hargeisa was established in the year 2000 for the need of university due to growing number of students graduating from the high schools. The universities objective was to bring up intelligent, educated and far-sighted students who lead the country into global development.
Today, 3000 students at the University both in morning and afternoon shifts. The university has got six main faculties; Business Administration, Economics, Law, Science and Medicine and Islamic studies. The university is also implemented a distance learning program in the field of information Technology (ICT), journalism and other courses. The study goes on annual two semester basis with two vacations in the year. One month in the winter and two months in the summer.
The five batches of students were graduated at 18/8/09 of this year. By that time they have finished a four year period of pleasant studies and they were not fully equipped to hunt their higher education or their careers in the labor market due to the lack of eligible lecturers in the university. There are more than 50 lecturers currently registered at university who mostly lack the crisma and quality to teach knowledge to university students.
The university council which is the highest policy making body of the university nominated Dr: Bulhan and his allied senate to carry out day to day routine work of the university. Students are hoping that this management team will be better than the previous or waiting to hear once like this change as they are witness for many years of mismanagement and corruption. But, to my visit at the university in last week many students claimed that every year the university is getting worse day after day. One of the major problems faced university of Hargeisa is scarcity of professional lecturers.
With regards to my university days, I have to remember that there were lots of panel discussions resting on different area such as, Somaliland Natural Resource Allocation”. This forum was took part by ministries, politicians, educators and also the students of different faculties leaded by the economic section student in the university. It is a sign of improvements that enables us economic students to participate fully to make the university of Hargeisa a place where every one of us can display his/her hidden knowledge and give advise to turn one from the other. What I have down pat during my four years of education is unhappy stories. Going university of Hargeisa is some how learning of your tribe. Every student joins the university because of knowing his enemy.
The people behind this are members of senate, faculty deans and lecturers whom they share with same ethnicity. I write this article with tears in my eyes especially the question of – Where are university student. This question touches me genuinely. Somaliland students were assorted the issue of clannish and no one has the dream of working the unity of his society. . It takes me more time to mention this mournful matter, but the question is how can we save the Somaliland generation so as to have a better future? In my familiarity towards re-framing argument is so little, but those who has experience must look back the impact of our squabbles.
Finally, all stakeholders of these negative activities, particularly management team, dean of faculties and university council must seek ways of making brotherhood to all students in the university instead of putting hostilities between them.
Written by : Farhan Abdi Sulieman (oday)