· United Nations Campaign ·
Among the signs of the international community's work on rebuilding devastated Somalia is the launching of a campaign by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNESCO) that will give a million children access to instruction. The campaign was launched yesterday on the occasion of International Literacy Day proclaimed by the United Nations Organization, at the same time in the capital, Mogadishu, and in the main cities of the two principal regions of Somalia that were declared autonomous some time ago – Garotte in Puntland and Hargeisa in Somaliland.
The rates of enrolment in schools in Somalia are among the lowest in the world: only four children out of ten go to primary school. Many begin it later than the ordinary age for starting school and many others give up their education too young. Enrolments in secondary school are even lower. The worst situation is that of girls: in Central and Southern Somalia only a third of them are on a school register and leave school before completing their primary instruction.
The project provides for basic teaching for children from the age of six to the age of thirteen, as well as for alternative instruction for children who do not fit into the normal school organization such as shepherds, but especially evacuees, who account for another third of the Somali populations. “It is a fundamental and feasible project. Education is the key to the future of Somalia”, Sikander Khan, UNICEF representative in Somalia said yesterday as he launched the campaign.
St. Peter’s Square
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