Ministry of Education and students in Somalia rise to the challenge, concluding end-of-year exams 

By Alinor Osman

Mogadishu, Somalia – More than 88,000 Accelerated Basic Education (ABE) students in the country recently concluded their end-of-year examinations, marking a significant achievement for both the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Higher Education (MoECHE) and the students themselves. 

Mohamed Abbi, the Director General of MoECHE, hails the completion of the exams as a huge milestone in the Ministry’s efforts to expand access to education in the country and describes the Accelerated Basic Education program as a transformative initiative, bridging gaps in education and fostering inclusivity in Somalia.  

“I congratulate all for the successful completion of the ABE examinations and the conclusion of the academic year,” he says. “The ABE program holds immense importance by offering a second chance to children who may have missed out on formal education opportunities.” 

A team of MoECHE experts developed the exams in alignment with the national ABE Curriculum, ensuring that students are tested on the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the academic year. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bar ama Baro program has supported the successful implementation of the examination process. 

Students attend class at a school in in Baidoa, Somalia, on 04 September 2022. Credit: © Ismail Taxta

The Bar ama Baro program, meaning “Teach or Learn” in English, is implemented by USAID in Somalia in partnership with the MoECHE and Federal Member States’ Ministries of Education. The program expands access to quality accelerated basic education for out-of-school children to advance the government’s vision of ensuring all Somali children have access to quality education. 

For the ABE students, the end-of-year examinations evaluate their literacy and numeracy skills and determine their eligibility for progression to the next level of the ABE program or joining the formal education system. It is an opportunity for these students, who dropped out of or never attended the formal school system, to prove their academic capabilities and secure a brighter future. 

Hafso Isak, a first-time ABE exam taker from Imamu Nawawi School in Walanweyn, expresses gratitude towards her teachers for their year-long guidance and dedicated revision sessions held in the final week before the exams. “This is my first examination, but our teachers have prepared us well, and I am hopeful that I will succeed in all subjects and proceed to the next level,” she says confidently. 

With the support and supervision of the program and the Federal Member States’ Ministries of Education officials, the ABE teachers and head teachers will now undertake a meticulous grading process. The successful completion of the end-of-year examinations stands as a testament to the collective efforts made by the Ministry of Education, teachers, parents and the students themselves. It signifies a step forward in Somalia’s education system. 

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