The School Fund’s staff, Executive Director Elizabeth Texeira and Director of Programs Michael Childress, are on a three week trip to East Africa to meet seven of our field partners in the region. They will be writing short posts about their experience, so check back for an update soon!
(An update from Michael, who is visiting our partner Abaarso in Somaliland)
Somaliland is a semi-autonomous region of Somalia that declared independence in 1991. It has a separate government, currency and military, but is not recognized as an independent nation by the international community.
After the civil war in the 1990s, much of the education infrastructure in Somaliland collapsed. Today there is little reliable information on the performance of schools in Somaliland. However, anecdotal reports suggest that many children are out of school and those who are in school are learning very little.
In contrast to this rather bleak picture, there has been a growing stream of graduates from a small private high school on the outskirts of Hargeisa who are being admitted to some the world’s elite universities. Within the walled compound at Abaarso School, a group of international teachers and Somali staff teach and live alongside about 200 students.
Although few of the teachers have formal training, their dedication and the students drive to learn are producing some extraordinary results, including sending students to Harvard and MIT.
Mustafa is currently finishing his final exams at Abaarso. In July he leaves Somaliland for the first time to attend University of Rochester, where he hopes to become a mathematician. He says that going to school allowed him the opportunity to see the world in a different way, and to question and have different opinions.