July 20, 2024

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Somalia: Historic Moment As 12th Graders Take National Exams in Liberated Towns

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After decades of being outside the reach of the Somali government, 12th grade students in three major towns in Galgadud, Mudug and Sool regions joined the rest of the nation in taking consolidated national exams, something that was unthinkable just two years ago.

Early in 2023, two of these towns – Elder and Harardere – were freed from Al-ashabaab, while in August of the same year, Laascaanood was recaptured by its own people after a bloody struggle against the breakaway province of Somaliland that ruled the area for 15 years by then.

On June 22, 2024, Prime Minister Hamze Abdi Barre, the Minister of Education, Mr. Farah Abdulkadir, and other high-ranking government officials attended one of the designated centers in Mogadishu to announce the commencement of the examinations scheduled to last for a week-long period from that moment. During this time, students from 736 schools – a total of 37,038 students – were housed in nearly 136 centers spread across various regions of the nation.

According to the Minister of Education, the workforces involved in the examination work included 2870 invigilators tasked with supervising the exams, as well as 2176 police personnel entrusted with the duty of thwarting any harmful incidents throughout the course of the exams.

The minister also told the press that this ending academic year of 2023-2024 has seen a surge in both the number of students taking the exams and the examination centers compared to previous years. He added that over the past four months the Ministry of Education has been relentless in a bid to make this years’ version of examination very special in terms of quality and accessibility, hoping things would go to plan with students.

The increase in the examination centers is intended to ensure that students are given an enhanced accessibility to the examination despite the multifaceted obstructions existing in many areas of the country either in the form of security or ecological problems such as heavy rainfall and floods.

Technology As a New Addition

Speaking of the role of technology in this year’s examinations, Minister Farah said that all aspects of the work are more simplified than before, thanks to the digitalization of the facilities they use for the smooth-running of the examination.

In this vein, he encouraged students and parents to feel free to use the online conduits tailored for the feedback and complaints they may raise regarding their experience of the exams. “We will make sure that each and every complaint will be addressed justly and fairly,” he vowed.

Moreover, the minister has promised that, with due diligence, the exam results will be released shortly after the end of the marking process at the earliest possible to avoid unnecessarily protracted wait as in the past.

The Materialization of a Great Vision

The Prime Minister, in his remarks at the launching of the examinations, congratulated the leadership of the ministry of education and everyone else involved in making this work a success, considering that historic moment as being the manifestation of the accomplishment of a great national vision – representing education, which he [the PM] placed on par with other government priorities like security.

He also commended the extraordinarily creative effort that was done to use technology-centered methods to efficiently administer the test. Mr. Barre stated, “After observing the main examination management center, we are impressed by the high degree of preparedness and the abundance of all the equipment necessary to get the job done well.

Call For Collaboration

The prime minister urged all parents and citizens at large to serve as instrumental in creating enabling environments for students to fare well in their exams, as well as the successful completion of marking and releasing the results.

Decade-Long Process

This examination is said to be the 10th edition of its kind since the Somali government resumed taking centralized national exams for students of 8th and 12th grades after decades of absence due to instability and lack of functioning authority in the country since the collapse of the former military regime in 1990s.

By Radio Dalsan.

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