Somali schoolgirl Rahimo Mohamud, 15, was expecting to sit this month for the important examinations marking the end of her primary education leading onto secondary school. But the tropical cyclone that the northwest of Somaliland have left her uncertain about the immediate future.
Rahimo is among the 270 school children in Awdal district’s Lughaya district, who were supposed to sit the exams in one of the designated exam centres in Gargara. The storm wreaked heavy damage in Gargara, and the schools serving as exam centres were destroyed or badly damaged.
A total of 14 schools were closed down in Awdal due to the storm damage.
The education ministry’s coordinator in Awdal, Jeeke Osman Iye, said a group of experts had been sent to assess the damage to the educational infrastructure and the amount of money and time it would take to rebuild the schools.
He said classrooms were destroyed, and furniture and equipment including desks, chairs, chalkboards, and books were all lost.
Schools in other parts of Somaliland have already started the exams, but Jeeke Osman said there is still no examination plan for the students in cyclone-affected areas.
Rahimo feels very nervous not knowing if they will be referred to another examination centre. She lost her all books and has not managed to prepare for the exams. Here family’s house had its roof damaged but no one was injured.
Many other students are in a similar position or worse. Some are displaced, others lost parents or family members.
The head teacher of Elmi Gaab Suge School told Radio Ergo that some of his students lost their parents while others have been forced to stay at home. He said the students have all dispersed, although the teachers were ready to help them prepare for the exams.
Almost 8,000 primary school students in Lughaya, Baki and other parts of Awdal had their education disrupted by the storm.