From 1991 until quite recently, Somalia was without an effective central government. The long-standing absence of authority in the country had a particular impact on education for girls.
SAACID currently manages six schools in Mogadishu and seven schools in Lower and Middle Shabelle Regions. With a maximum capacity of 4,400 students, the schools currently provide free education to some 4,300 children.
One of the Mogadishu schools, Hodan Primary School, was built by UN-Habitat in 2011; the students receive free education courtesy of funding support for teachers from UNICEF. In 2012, UN-Habitat built a compound wall for student safety (one of three school compound walls built by the agency in Mogadishu), after a number of incidents threatened the safety of children. Six classrooms serve the 431 students currently enrolled at the school: 224 girls and 207 boys. There are seven teachers, including headmaster Abdulkadir Jama Nor. He explained the advantages of the new school compound wall for the children.
“Before the school compound wall was built, the area around the school was unsafe because of cars, donkey carts, and animals that used to travel indiscriminately in the area. For example, recently there was a military vehicle that travelled past the school at high speed. It lost control and crashed into our flag pole and destroyed it. There could easily have been children in the way. Many parents wouldn’t send their children to school because they thought the school was an unsafe environment for their children.
“Now, the new compound wall provides a safe atmosphere conducive for learning and teaching. We can control the children easily and guarantee their safety to their parents. The students’ parents welcomed the new wall, and already the demand for student places has increased. On behalf of the teachers, students, and parents, we say God bless UN-Habitat for building the new wall for the school.”