After being closed for five months, schools in Somaliland reopened in mid-June 2020, students started their academic year that was disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Human right watch, many students shared feelings of stress, anxiety, isolation, and depression, which they linked to the lack of contact with their school community. Ayan Mohamed Ismail 40, said she was happy to see that her child returns to school “I am happy to see my children back at school because at home they were very idle and they feel months of stress and isolation, Alhamdulillah now they take their lessons regularly and they felt happy.”
The students were excited to return to school , sixteen-year-old Hamse Abdilahi Abdirahman is happy to be back in class after months of school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic that hit Somaliland and the rest of the world.
Hamse is in grade eight in Sheedaha Primary and Intermediate school started his classes after when cancelled his educations in March to limit the country’s coronavirus spread.
“I am very happy to be back in our school after a long time of learning online from home. There has been a big change in my education because we missed so many classes that we had to finish it quickly and we didn’t understand, but now we hope to move on and finish intermediate school.” Hamse said
Majority of Somaliland schools struggling to adhere to social distancing guidelines and to provide sanitation for both staff and students. Mohamed Jama Hussein, the Science teacher in Hargeisa’s sheedaha intermediate school, says after a new wave of covid19 they have plans to reduce the spread of the pandemic
“We planned steps to reduce the spread of the pandemic during this academic year, we reduce the number of students in the classes, we also enhance the awareness of the covid 19.”
Hussein demanded the government and international NGOs to support the school with the necessary material that fights the pandemic “Unfortunately, we haven’t any material to fight the pandemic such as face masks, hand sanitisers and covid vaccination. We ask the government and international NGOs to support us.” said Mohamed Jama
Somaliland government reports that 55 new COVID-19 infections and 7 deaths recorded on Sunday indicates an increase from the 88 cases and 5 deaths reported on Monday. These cases are clear evidence that the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has begun across the country.
Somaliland’s COVID-19 case count currently stands at 7239, including 4923 recoveries and 470 deaths.
On the other hand, Abdinasir Sahal, Head of Programs at Save the Children told Horn Diplomat that they prepared a safe back to school Program consisting of back to campaign with COVID-19 prevention protocols and improving the school level sanitation and safety with Ministry of Education.
“Keeping in mind that the more children away from school, the more likely to drop out. Save the Children International in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science established handwashing facilities and distributed Covid-19 prevention kits (face masks, sanitizers and thermometers) to all our program target schools. SCI also supported maintaining social distancing through provision of incentives to additional teachers and provision of Covid-19 prevention trainings to the education supervisors, teachers and other authorities”. Said, Sahal.
This is a developing story, Please check back at the Horndiplomat for Updates.