Education is a continuous and interconnected chain starting from primary, intermediate to tertiary education. If not well guided from predators it is susceptible to infiltration and exploitation. Intense ideological competitation is existing in Somaliland primary, intermediate and secondary education, where Middle Eastern individuals and Islamic charitable organizations are trying hard to produce a generation whom are their Wahabi ideological flag bearers. So far they were successful in producing a wave of cohorts whom are ideologically thwarted and absorbed fully the principles of Wahabism.
In Somaliland, when the civil war broke out the country in the 1990’s the educational infrastructure collapsed. Private educators and Middle East based charitable organizations filled the vacuum with various ideological and educational objectives. In post war Somaliland from 1994 onwards, the state tried to revive the collapsed educational system with the help from United Nations and international organizations. Couple of times Somaliland national curriculum have been reviewed with the help of united nation’s agencies such as UNESCO. In parallel with state education, private education blossomed and outcompeted state education getting funding from international charitable foundations mainly from Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi arabi, Qatar and Yemen etc.
Private education mainly employed the curriculum of the funding country and the school reflected the name of the funding country such as Qatari schools, Bahrain schools, Turkish schools, and Sudani schools etc. Various curriculums working in Somaliland in addition to the national curriculum produced students and graduates with different thinking and outlook, which makes their mutual understanding and communality more difficulty. Some of the curriculums have ideological objective, with the aim of producing ideologically thwarted Wahabi graduate.Furthermore, ideologically thwarted educational system employing unfetted and unsupervised curriculums has the risk of producing ideologically thwarted generation whom are susceptible and are an easy prey for international ideologically religious radical organizations.
Weak supervisory from the part of educational authorities in Somaliland resulted self governing education system or remotely guided Wahabi educational system prevalent in the country. The people in charge the educational authorities are weak in character and are not sufficiently educated to review, monitor and evaluate the various curriculums operating in the country, private education with foreign funding overwhelmed them and made them underdogs.
As far as tertiary education is concerned, the same problem which is prevalent in primary intermediate and secondary education is present although it is not the same magnitude. Tertiary curriculums are diverse, as you may sometimes think that all international curriculums are offered in Somaliland, you can fetch higher education curriculums from the Middle East, African, European, and Canadian etc.The problem of diverse curriculums has huge impact as far as communal understanding, social cohesion, development and stability are concerned.
In conclusion, Somaliland needs to install and implement a comprehensive educational supervision regime. Education authorities should have a close eye on what is going in some private educational establishment to prevent radicalization and an urgent review of the curriculums they employ is needed. Furthermore parents should be sensitized to check what their children are taught in such schools.
By: Mohammed Dahir Ahmed
Senior Financial Consultant and Independent Political Analyst