Somali President “Education is the best investment in our people and the foundation of our future.”
Mogadishu, 26 November 2016 – HE Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of Somalia today cuts the ribbon of the rehabilitated Polytechnic College in Mogadishu, where the President graduated and as a teacher and learnt the value of education. Somali President speaking on the importance of education stressed the significance of how life is about learning and said “We don’t think often of teachers learning, but life is about learning, we lose something very valuable if we consign learning to certain periods or settings of our lives. Through teaching, I learnt again- the value of education. It shapes our minds.” HE Hassan Sheikh Mohamud talking about the urgent need for vocational training in Somalia said “Here, in this poly technic, it shapes our hands. It provides us with the skills we need to find work, look after our families, to contribute to our country. This is the best time that our country needs more of vocational training colleges in order to create an atmosphere where our young people can show their full entrepreneurship skills with a view to provide more jobs to our young people.” Somali President during his speech reminded people how far the country has come from since 2012 and said “It’s amazing, looking around Mogadishu today, to consider what was here. 4 years ago, al-Shabaab still roamed the streets, there were very limited government institutions functioning, we had a tiny airport, most of our schools had closed, universities were almost non-existent. When I was elected President 4 years ago, I cannot tell you how large the task of transforming Somalia seemed. It was a huge mountain, and the right path up and over it was difficult to see. But I knew that there were certain important things that had to guide our transformation, and so I pledged to Somalia to pursue three imperative items: a secure Somalia, a democratic Somalia and a progressive and prosperous Somalia.” Somali President continued to say that he is very pleased to see the progress that the country is making on a daily basis. It was 4 years ago, when the President introduced the 6-pillar policy framework that laid out dreams and hopes for Somalia. And every second of every minute of every day of every hour since, the Federal Government has worked to make these happen as best as it could. Somali President stated that the country has made enormous strides towards political, concrete developments including education and security. However, the President continued to say that Somalia needs and demands more in order to harness the energy and vigour of Somali youth, as the future is assured. Somali President speaking on his plans for the future said “I strongly believe that if the past four years have been about pursuing the political transformation of Somalia then the next four years must be about youth-centred development. This means we need two things: education and employment, such as Universal primary education so that our whole nation can read or write and Education that supports us to do what we need to do most quickly for Somalia: build roads, houses, schools etc.” Somali President talking about education for the future emphasized the importance of vocational education that is essential to build the capacity and the skills that the country needs in order to avoid importing materials that can be built here. The President continued to say, “We must invest in education that leads the skills we need to support the development of our country. This will naturally include education that supports employment in the public sector, serving Somalia through civil service. Importantly, education must support rapid infrastructure and mechanized growth. It must enable Somalia to compete the world in the development and application of technology. It must support better farmers, better fishers, better electricians and mechanics.“ Finally, Somali President laid down his promises and plan for the next four years towards education and emphasized the importance of high quality education as it is the key to all national development. Somali President made the following promises:
- To devote substantial resources towards universal education regardless of gender, or socio-economic status.
- To Ensure that girls have the opportunity to go to school; improve teacher training and increase teacher staffing where necessary; strengthen curriculum development; continue school building and, in particular, we will increase access to vocational and non-formal education to those who missed out on education during the war time.
- To Invest in vocational training centres. To build a strong economy, we must invest much more in our people, in order to give them the skills necessary to take advantage of the new jobs that will be created. Our people need jobs now, not in the far off future. My government will immediately increase substantially the resources available for vocational training and special skills development. This will start equipping people for work now.