PART-TIME JOB SEEKERS-CUM- STUDENTS, THE GROWING EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES OF KISMAYU CHILDREN.

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SPECIAL FEATURE STORY

School going age Children from displaced families in Kismayo are facing enormous educational challenges.

The children are said to go out early in the morning to look for casual jobs to fend for their families while at the same time returning back to resume school only to join in the mid of the class lessons exhausted and washed out.

Most of this children attend free schools run by the Jubbaland Ministry of Education and Higher Learning.

The children’s dire family living conditions force them to work and study at the same time, making it difficult for them to combine work and education.

The Children do various causal work such as shoe shining, fetching water using donkey carts, working in hotels as waiters and cleaners among others.

12-year-old Abdinoor Haji Ibrahim is one of the displaced children schooling at the New Waamo School in Kismayo. Abdinoor said he wakes up early in the morning to run small errand to earn few dollars before hurrying back to school for lessons.

“My father and mother are not working and we have nothing at home. I am the eldest. I usually go to do small errands and resume my school lessons, its tough but I have no option,” Said Abdinoor Hajji.

Abdiaziz Mohamed is also faced with such a situation. The 11-year-old boy fetches water for domestic supply using a donkey cart. He attends school in the morning and runs his small errand of pushing a donkey cart to supply water to homesteads in the afternoon to earn about 3.5 Dollars (91,000 Somali shillings) to add to his destitute family livelihood.

“I am forced to work because of my family’s financial circumstances and I work for my mother and my younger siblings, we have nothing and no one is taking care of us and so am forced to use every available means to help my family,” Said Abdiaziz Mohamed.

The principal of the New Waamo School, Mohamed Hassan Duale said the school has a large number of students from Kismayo IDP camps who are faced with a myriad of challenges even at school. They always come to school late and at times absconding school lessons.

“Many times the school teachers send the students home for coming late to school. A number of them are forced to work and school at the same time owing to the poor state of their families. This late coming and absconding of lessons always have negative educational impacts on this children whose main goal is to look for what they should be eating at home which is quite stressing”, Said Mohamed Hassan Duale

Kismayo is home to 135 IDP camps. The Internally Displaced Persons have been displaced by the recent drought and humanitarian crisis and are mostly poor families living in difficult and destitution.

BY OSMAN HUSSEIN ALI