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Somalia lunch new curriculum to better education system

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Every school day, Shuayb Muhidin travels Mogadishu’s battle-scarred streets to get to Banadir Zone School. For years, the government has battled Islamist insurgents but now authorities are also turning to a new challenge.

The start of this school year marks the first time since the civil war broke out in 1991 that the government has issued a new curriculum for primary and secondary school students.

As clan warlords battled each other and armed factions rose and fell, schools had to make do with whatever materials came to hand. More than 40 curricula were used across Somalia, creating a hodgepodge of competing education systems in a variety of languages, the government said.

Muhidin’s school, for example, used Kenyan textbooks but 2 million textbooks printed in Somali have been issued to pupils in most of Somalia since August and their schools have synchronized academic terms, the ministry of education said.

“This new syllabus is better than the old Kenyan syllabus, which was in English. The new curriculum is the best,” Muhidin said, sitting three-abreast at a desk in his year seven maths and physics class.

Somalia has one of the world’s lowest enrolment rates, with only four out of 10 children here in school, according to the United Nations. Education accounted for $16 million out of this year’s budget of $344 million.

Schools sourced textbooks from more than 10 countries during the civil war and English and Arabic replaced Somali as the language of instruction.

The new books cover English, Arabic, Somali, maths, Islamic studies, science, physical education, technology, and social studies.

“Students have coped well with the new curriculum because it is based on their religion, culture and vernacular,” said Muhidin’s teacher, Abdulkadir Mohamed Sheikh.

Religious education is particularly important, said State Minister of Higher Education And Culture Abdirahman Mohamed Abdulle. The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency also regularly launches deadly bomb attacks in Somalia in a bid to impose its own strict version of Islamic law.

The government hopes the new textbooks will help counter their message.

Clerics helped the government train teachers in Islamic ethics and create a syllabus that “will produce students who are sound, who are free from terror ideology, moderate students who have Islamic knowledge as well as other subjects”, Abdulle said.

source: Reuters

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24 Hours Across Africa

Man United sweating over De Gea fitness

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Manchester united has suffer injury blow after David de Gea picked up a muscle injury on international duty, Spain took no chances to substitute him with Kepa Arrizabalaga in 60minutes.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not given any update on his fitness ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool.

The United goalkeeper appeared to tweak a hamstring while taking a goal kick during the second half of Spain’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Sweden on Tuesday night.

They face current league leaders Liverpool who possess a potent front three in Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and Solskjaer will be desperately hoping his star goalkeeper will be fit, with United on a woeful run of form.

While, United could be without their De gea and Paul pogba this weekend, Liverpool are set to welcome back their star goalkeeper Alisson.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Bahaa admits standing-in for Mo Salah in Tv ads

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Ahmad Bahaa says he has acted as a stand-in for the Liverpool and Egypt striker in TV commercials.

Electronics engineer Bahaa told an Egyptian talk show on Al-Nahar TV he had appeared as Salah in mobile phone and soft drinks adverts, as well as an anti-drugs campaign.

“I did several ads with Salah,” he said.

Bahaa only appears in wide shots, not close-ups.

Mo Salah and Ahmad Bahaa

Seeing double? Mo Salah and his lookalike

“Salah of course can’t stay for long to shoot a single ad,” Bahaa explained.

“I would spend a couple of days [shooting] here, while they complete [filming] with him in England.

“This is just to speed up the process because he doesn’t have a lot of time to spare.”

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