SOMALIA / YOUTH EDUCATION

17-May-2017 00:03:05
Nineteen-year-old Iqra Ali Omar lived with relatives, after her parents divorced at a tender age. Were it not for her resilient spirit, Iqra’s fate would have been like that of many other young Somali girls, who are often forced into early marriages by their impoverished families. UNSOM
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STORY: SOMALIA / YOUTH EDUCATION
TRT: 03:05
SOURCE: UNSOM
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: SOMALI / NATS

DATELINE: 14 MAY 2017, BELET WEYNE, SOMALIA
SHOTLIST
14 MAY 2017, BELET WEYNE, SOMALIA

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

MAY 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shots, Iqra holding a book leaving her house
3. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Iqra Ali Omar, Somali Youth:
“I enrolled in school but I had to drop out after the third year because I couldn’t pay the fees. Later, I got a low paying job that enabled me to go back to school and cover my tuition until I reached form three. In my last year of learning in secondary school, I lost my job hence could not pay my fees. However, my teachers helped me to complete my studies.”
4. Tilt down, from the sky to Hiiraan University building
5. Close up, Hiiraan University signpost
6. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Iqra Ali Omar, Somali Youth:
“After completing my high school education, I found it difficult to get my secondary school-leaving certificate [due to fees debt]. Fortunately, I was enrolled at the University without the certificate after I produced my school admission number. Then I had another challenge. I could not pay college fees and the cost of the hand-outs. Towards the end of my first semester in university, I got a new job and was able to resume my studies. Now my situation is okay.”
7. Tilt up, from hands typing on phone to Iqra’s face
8. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Iqra Ali Omar, Somali Youth:
“I now work for the Belet Weyne local government as a cashier. I am very happy with my life. I have recovered from the hardship situation I went through, even though I have a long way to go. I would like to advise young girls like me who might be facing similar challenges, especially those who do not live with their parents. I encourage them to be focused and resilient and they will survive the hardship.”
9. Tilt down, from Irqa’s face to hand writing
10. Wide shot, Iraq writing at desk
STORYLINE
Nineteen-year-old Iqra Ali Omar lived with relatives, after her parents divorced at a tender age. Were it not for her resilient spirit, Iqra’s fate would have been like that of many other young Somali girls, who are often forced into early marriages by their impoverished families.

After the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991, the role of the Ministry of Education was taken over by private institutions, which enrolled and provided education to children of school going age at a cost. Children whose parents could not afford to pay the tuition fees stayed home with no access to education facilities; Iqra was one of them.

Iqra lived with relatives as her mother transported goods between Belet Weyne and Hargeisa and was not always with her. The young girl was eager to get an education, and started her primary education in Hargeisa, later enrolling in a school in the capital Mogadishu, then moved to Belet Weyne. But her enrolment in school was short-lived.

SOUNDBITE (Somali) Iqra Ali Omar, Somali Youth:
“I enrolled in school but I had to drop out after the third year because I couldn’t pay the fees. Later, I got a low paying job that enabled me to go back to school and cover my tuition until I reached form three. In my last year of learning in secondary school, I lost my job hence could not pay my fees. However, my teachers helped me to complete my studies.”

Paying tuition fees remained a challenge for her after finishing her studies. Iraq was unable to receive her “school-leaving certificate” which was essential to enroll in college.

SOUNDBITE (Somali) Iqra Ali Omar, Somali Youth:
“After completing my high school education, I found it difficult to get my secondary school-leaving certificate [due to fees debt]. Fortunately, I was enrolled at the University without the certificate after I produced my school admission number. Then I had another challenge. I could not pay college fees and the cost of the hand-outs. Towards the end of my first semester in university, I got a new job and was able to resume my studies. Now my situation is okay.”

The second year student in Business Administration at Hiiraan University is now employed as a cashier with the Belet Weyne local authorities. In Somalia, 68% of youth between 15 to 35 years old have not completed any level of education, according to data from the United Nations Population Fund. However, due to her will and initiative, Iqra aspires to be among the 3% of Somalis who obtain a university degree in the country.

SOUNDBITE (Somali) Iqra Ali Omar, Somali Youth:
“I now work for the Belet Weyne local government as a cashier. I am very happy with my life. I have recovered from the hardship situation I went through, even though I have a long way to go. I would like to advise young girls like me who might be facing similar challenges, especially those who do not live with their parents. I encourage them to be focused and resilient and they will survive the hardship.”
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