Somalia to Launch Review into Flunked Students’ Exam Results


MOGDISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s federal government has promised to launch investigation into complaints conveyed by thousands of students who failed in this year’s national exams, months after the results had been announced by the Ministry of Education.

The new Minister of Education and Higher Studies Abdullahi Abukar Haji met with representatives of Mogadishu schools and politicians earlier this week, discussing ways of reviewing exam results that left thousands of students in limbo who are currently missing out on university places for this year’s intake.

Mr Haji assured attendees at the meeting that an investigation would be launched into the complaints to correct errors on the part of the Ministry, if there were any.

Leader of Mogadishu’s Schools Union speaking to media this week expressed hope that the new Minister would address complaints of parents of students who flunked in this year’s school-leaving examinations.

It’s yet unknown how long it will take to review results of nearly 10,000 flunked students but the move comes following outcry from both parents and school administrations, many whom conveyed accusations over media that exam results were predetermined.

Somalia: Insecurity to Blame forStudents Poor Performance in Exams, Minister Says

Somalia’s Education Minister Abdullahi Godah Barre said insecurity and lack of professional teachers were to
blame for the poor performance of Mogadishu students in this year’s
school-leaving exams.

The Minister reiterated that Mogadishu ranked below the average in
comparison with other cities in recently published exam results of secondary
schools and that the fiasco was primary due to insecurity and lack of
professional teachers.

As he went on to speak further on the issue, Mr Barre told educational
institutions in the capital city to spend more time and budget in improving
their students’ performance at school-leaving exams to avoid repeated fiasco.

Somali education authorities announced the results of final secondary school
exams on Sunday. They said a total of 33,727 students took the exams in 114
different centers across Somalia.

According to estimates by the Ministry of Education, 25177 passed out of
33,727 students and 8,550 failed.

Growing backlash and speculations of corruption in results

The results have been called “unfair and unfathomable”, especially in
Mogadishu where most of the flunked students took their exams. According to the
Ministry of Education, 7873 out of 8,550 students who failed in exams were from
the city, which raised outcry that the capital city was particularly targeted.

In comparison, only 4 students failed in the exams in Jubaland that made the
region the highest performing in this year’s national scholastic examination.

The top four schools that have outperformed in the exams are in Gedo region,
the home region of Somalia’s incumbent President which raised growing
speculations that results may have been corrupted. But many say more are at
stake than logic, suggesting that regional students had access to professional
teachers who had studied in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

Acting Somali Minister of Education Abdullahi Godah Barre said Gedo had
outdone other regions in national exams during a trip to the towns of Dolow and
Beled-hawo in mid August. Referring to this announcement, some politicians and
intellectuals raise grave concern about the possibility that results may have
been predetermined, given that there is no system of transparency in place in
the country.

Outcry from Students, School administrators and Parents in Mogadishu

Thousands of students, mostly in Banadir region were left in limbo, who will
be missing out on university places for this year’s intake. A day after results
were announced, thousands of students gathered outside the Ministry of
Education headquarters, seeking explanation and others showing errors on
scoring points marked on papers. In some cases, students who scored an average
of 65 in all subjects had failed mark on their papers.

Both parents and pupils  believe the results were highly politicized,
having nowhere to convey their complaints as young pupils have lost out so much
already, with no efforts to ensure that bright, capable students can progress
on their next step.

Teachers and school administrators in the Somali capital said the exams
created massive ripples of impact for many students on their entrance to
universities and stated the likelihood of fraud in the results.

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