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"Wixii qoran baa quruumo hadhee, muxuu hadal qiimo leeyahay." Somali
"Words fly, but scripts stay - for centuries." English

Black children in Bristol are disproportionately affected by poor educational institutions – Cllr Jama

Watch the debate: Webcast

Educational segregation in ‪#‎Bristol‬ is a pressing issue. Bristol city is ‘sleep walking into crisis’ says ‪Cllr Hibaq Jama‬. She has challenged Mayor George Ferguson on the racial divide in education in Bristol and the lack of access to good schools in secondary school place planning.


Shir: Wadatashiga Bulshada Soomaaliyeed ee Bristol – 10 January 2015

Wadatashi: Arrimaha Dhalinyarada, Waxbarashada & Horumarinta Bulshada

Dhamaan bulshada Soomaaliyeed ee ku nool magaalada Bristol waxa loogu baaqayaa in ay ka soo qaybgalaan shirka wadatashiga bulshada, kaas oo si gaar ah loogu qaadaa-dhigi doono arrimo la xidhiidha waxbarashada caruurta, dhalinyarada iyo horumarinta bulshada.

Bristol Somali Community Meeting - 10 Jan 15

Bristol Somali Community Meeting – 10 Jan 15

Shirkani waa shir wadatashi ah, waa shir ka madaxbanaan siyaasad iyo wixii la xidhiidha; waa shir ujeedadiisa ugu muhiimsani tahay in bulshada Soomaaliyeed ee magaalada degani ay helaan madal ay isku xog-waraystaan, dib u jaleecaan wixii u qabsoomay sannadkii la soo dhaafay iyo waxyaabaha qabyada ah.

Sidoo kale shirkani wuxuu bulshada siinayaa fursad ay kaga faalloodaan caqabadaha hortaagan iyo sidii xal loogu heli lahaa – gaar ahaan dhinaca barbaarinta iyo waxbarashada carruurta, aqoonta iyo xirfadaha dhalinyarada, iyo horumarka iyo isku-duubnida ama isku-xidhnaanta bulshada. Taa waxa dheer, in dhalinyarada iyo waalidiintuba ay helidoonaan fursado codkooda lagu maqlo, si wadajir ahna u qorsheeyaan waxyaabaha ugu muhiimsan ee ay doonayaan in ay qabtaan ama u qabsoomaan – mustaqbalka dhow iyo ka fog labadaba.

Haddaba, Mudenayaal iyo Marwooyin, sida kor ku xusan shirkani wuu ka madaxbanaan yahay siyaasad iyo wixii la xidhiidha, sidaa daraadeed waxaanu idinku dhiirigelinaynaa in aad ka soo qaybgashaan shirkan wadatashiga ah ee loogu talogalay in bulshada Soomaaliyeed ee magaalada degani ay isku xog-waraystaan, si wadajir ahna uga wadatashadaan horrumarinta bulshada iyo sidii wax looga qaban lahaa waxyaabaha caqabadda ku ah horumarkooda – haddii ay tahay dhinaca waxbarashada, kobcinta garaadka ilmaha (mid dhaqameed iyo mid diimeedba), fal-dembiyeedyada dhalinyarada, mukhaadaraadka, iwm. Waxaan ku rajo weynahay in madashaa aan isku arki doono, qof kastaana uu kaalin wax ku ool ah ka qaadan doono.



Goorma:      Sabti, 10 January 2015

Goortee:      5:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Goobtee:     Trinity Centre, Trinity Road, Bristol BS2 0NW


Wixii faahfaahin ah fadlan kala soo xidhiidh:

Siciid Maxamed Buraale:            07423 062485
Khaliil Aadan Cabdi:                    07557 510546

Too many Old Etonians in No 10, declares Michael Gove

Daily Mail:

The number of old Etonians in David Cameron’s inner circle is ‘preposterous’, said Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday. The dominance of one school in public life did not exist in any other country and its continuation in Britain was ‘ridiculous’, he argued.

Read the full article

Educational inequalities will deepen with apprentice style hiring and firing policies in schools

If the Government is committed to tackling educational inequalities in our schools, why the Education Secretary Michael Gove  made recruitment of good teachers for inner city schools even harder than it already is?

The Conservative Education Minister Michael Gove has been really busy. He has restored the prestige and worlds trust in our GCSE’s and A levels by making them more rigorous  (with more students failing?), encouraged academies to employ non-qualified teaching staff for their ‘real life experience’ and still wants to bring army boots into classrooms because of course they can restore discipline (that is all that is needed isn’t it?).  Another of his flagship successes has been to destroy the humanities and arts by continuing his crusade to make only his core subjects have any value and the results have been the poor take up of these subjects by students throughout the education system.

Like Lady Thatcher before him, he appears to believe that not only have exams got easier under a Labour government but that the education system no longer teaches the curriculum required for Britain to compete in a globalised aged driven by technology, science and foreign languages. Instead, the argument suggests, as Thatcher herself argued in the 1987 Conservative conference, Labour has presided over an “ideological curriculum” which values political correctness and has turned everything into an academic subject. In order for Britain to once again reindustrialise and hold its bowed head high, Mr Gove is unapologetically stating that education must reflect real life in that there must be competition for success and there must inevitably be clear winners and losers.  (more…)

King of the Endz


A poem based on research and conversations with former drug dealers.

My mum says I am a dealer

My boys say I am the man

Mum says I am a disgrace

Boys say I am the boss

My mum says study

But my teacher knows I am not going anywhere.

My mum shouts change

But what other choices are there? Continue reading

Every school can be a good school

(BSMG) Liban ObsiyeIn a country that spends billions of pounds on education every year and where expenditure on education has been steadily rising since 1997, it is very sad to see that many parents still feel that there are some bad schools that they should not send their children to. This year while many more children were accepted in to their first choice secondary schools, the numbers that were not still remains significant in many parts of the country. Many parents are now in the process of appealing the decisions by the Local Authorities or Academies which they hope to send their children to but given the fact that most of these are oversubscribed; there is a very slim chance that they will succeed.

At a time of unprecedented public sector budget cuts it is only natural for parents to be worried about their family’s futures and considering that a good education is seen by many of them as the key to their children’s future success, it is understandable that they want to appeal in order to get their children admission to the schools that they feel will best support them and provide them with the best possible education.

Parents now have access to a great amount of data about individual schools in their areas and are easily able to compare their strengths and weaknesses. Since the introduction of school league tables schools have been in competition to attract the brightest and best students to bolster their academic standings. This inevitably created winners and losers in the schools admissions process which today has resulted in some schools been oversubscribed whilst others struggle to remain open. 

This market orientated school system is now to be further entrenched as the new Coalition government is urging local authority run schools to become academies in order to be independent of the bureaucratic management style and leadership of the local authorities. Schools are been tempted away from local authority control with the promise of greater freedom to manage their own affairs in all areas from recruitment of staff and their pay to the curriculum they teach. In addition the Conservative education minister, Michael Gove, has announced that he wants schools to focus on the key subjects which they will be judged on in the league tables in the future which are mathematics, English, sciences, languages and humanities and this has made parents more anxious about getting admissions to a “traditionally good” school as one parent put it that excels in the traditional subjects.

“Government schools struggle to attract good teachers to their schools. In fact my daughter has had more supply teachers in some subjects than she can remember.” One parent said. “If people can get their children to these good schools than they have a better chance of getting the good teachers to teach the key subjects.”

What is evident is that many parents have bought into this good school/bad school nonsense and that those on the right of the political spectrum have succeeded in convincing parents that they have a choice to what they deem to be a good education. However, with very few places at these so called good, well performing schools, what are the majority of the parents whose children did not get admission to these do?

Well they can go home and weep and resign themselves to the misguided belief that their children will not do well as a result of their schools or do something so that they support their children to succeed. Parents too often forget that they are the primary educators and that schools are nothing more than mere buildings with teachers in them. Many good local schools are been dragged into a competition that would not even be necessary if parents, students and schools worked together.

Many parents complain about poor school leadership and the current coalition government has promised to tackle this by allowing parents to set up their own schools if necessary. However, while good school leadership is crucial, the head teachers should not be treated like private sector Chief Executives whose duty it is to bring lucrative returns on investor’s investments. Rather they should be seen as the face of the school leadership but parents should be working with the schools in the background to create a learning environment that develops future leaders that local communities can be proud of.

The neoliberal education policies that threaten many schools are not new. In fact all Political Party’s today can be blamed for continuing and endorsing them since their inception. However, what it is not made clear is where the consumer, formerly parents, are suddenly going to find all these amazing successful schools where they have a choice of sending their children to. Will they appear from thin air? I doubt it.

The simple fact is that there are some struggling schools in our communities that we must work hard to improve collectively. With cuts to teaching and extracurricular support for students with special educational needs, it is fundamental that schools, parents and community groups work together to build trust and inspire students to achieve their full potential in these most difficult of times. Many community groups complain that some narrow minded school leaders operate in a hierarchical way that portrays community groups as a threat rather than a support mechanism. However, if this is the case, these school leaders may find that while they are in their offices trying to work out which part of their pyramid of hierarchy community groups fit in, their schools may be earmarked for closure.

Good inclusive school leadership, coupled with parental and community engagement, will inevitably result in successful local schools that communities can be proud of and rely on. Parents should not dessert local schools in times of difficulty and school leaders should not shut out external support service providers. The reality is that the majority of students are not going to get into these so called good schools because they are oversubscribed. However, what needs to be emphasised is that there are no bad schools. Schools are merely buildings. The interaction that takes place within them between all stakeholders is what makes some schools more successful than others.
Liban Obsiye

Press Release: Educational Debate on Somali Pupils in Bristol


15 March 2010

Somali Educators’ Forum (SEF)

Talo: debate on the educational underachievement of Somali pupils in Bristol

On Saturday 20 March, the Somali Educators’ Forum, supported by the Somali Resource Centre, hosts a debate to discuss the roots of Somali pupil underachievement in Bristol schools.

The debate, Talo, which will be held at Barton Hill Settlement, Bristol, from 6.00pm to 9.00pm, will examine if the needs of Somali children (and their parents) are addressed accordingly, and receive appropriate support at school to improve attainment and to integrate into the UK educational system. Concurrently, it will look at the level of parental and community engagement and involvement; more importantly, it will discuss the capacity of Somali-led organisations and the role of the Supplementary School Services, particularly the gap between what it offers and what Somali-led supplementary schools receive.

The event will feature a debate panel and guest speakers. These will include Somali practitioners from local primary and secondary schools and voluntary and community organisations, parents, and community leaders and/or activists.

The audience will include Somali parents and carers, community workers, members of the community, and teaching and support staff from schools and other educational institutions in Bristol.


Notes for editors

Somali Educators’ Forum was set up to develop the professional capacity of Somali educators and/or practitioners; to address, tackle educational inequalities and social exclusion, among many other things, faced by Bristol’s Somali children and young people (and their families).

Somali Resource Centre is a Bristol based Somali-led voluntary organisation.

Author: Abdi Mohamed

For all media enquiries relating to this press release, please contact Somali Resource Centre on 0117 9077994

Somali pupils in Bristol schools

Supporting the Education of the less fortunate in Somalia

The importance of education is quite clear. Education is the knowledge of putting one’s potentials to maximum use. One can safely say that a human being is not one in the proper sense till he is educated.

This importance of education is basically for two reasons. The first is that the training of a human mind is not complete without education. Education makes man a right thinker. It tells man how to think and how to make decision.

The second reason for the importance of education is that only through the attainment of education, man is enabled to receive information from the external world; to acquaint himself with past history and receive all necessary information regarding the present. Without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards outside world.

This is why Islam attaches such great importance to knowledge and education. When the Qur’an began to be revealed, the first word of its first verse was ‘Iqra’ that is, read. Education is thus the starting point of every human activity.

A scholar (alim) is accorded great respect in the hadith. According to a hadith the ink of the pen of a scholar is more precious than the blood of a martyr. The reason being that a martyr is engaged in defence work while an alim (scholar) builds individuals and nations along positive lines. In this way he bestows a real life to the world.

The Qur’an repeatedly asks us to observe the earth and the heavens. This instils in man a desire to learn natural science. All the books of hadith have a chapter on knowledge (ilm). In Sahih Bukhari there is a chapter entitled “The virtue of one who acquires ilm (learning) and imparts that to others.”

How great the importance attached to learning is in Islam can be understood from an event in the life of the Prophet. At the battle of Badr in which the Prophet gained victory over his opponents, seventy people of the enemy rank were taken prisoner. These prisoners of war were literate people. In order to benefit from their education the Prophet declared that if one prisoner teaches ten Medinan children how to read and write, this will serve as his ransom and he will be set free. More recently, the great Statesman and 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, went on to state that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and for him and the African National Congress party he lead, this proved to be true as apartheid in South Africa was finally defeated in 1994 by the election of Mandela as the first black president of South Africa.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Mandela

Mandela’s emphasis on education and its ability to change the world is more than a mere quote to promote education. It is the truth. Nations can rebuild, grow and strengthen if they have the educated and ambitious workforce and population that are necessary to do all of these things.

Dr. Bulhan, the Chancellor of the University of Hargeisa, who came to Europe with the Chancellors of other Somailand Universities such as Amoud to promote education and academic co-operation between European Universities and themselves, gave a speech emphasising the importance of education and the financial difficulties his and other Somaliland Higher education institutions face in delivering it to wider groups.

Dr. Bulhan, the Chancellor of the University of Hargeisa, speaking to Somali communities in Bristol, UK

Dr. Bulhan spoke of the growth of Higher education in Somaliland and the desperate need there was when he gave up a full time Professorship in America to go back to Hargeisa to be part of the development of Somaliland and Hargeisa University. Dr. Bulhan also spoke of the hunger that existed among his students and wider society to attain knowledge and the greatest obstacle that stood in their way: the fees. In order to operate as a university and to pay the salaries of teachers and support staff, Hargeisa University must charge for the education it provides and the only feasible way of doing this is to charge students as a result of the government been in absolutely no position to be able to support students. Dr. Bulhan informed those in the meeting that he has done all that could be done to reduce the fees and that everybody has sacrificed to bring the fees down to the bear minimum that is required to keep the University going. However, despite this, many who have the ability to study at higher education level cannot still afford to and many others, who were fortunate enough to enter higher education, cannot afford to finish it due to an inability to pay their fees.

Whilst many Somali youth in the West squander the opportunity to educate themselves for the better, more prosperous and fulfilling futures available to them, most of their counterparts back in Somaliland are struggling to feed and clothes themselves. Education to these youngsters is a premium; a luxury and not a right.

Dr Bulhan, far right, with members of Bristol communities

In order to remedy this, Dr. Bulhan has requested support from the Somali people in Diaspora who have the ability to support any of his students to enter or continue their education at the University he leads. In fact, any assistance to any under privileged student at any University in Somaliland is welcome and desperately needed. But in the case of Hargeisa University, Dr. Bulhan has created a Dahabshiil account for any potential sponsor to donate money to assist any of his students. Those who do sponsor will be able to communicate directly with those they sponsor and be informed of their progress by the University throughout their academic career.

The importance of education is very well known or ought to be, to the Somali community all over the world because as a result of tribal division, suspicion, hatred and ignorance brought on by a lack of education they have lost their homes and have been forced to immigrate all over the world.

Education will be Somalia’s route out of poverty and self destruction. It is the light at the end of the tunnel which has the possibility of ending 20 years of civil war and contributing to the development of the other more peaceful regions of Somalia such as Somaliland and Puntland.

Education, development and national progress are heavily linked and if Somalia and the Somali people are to have a hope of progressing in any society they must educate themselves and contribute to the education of their young fellow country men and women.  Many members of the Somali community have been reluctant in the past to support students back in Somalia and Somaliland because they thought there would be no benefit for them personally. Many of these people see education as important ONLY if and where it will lead to better earning potentials for the students they support. This could not be more wrong! Education should be pursued by all just for education sake. This point was stressed most eloquently by Mahatma Gandhi who wrote:

“The real difficulty is that people have no idea of what education truly is. We assess the value of education in the same manner as we assess the value of land or of shares in the stock-exchange market. We want to provide only such education as would enable the student to earn more. We hardly give any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated. The girls, we say, do not have to earn; so why should they be educated? As long as such ideas persist there is no hope of our ever knowing the true value of education.”

Of course, no one is asking that all students be egalitarian and ask nothing in return for their many years of study. Nor should they but it is important to avoid the creation of greater inequality than that which already exists in Somalia and Somaliland between those that have and those that do not. At present there are a few who can afford to live comfortably and educate themselves as a result of support from family in the Diaspora or personal familial wealth. However, the majority of people, especially students are destitute.

Although Somali communities in Diaspora are still horribly divided even in the enlightened West they have settled in, it is fundamental to stress that there should be no barriers to providing financial support for the education of those who have the ability and the potential to learn and to give back to society In the future regardless of which institution they attend and what tribe or gender they may be. What matters is that we as a society care enough for our unfortunate counterparts back in Somalia and Somaliland to support them through their education in the hope that they will be able to better their prospects. Corporations should also exercise social responsibility and dip into their profits to assist those that live, work and study in the communities they make their profits.

In some ways, any support of any student in Somali or Somaliland will be aiding the development of the Somali people in their entirety and no one else, as these students are undoubtedly the future of the nation.

No one is asking anybody to contribute to the creation of an educated elite through their sponsorships or donations but what people are been encouraged to do is to contribute to the creation of a confident, well educated generation to lead the Somali people in their entirety to a better, sustainable future. By simply donating or even better, sponsoring a student through their university career, one can truly say that they are contributing to the progress of an entire people currently engulfed by poverty and division. So for this noble endeavour all people whether Somali, Somalilander and even non Somalis, are encouraged to contribute and support this cause.

Liban Obsiye

Bristol, UK.