Children accessing school through Accelerated Basic Education (ABE)

Accelerated Basic Education (ABE) is a platform that provides learning opportunities for out of school children. Strengthening Equity, Access and Quality in Education (SEAQE) project supported ABE within the existing primary schools. This allowed for the target group in ABE to have access to scholastic resources provided in the Primary Schools. In addition, the agreement with the Ministry of Education to allow transition from ABE after one year helped to fast track the target. Yasmin, Sabrin and Shuyb share their experiences about ABE

12-year old Yasmin (Grade 5)

“I couldn’t go to school because my mother couldn’t afford the school fees. When my mother heard about the ABE program at Juba Primary School, she encouraged me to attend it. My mother motivates me to learn. She has always been my support. When I joined ABE, I was very excited. I did not find the classes very difficult as I was able to understand what the teacher was teaching. I started ABE in 2016 and finalised in 2018. I am now in grade 5. I love Somali and English. I love Somali because it is my language and English because it is an international language and it is understood by all people. I would like to be a teacher. I want to be a role model for other girls. We only have two female teachers and they teach Somali and Arabic. I want to be like them. The one thing that I can change is to ensure that girls are educated so that the number of female teachers can increase in schools. I would also like to change the health system because the health services are poor.”

12-year old Sabrin (Grade 5)

“My family couldn’t afford my school fees because there was not enough money to pay for all of us. My brothers were given the opportunity to go to school. I heard about ABE and I talked to my mother about it. She talked to some relatives and they bought me some learning materials. When I started ABE, it was very difficult. I would memorise the work together with some of my classmates and with time, it was easy for us. My favourite subject is Arabic and Somali. Arabic because it is a religious language and Somali because it is my local language. I felt sad when my brothers went to school and I was left at home. The community needs to be sensitised on education so that they can send girls to school as well. I am the first girl in my family to go to school. My mother has seen the benefit of this program and she has enrolled my other four sisters to ABE.”

15 year old Shuyb (Grade 5)

“I joined ABE when I was 12 years old. I felt old as some of the students were younger than me. All I wanted was to move fast to complete the ABE program. When I completed ABE, I was happy to join other children and learn together. My move to grade 5 was easy as I was already equipped in my ABE classes. I love coming to school because I learn something new every day. My favourite subject is science and maths. I want to be a doctor so that I can cure people without them having to pay. I remember a relative was once sick and she couldn’t access a health facility because we didn’t have money to pay at the hospital. The community was able to contribute, and we took her to hospital. Because of that experience, I want to be a doctor who treats people for free. The greatest thing I would love to do for my community, is to get a health care where people are not charged. I would like to request that textbooks to be made available in the ABE classes, to make it easy to learn.”

89% representing 963 (487M; 476F) out of the enrolled 1,083 (532M; 551F) learners in ABE have been reintegrated in various primary schools. The ABE centres increased from six to nine to accommodate and train more learners and propel the project towards reaching the target. This was made easier because the ABE centres were accommodated within the primary schools hence least-cost support. According to the principal of Juba Primary School, Mr. Abdillahi Ismail Muhamud ABE is a very good idea because children are now able to go to school. “ADRA’s support has been very good. When we started, we had 420 pupils but right now we have 1203 students in the ABE classes.