Just outside the capital of Somaliland lies small village called Abaarso, it is 18 Km west of Hargeisa and is widely known for its farming practices.But, it is now becoming famous for its quality education services.
Abaarso Tech, the leading educational institutions in Somaliland is located On top of a hill in a quiet, high security location outside of Somaliland Capital, Hargeisa..
Abaarso village hosts Abaarso Tech's biggest campus that consist of Secondary school and training center. The secondary school is a 4-year boarding facility that takes the best and outstanding students across Somaliland. The training center hosts local and international groups seeking a training center in Somaliland.
We had an interesting interview with two of Abaarso Tech Secondary school students; Abdikarim Hassan Mohamed, and Mohamed Jama, nickname MJ (by his friends).
Abdikarim is 18 years old and had his intermediate education in Sheikh Ali Ibrahim School in Hargeisa. Mohamed is 16 years old and studied at Somaliland Modern School.
Abaarso Tech Secondary School takes the best students from across the country and provides them with four years of practical and culturally relevant education, taught entirely in English.
"I obtained good marks in leaving exams, and one day Abaarso School called me to attend a presentation in Maansoor Hotel. I was given the choice of going either to SOS Sheikh School or Abaarso School, and I decided to go to Abaarso" says Abdikarim.
Mohamed also says that he chose to go to Sheikh but ended up in Abaarso and he doesn't know how that happened.
The two boys talk about how their English speaking abilities varies before and after attending Abaarso School. "When I was in the public school, I used to have one English lesson only, but now you can see how the School helped develop my English speaking skills" said Abdikarim.
"It has a dramatic change in my life" says Mohamed, speaking about how Abaarso School shaped his future. Besides empowering their English skills, he mentions that everything is different in Abaarso. "Everything is different, even the way mathematics is taught is completely different than public schools" says Mohamed.
Both students praise their teachers whom they say are dedicated, educated and respected. In addition to that, they say quality teachers of different nationalities plus modern syllabus is the core value that differs at this school from the rest of Somaliland.
There are different extracurricular activities held in the campus including sports activities and debates. "I am the football team captain. I am also in different committees and clubs including the journalism club and the hiking club"explains Abdikarim.
The school also has a cafeteria, computer room, chemistry laboratories and training center, also a large library containing 30,000 books and multiple guard towers. The School mosque is planned to be completed in August 2011, and a new wind-turbine will be installed adding another layer of "green" to the campus.
Boys and girls live in separate dormitories and play on different days. However, in classroom they study together. Abdikarim explains what can happen if a boy is found talking with a girl outside the classroom.
"If you are found chatting with a girl you will be in big trouble" he says, adding "you may be suspended from the school".
The two boys are an example of a product of modern school yet holding its students to an extremely strict academic and self-discipline. This can be reflected from the vast and steady change at the level of English speaking ability undergone by the two students within a short period of time.
Abdikahim and Mohamed have good future dreams and vision." When I finish Abaarso, I would like to attend very good university and study Computer science, especially soft ware programming." Mohamed says.
In Hargeisa, there are Abaarso Tech University (ATU) and ATU Sheikh Bashir School; where Adult English classes are given.
ATU provides undergraduate business and Finance, a Masters in Business Administration for adults
in the workforce; and ATU English, Somaliland's only adult English program to be 100% taught by native English speaking teachers.
ATU also holds business seminars in their training center located in Abaarso village. The university campus has nine classrooms with computer lab and wireless internet services.
In edition Abaarso Tech is involved in a number of community service projects. AT helps the local community in the village by providing them students to teach the local students. Students in Abaarso also provide tutoring for children in Hargeisa orphanage where they besides providing education, also offer care and attention to the orphaned children.
It is worth to mention that all Abaarso Tech programs are non-profit and facilitated by a group of enthusiastic, professional personnel. Jonathan Starr is Co-founder and managing director of Abaarso Tech. He says that in the coming months, new teachers will arrive mostly from the US empowering the institutions success.
Source: The Bridge Magazine
Link to the article: http://www.thebridgem.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=255:abaarso-tech-an-outstanding-campus-of-knowledge-a-self-discipline&catid=43:social&Itemid=61