Sunday, June 22, 2008

Education: An Important Key to Somalia's Future

Someone once predicted about the endgame of Somalia's current quagmire with past historical references in the following words: "Seyyid Mohamed Abdille Hassan fought for twenty years; Mohamed Siyad Barre's rule lasted for twenty years; thence the current social upheaval will last twenty years, when finally there will be peace and prosperity to last for a long time to come". Lord, Let it be so, we pray! Since that has a beginning has an end, one important question that comes to mind is: what will be the best applicable tool to resuscitate an entirely failed state? As proposed by foreign and domestic writers, it all lies with the implementation of a marshal plan akin to the one initiated by the allied powers after World War II ended. Well, not bad ideas as long as donor nations hold to their good intentions and promises of injecting the ravaged nation with the required resources for developmental projects. On the other hand, anyone holding the reins of power in Somalia will have to ensure political correctness and accountability to flourish so as to avoid embezzlement of state coffers and social wealth.

Likewise, for ignorance and illiteracy to be sentenced to death or to hang by the rope until pronounced dead, dedication to the revitalization of the collapsed state educational institutions, formulating a nationally accepted curriculum with well-rehearsed syllabi, and dispersing pedagogues of higher integrity to calibrate the two-decade stagnation, will be the best applicable tool to replenish Somalia's lost image in the international arena.

Somalis in the Diaspora returning home with good educational backgrounds who are voluntarily and willingly ready to display exceptional expertise in the organization, education, and progress of their nation, must be lured with handsome payments so as to divorce them from any perceived foreign paymasters. Any Diaspora member arriving home with an employer should be left to dispense his/her duties as per contractual terms and agreements with the associated employer.

Failure to observe and fulfill the terms, declarations, and agreements entered with international institutions financing such massive undertakings may lead to absolute collapse as withholding of funds and garnishments will be unbearable for a nation in a state of infancy. Careful measures must be taken when demanding huge payments for massive projects or else transgressing loan repayments may drag the nation into a prolonged and difficult situation that will be hard to resolve and endure in the long run.

In the meantime, while many of us turn our hands heavenwards in prayer with the expectation the current reconciliation conference in Djibouti turns into a complete reality that will sort out our differences, on the other hand and undoubtedly, an imaginary long arduous journey whose finishing line is preceded by natural and artificial hurdles and impediments curved out of our own failures, await us.

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