n Journal of Somali Studies : Research on Somalia and the Greater Horn of African Countries - Somalia : an overview of primary and secondary education

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2056-5674
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5682


In order to understand the dialectics of education in Somalia, particularly at the levels of primary and secondary studies, it behooves us to shed some light on the background: the traditional Qur'anic school where the task of conventional learning starts. The reason for this is, before formal school learning, the Somali child undergoes a traditional pedagogical system in which s/he starts learning Islam's Holy Scripture in a Qur'anic school as young as from age four. Here, s/he learns how to read and write the Arabic alphabet, which is the basis for Qur'anic as well as Arabic-language studies. In due course, the learners are expected to master the reading of the Qur'an, usually based on rote memorization, to "commit the Quran - as much of it as possible - to memory", but without comprehension of the text (Hersi, 1977:38).

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