Somalilandsun: When subsidized public universities are more expensive than private universities, Somaliland civil servants and armed forces personnel seeking higher education are left without recourse
This was stated by Chairman of the parliamentary public Property Sub-Committee MP Said Mohamed Haji Elmi ‘Siradle’ at a session of the house of representatives, the lower house of the bicameral Somaliland parliament.
MP Siradle who becomes the first political leader in the country to highlight the financial difficulties prospective students within the civil service and the national army are having in pursuit of university education, said “While government subsidies are meant to lower costs within public bodies state owned universities in all regions of Somaliland has failed to meet their objectives of low fee charging institutions since they are in the same league or in some instances more expensive than privately owned ones”
The Chairman of the parliamentary public Property Sub-Committee made the sentiments during presentation on the performance of his committee to the house.
While decrying the high cost of public universities MP Siradle did not minced words as he praised President Muse Bihi Abdi for implementing his campaign pledge of making primary school education fully free to all school age going children in Somaliland.
Said him “The administration of President Muse Bihi is to be commented for his extensive work in primary education, which has ensued with free distribution of curriculum text books”
Despite this positive remark the Member of Parliament was also quick in castigating the administration for completely forgetting the educational needs of children borne by members of the armed forces as well as civil servants
Stressing that it was the duty of legislators to provide constructive criticism to the government MP Said Mohamed Haji Elmi ‘Siradle’ who said that everybody is aware of the minute salary paid citizens on state payroll, stated that children of these state officers find it difficult to access university education.
“While primary schooling is free and secondary school fees within reach of these public servants access to university education is next to zilch due to the high cost of fees charged” said the legislator
According to the MP, what the government of Somaliland needs to do is to increase subsidizes to the public universities namely university of Hargeisa, Nugal University in Las Anod, Erigavo university in sanaag, Burao in Toghdeer, Amoud in Borame adding that
“This increase in grants should be followed by fee reductions” which the legislator says will facilitate children of low income civil servants and armed forces officers easily access higher education.
While the population of Somaliland is approximated as 4million the country is home to over 20 universities mostly private owned and graduates over 10000 students annually.
Feisal Ahmed Kharshe “Khatumo”