Thursday, November 21, was Teachers Day in Somalia. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud issued a statement saying: “Teachers Day has been an important date in the Somali year since 1974, but during so many of the intervening years our country has been disfigured and distracted by fighting.” He took the opportunity to praise the bravery and commitment of teachers and to urge them to continue warning young people of “the dangers of extremism and the perverted versions of our great faith peddled by those who have taken the wrong path.”
The statement concludes:
Providing a decent education is the nail in the coffin for extremist groups. Just as we fight our enemies on the battlefield with bullets, so we fight them in the classrooms with books.
An international Teacher Solidarity website offers some background on the Somali teachers union and a link to send messages to this and other regions requesting support, worldwide.