Fartun Abdirahman Adan, a Puntland law graduate, used his disappointment at not being able to find work right after graduation into success in the emerging field of online learning.
Fartun, who graduated from Bossaso University in 2018, was fed up with waiting for work and decided to take a free online course in teaching skills before launching Al Najaax Online Education a year later.
Fartun remarked, “I have put a lot of effort into this school, and it has become a financial breakthrough for me.” “I wanted to share my expertise with the world while still being able to financially support my family and myself.”
Al Najaax currently has 100 students, in and outside Somalia, taking courses in subjects such as Arabic, English, mathematics, and parenting skills. Student fees are five dollars a month.
Fartun has shouldered responsibilities for her family of nine, paying $100 rent for their two-bedroom house, and monthly school fees of $15 for each of her siblings at Alwaaha secondary and Darawish primary school.
Her father, a school teacher in Bossaso, took early retirement due to sickness. Fartun has been able to step in as primary income earner.
Al Najaax promotes and enrolls students through social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Course material and assignments are shared via WhatsApp groups and Telegram in video or audio format.
According to Fartun, online learning has several advantages over face-to-face learning in Somalia.
“The teacher has the opportunity to educate a large number of pupils, and the students do not have to pay for bus transportation to attend a lesson.” Another important benefit is safety and security: because you are in your own room, there is no disruption to your studies or courses if individuals fight in the street. This type of schooling can benefit even mothers with tiny children.”
Another graduate who turned to online skills development is Farah Abdikadir Mohamed, 24, who graduated from Puntland university school of technology in 2017. He was unable to find a job with his degree. He signed on for a year’s online course in video design and editing. He is now making a living from video production, charging Somali and overseas clients $50-$60 per video.
“I believe a lot has changed in my life. Now I am a skilled person who understands the real needs of the market. I have added a lot of values to my life, both financially and in terms of skills. I’m certain that today people need my services,” said Farah.