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18 March 2023 - Story

E-labs boost literacy and numeracy skills of children- Fatxi's story

Fatxi, a nine-year-old from Karkaar, had longed to attend school and learn what children of her age were learning, but Fatxi's parents could only afford to pay for her Madarassa fees, which were significantly lower than school tuition.   

Thanks to the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Multi-Year Resilient  Program, Fatxi now attends primary school in her neighborhood through an ECW scholarship for children from poor families, her dreams became a reality when she had the chance to attend a primary school in the Karkaar region where she could study Math, Somali, and English.  "I used to see girls my age going to schools, wearing uniforms, and I wanted to be like them and join a school because they were learning many subjects and playing," Fatxi says. "When I started this primary school, I was happy because I was learning Math and English and Somali, and I was using tablets to learn. My favorite subjects are Math and Tarbiya [Islamic studies]."  

In addition, Save the Children, with funding from the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) MYRP Program, constructed an additional classroom for the E-lab, which is equipped with tablets loaded with Somali-translated literacy and numeracy applications. This innovative strategy designed to improve children's literacy and numeracy through playing games provides an exciting learning environment for children. 

Fatxi is presently in second grade and says she now feels well connected with her classmates, that she is delighted to have met friends, and that she is studying many subjects. While in the E-lab, she is learning math and loves to use the E-Lab to learn new things and remember what she has read at home. It makes her think about things in a new way, and every time she comes to the E-Lab, she is happy and eager to learn more.     

The E-Lab provides a stimulating and interactive learning environment for children. They learn through playing games that help improve their literacy and numeracy skills. Fatxi says the E-Lab is her favorite class because it makes everything so easy. "In the E-Lab, it's also easier because we as students explain and work together, while in normal classes, the teacher explains to us," she adds.  

Omar Ali, a teacher at the school, says the E-Lab is an innovative strategy designed to improve children's literacy and numeracy. "The primary school has an E-Lab, where children have the opportunity to learn different subjects while playing creative and fun games that contribute to their growing," he explains. The school, which serves the most severely affected children with a quality basic education, is one of the schools supported by Save the Children's ECW programme. Before the school was built, children in the area had to travel long distances to attend school. "The school is located in one of the most populated areas in the town, and it's the first of its kind to be established," says Omar Ali.   

For the past year, Omar Ali has been teaching at the school, which has two levels: the primary school established by Save the Children and the recently established secondary school. "For the last few years, since the secondary school was added, the students who graduated from here have been receiving the highest marks at district level," he adds. The E-Lab has made a significant impact on Fatxi's education and her outlook on the future. "When I grow up, I want to be a doctor to treat people that don't have money for free," she says.  

The E-Lab is just one of the many ways in which Save the Children is transforming the education landscape in Puntland, Somalia, and providing children like Fatxi with the chance to learn and grow. It is an excellent example of how technology can be harnessed to make learning more accessible and engaging for children, particularly in regions with limited access to quality education. 


About the Project 


The Education Cannot Wait (ECW) MYRP Program for Puntland is a comprehensive new multi-year resilience education programme framework. The overall aim of this project is to improve school access and safety and educational attainment for Somali girls and boys affected by conflicts and droughts, contributing to resilience building within an increasingly peaceful, secure and democratic environment. 


The ECW MYRP was designed to respond to existing gaps and needs in multiple regions of the Puntland State of Somalia. Since its launch, the programme has facilitated access to learning opportunities for 18,027 learners, including host communities, returnees and IDPs enrolled in 51 schools across Puntland.