Somaliland School Launching Pad to Send Students Abroad

first_imgA school on the outskirts of Hargeisa has become a draw for high-achievers from around Somaliland as well as a launching pad, sending these students on to some of the most prestigious schools around the world, the Voice of America (VOA) has reported.Mustapha Mohamed Ibrahim, a recent graduate of the Abaarso School of Science and Technology outside Hargeisa, helps tutor younger classmates in math problems they might encounter on the ACT, an American college entrance exam.Abaarso is an elite school that teaches students from seventh through 12th grades.The school is quite competitive — prospective seventh-graders must take an entrance exam. Nearly 600 students competed for the 50 seats for the grade. This year, 1,000 are expected to take the test.CurriculumThe school’s rigorous curriculum focuses on math, science and technology, and helps the students become conversant in English. The school costs $1,800 a year for those with Somali and Somaliland passports; more for those with other citizenship.School headmaster James Linville said 80 students are studying at or have been accepted to universities and secondary schools throughout the world, with nearly all of them on full scholarship.“It’s incredibly competitive to get scholarships as international students to these schools, and not only that, but it’s been a very long time since Somali-educated and Somali-raised students were able to get these scholarships,” Linville said.“So actually, when our first students got scholarships three years ago, they were the first in over a generation to be given scholarships to study in the U.S.,” he added.Currently there are 210 students at the school.Educational opportunities were limited for Somalilanders caught up in civil war from 1988 to 1991, and then stymied by lack of funds and political turmoil.OpportunitiesIbrahim, who was recently accepted to New York’s University of Rochester with a full scholarship, said he’s happy for opportunities that were beyond his parents’ reach.“For a kid whose parents never graduated from middle school, it is a very, very big deal getting accepted into universities in the States,” he said.Forty Abaarso alumni are in the United States, studying at schools such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, Amherst College and Carnegie Mellon University.Once abroad, the students are able to keep up with their international counterparts, Linville said.Abaarso students have a grade point average of 3.2 in college and prep school, and have scored “exceptionally” high on the SAT, another American college entrance exam,” he said, adding that is noteworthy.“Especially considering that at the time they took the SAT, they’ve been taking classes in English for three years, so, imagine sending an American kid to another country, asking them to take the national exam in three years and then scoring in the 80th or 90th percentile,” he said.School founderThe Abaarso school was started by Jonathan Starr, an American financier who took a trip to his uncle’s native Somaliland in 2008 and decided to open a school there, using $500,000 of his own money to do so.Since Abaarso opened in 2009, there have been three graduating classes of about 35 students each.The students say their hope is that they will bring their knowledge home to improve their country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact It is the most important game of the season, only because it is the next game on the schedule, according to Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.Arians spent five years as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator and his return to Pittsburgh, where he spent eight seasons total and won two Super Bowls — one at the Cardinals’ expense — is no big deal.“I’m more worried about (Larry) Foote and (Brentson) Buckner and Levon Kirkland and LaMarr Woodley and A.Q. Shipley, all those guys from Pittsburgh than me,” Arians said on Friday. “It’s all about the players on the field.” We’ll see about that.What we won’t see here in Week 6 are the following inactive players: quarterback Matt Barkley, wide receiver J.J. Nelson, linebacker Shaq Riddick, linebacker Alex Okafor, tackle D.J. Humphries, offensive lineman Earl Watford and nose tackle Xavier Williams.Okafor is expected is miss up to a month with a calf injury.The rest of the bunch are healthy scratches. It’s the first scratch for Watford, which means Ted Larsen dresses.Meanwhile, guard Mike Iupati (back), safety Rashad Johnson (thigh/hip) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (chest) are healthy to play despite being listed as questionable on Friday’s final injury report.“His back just tightened up,” Arians said, referring to Iupati not practicing Thursday. “He wanted a day off.”For the Steelers (3-2), quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (knee), plus defensive starters safety Will Allen (ankle) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (shoulder), are inactive. They were ruled out on Friday.Others sitting include linebacker Jarvis Jones, guard Chris Hubbard and tight end Jesse James.The Cardinals (4-1) will be looking for their second straight road win, having beaten the Lions in Detroit last week.“It’s hard to win back-to-back games on the road in this league, and it would be a good accomplishment for us to get it done,” Arians said. Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals guard Mike Iupati (76) during an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more