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ISTVS 2017 Graduation Ceremony: Celebrating a remarkable Achievement

ISTVS 2017 Graduation Ceremony: Celebrating a remarkable Achievement

ISTVS 2017 Graduation Ceremony: Celebrating a remarkable Achievement

Posted on 10th Oct, 2017, written by Wangeci Gitonga

IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary School (ISTVS) in Sheikh, Somaliland continues to open its doors to put young men and women from the IGAD region on a path to a bright future. For the past eleven years the school’s vision, mission, and goals are resounded during the annual graduation ceremony held at the school and graced by the School partners and stakeholders. It is during such occasions, that one takes a moment to appreciate ISTVS as an institution that has indeed helped and continues to support the young people from the Somali ecosystem get access to quality education and hence take part in rebuilding their country’s economy.

The contributions made by ISTVS’ alumni, who have gone on to achieve great things, have created an exceptional impact in the livestock industry. This has helped the school to stand out amongst higher educational institutions in the Somali ecosystem and also in the labor workforce where our graduates are sought after due to their recognized skills and experience.

Despite the school making significant strides in ensuring there is access to affordable quality education for instance through its scholarship programme and providing job opportunities, there is still a lot that needs to be done on sensitizing the youth on the dangers of illegal immigration which poses far-reaching problems on African youth. The government, parents and the society at large indeed have a crucial role to play in the fight against illegal immigration. This year, two ISTVS students dropped out of school to seek what they would term a “better life” in Europe through illegal immigration. In spite of the school’s efforts to avoid such incidents, social media inevitably disseminates “success” stories influencing young minds to try their luck.

This, however, is a learning experience to the school, first in knowing that it has changed the lives of many young people for the better who could likely have chosen this path. Secondly learning that it still has a lot to do to ensure that many young people understand the benefits of enrolling in education, completing their training and most of all using the knowledge and skills gained to better their lives, their country and be role models to others.

ISTVS graduation ceremonies will as a result never go uncelebrated as more young people are empowered through access to education. 8th October marked the 2017 graduation ceremony. It was momentous because, for the first time, degrees were conferred to students who were pursuing the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Dryland Economics and Agro-Ecosystem Management (DEAM), accredited by the University of Nairobi. It is a remarkable achievement as this is the first group of students to graduate in this particular course. The fifteen students completed their four-year program in April 2017, and their accomplishments celebrated during the October graduation ceremony, in ISTVS, where they were applauded by the guests of honor, teaching staff and continuing students.

Students pursuing Diploma in Livestock Product Development and Entrepreneurship were also awarded Diplomas accredited by Makerere University, Uganda. To date, ISTVS has had 230 students graduating from the ISTVS Veterinary Medicine programme with Alumni all over the IGAD region, playing a significant role in meeting the challenges of health and welfare of livestock and regional food security.

The 2017 graduates shared their experiences and their comments highlighting the importance of ISTVS in giving them access to quality education which will enable them to be participants in improving the economic growth of their respective countries.

  • “Over the years ISTVS has helped demystify the concept of veterinary medicine as a male occupation. More girls are enrolling in the veterinary program as well as the agriculture program compared to previous years when the school was starting. It is pleasing to witness this because women now realize they have more social value.”-Asma Awil (graduate)
  • “Knowledge and skills obtained during my four years study at ISTVS will enable me to play a crucial role in promoting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving livelihoods and promoting agriculture in my community.” – Gulleid Abdisalan (graduate)

One of the guests of honor, Lucy wood, in her speech asked the graduates to “keep in touch with the school and share their success stories. She also urged them to be ‘ISTVS ambassadors.’

Graduates from the Dryland Economics and Agro-Ecosystem Management program give new hope to farmers in the Somali ecosystem as these professionals will teach them the value of improved agriculture; recommend suitable crops, advise on the appropriate technologies to adopt, help them resolve their constraints as well as bring new opportunities.

For such benefits to have an impact on the majority of the farmers in the Somali ecosystem, ISTVS still has a lot of work to do in ensuring that more students graduate from this program to play a crucial role in providing sustainable agriculture in the Somali ecosystem.

It is, therefore, safe to say, ISTVS’ work has just begun, and the sustainability of the school will be beneficial to the Somali ecosystem for years to come.

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