Somalia to switch off social media access as exam papers are being leaked & sold online

Somalia is planning to block social media access during exam period to stop its students from cheating.

The government announced it would shut down  social media during the upcoming national examination following revelation that examination papers were being leaked and shared on social media.

The government has also cancelled examination that began on May 11 and post phoned them to 27th May- 31st May. In those days, social sites will not be available. The government did not reveal which sites were being used to leak exam and which ones they would shut down. A total of 31,000 students have been affected by the directive.

“During those five days, no social media outlet will function in the country,” said Education cabinet secretary Abdullahi Godah Barre on Twitter.

African countries are increasingly shutting down social media during elections, blocking them during examinations is a new one.
The directive comes at a time when Somalia is trying to rebuild itself following decades of war.

Unqualified teachers, multiple curricula in different regions, and limited financial and technical resources are among the challenges, with many of the primary and secondary schools in the country managed by non-state providers, according to news website Quartz.

Below is people taking to the streets following the directive.


The move has been criticised by Amnesty International as unjustified and “ridiculous.”

Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes Seif Magango said:

It is ridiculous that the government would consider shutting down social media communications for the entire country after failing in its duty to secure the content of exam papers.

He continued:

“They should instead explore ways to secure the integrity of the exams without resorting to regressive measures that would curtail access to information and freedom of expression.”


No social media in Somalia. Photo| REUTERS|ISMAIL TAXT

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