A complete semester of Teaching Mogadishu University

After a semester of my graduation, I was called by the university and was informed that the university planned for me to teach a course to the faculty I had graduated. It was unexpected news. I felt happy. I informed some friends that I might teach the university this semester.

As a lecturer of the university at the first time, you are required to undergo some procedures as some offices need documents from you. I finished the procedures. After a few days, I was informed the course name that I will teach and the class.

A common problem that faces lecturers is finding the latest edition of the courses they teach. To overcome this problem, I started to find a relevant book. I visited two mini libraries in Mogadishu. Finally, I found a book that, in my view, was relevant to the class.

I thought that it was necessary to prepare one introductory lecture to the class since it takes at least a week to copy the students the original book. I then prepared very concise notes about the course and its main topics.

In Tuesday 02 February 2014, I presented my first lecture to Mogadishu University students. It was not the first university I gave lecture to its students, but it was the first time I lectured to Mogadishu University – the university I graduated, as well as one of the leading universities in the country.

One of the faculty administrators accompanied me in order to introduce me to the students and informed that I will teach them “Principles of Law” course.

Since I prepared some notes, I presented it. Then I started to introduce myself and asked them to introduce to me as well. This day was an ice-breaking day, and at the end of that day, I was feeling confidence. As a young lecturer who is presenting his first lecture to a second year class in his first time to such university, you will inevitably feel some fear and challenge.

Since then I planned the contents of the book, and balanced the contents of the book to the course time. The plan helped me to finish the course to the allocated timeframe. We worked together very well. Monday, 26 May was the day I gave the students the last lecture. That day was the end of a complete semester that we spent together. During these days, we shared our experiences and ideas in order to increase the understanding of the course and applying it to the real life.

As a young and fresh lecturer, there were minor difficulties that I have experienced. One was the management of the class.  Although I was a teacher in the last two years and was trained class management skills, it was quite difficult to manage and guide nearly fifty students of my average age. The other one was that when it comes to give the students their exam results, several students come to you and say that they are not satisfied with the results.

The journey was interesting, and I have learnt many things during these days. As a lecturer of Mogadishu University, I was given respect by the society. The reason why people respected me is that the name and value of the university is prevalent in and out of the country.  When I went to Hiiraan in 2010 for a vacation, I was given a warm welcome as a student of Mogadishu University, and as a lecturer of the same university, it is not surprise to get more than that.

The other thing I learnt during this course was that as a lecturer it is inevitable for you to prepare the lecture very well by reading other related materials that can help you deliver the lecture understandably. Preparing the book deeply as well as reading other materials helped me increase my understanding about the subject.

One common problem I observed about the students is that most of them focuses on books, and try to restrict their mind to understand or memorize what is in the books. Reading culture is not working in the local universities. The students lack the desire to read.

The university administration, curriculum and the staff faculties are all organized. They help the students find all the academic requirements as planned.

Suggestions to the university and students

As a university, competing with other universities in Africa and beyond, it needs to improve its lecturers’ skills and knowledge and more importantly satisfy their financial needs. Improving the research skills of the lecturers is one important thing that can build and encourage the lecturers. A quality lecturer can only produce a quality student.

The lecturers are the backbone of the university. I encourage to them helping the students get the best syllabus of their courses and elaborating the other sources that they can find related lectures and books. The other basic thing I do suggest to the lecturers is that preparing and lecturing the best they can, keeping the time, and giving the students valuable recommendations.

The students need to improve their reading skills. They need to read further books and articles related to their field of study. The other thing the students need to improve is their language capacity. The language is the key of knowledge, and your capacity of the language determines the level of your understanding. To learn a language is not difficult. It needs only plan and using it daily.

In conclusion, I am very delighted to study and teach Mogadishu University. The university empowered me like many others. It gave me a recognized certificate, skills, knowledge, and friends. Teaching Mogadishu University was a dream that came true. I am always with you, and will contribute my efforts to the progress and success of the university without any reservation. My appreciation goes to all the competent lecturers, the faculty administration and the university in general that I spent a great semester with them. Lastly, I specially appreciate the immeasurable support of my best friend Aweis Ahmed Mohamed who provided me with selfless support, and brilliant ideas and advice during this journey.

Mahad Abdullahi

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