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Role models for higher achievement

High-achieving Somali pupils (pictured) received awards earlier this month at a community-led ceremony in Cardiff

High-achieving Somali pupils (pictured) received awards earlier this month at a community-led ceremony in Cardiff

High-achieving Somali pupils (pictured) received awards earlier this month at a community-led ceremony in Cardiff.

Schools and the local authority in the Welsh capital have been battling against the low attainment of Britain's oldest ethnic minority group for a decade.

With only around a fifth obtaining five A*-C grade GCSEs, the creation of role models is seen as the way forward in raising expectations of young Somalians. The Cardiff and Vale Somali Achievement Awards, which were held at Fitzalan High School, were organised by the Somali Raising Achievement Programme (Raps).

Year 10 pupil Hiba Miyir (far right) has plans to become a doctor so that she can help people in her homeland of Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991.

Dr Abdi Ali, (right), Raps co-ordinator, said: "It is vital to engage parents and the entire community if we want to raise achievement levels."

Photograph: Barrie Phillips.

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