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Somalia, 1 September 2010: EU-funded education support programme launched

Nairobi, Kenya, 1 September 2010 – A European Union-funded programme to support Somali administrations in developing a well-structured education and training system has been launched in Northwest Somalia (“Somaliland”) and Northeast Somalia (“Puntland”).

The Integrated Capacity Development for Somali Education Administrations (ICDSEA) programme is being implemented by the Ministries of Education in Northwest and Northeast Somalia and UNICEF in collaboration with CfBT Education Trust and Africa Educational Trust (AET). Ultimately, if conditions allow, the programme will also be launched in Central-South Somalia.

“Through the programme, the capacity of the Ministries of Education in planning, management and finance will be enhanced as part of the effort to attain the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All initiatives. UNICEF and the EU in collaboration with their partners aim to strengthen the capacities of the administrations in strategic planning, policy development, human resources management, organizational development, financial management, quality assurance and girls’ education promotion,” said Matthew Olins, Chief of Education at UNICEF Somalia.

During the launches in Somaliland and Puntland, Ministers of Education pledged to utilize the resources provided through the programme in an efficient manner and to ensure better quality education is provided to the community.

Dr. Manfred Winnefeld, Technical Advisor for the European Union’s support for the education sector in Somalia said “The EU is funding the project to the tune of EUR 5,000,000 over a three-year period and this programme will contribute to vibrant and sustainable Ministries of Education which support quality education for all Somali learners”.

In Somalia, education enrolment rates and literacy levels are among the lowest in the world. The total gross enrolment rate (percentage of eligible children in school) is 30.7 percent with girls at 25 percent compared to 37 percent for boys.  Girls continue to have difficulty in accessing and remaining in school with only one in five of the small number of girls who begin school in grade one completing a full cycle of primary education.

According to the last Primary Education Survey for Somalia for the 2006/2007 academic year, there were about 465,000 primary school students, 2083 primary schools and 13,966 teachers, 75 percent of whom are under or unqualified and a quarter having only primary school education. The European Union which is supporting the programme has also been supporting the development of secondary education during the past 10 years.  In this time, the number of secondary school students in Somaliland and Puntland has risen from approximately 450 students in 1999 to just under 30,000 in 2008.                       

For more information contact:

·        Edda Costarelli, Programme Coordination and Quality Assurance, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Kenya – Somalia Operations. Office: +254 20 280 2102.  Email: edda.costarelli@ec.europa.eu.

    * Iman Morooka, Communication Officer, UNICEF Somalia. Mobile:  +254 714 606 733. Email: imorooka@unicef.org.
    * Robert Kihara, Communication Officer, UNICEF Somalia. Mobile: +254 722 206 883 Email: rkihara@unicef.org.

For more information on UNICEF Somalia visit:
http://www.unicef.org/somalia

 

 
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