UNICEF in Action
UNICEF works with partners across Somalia to deliver an integrated package of school-based and non-formal activities to address the educational needs in Somalia. This includes advocacy with the Education Ministries in Puntland and Somaliland, the construction and rehabilitation of schools, including temporary emergency structures, provision of supplies, school health activities, teacher training and incentives, monthly food vouchers through schools for children without access to other food support, support to Child-to-Child clubs and Community Education Committees and support through non-formal alternative basic education to pastoralist children. UNICEF Somalia is beginning to explore how to make education programmes more conflict-sensitive and support peace building efforts through education.
UNICEF-supported schools reached 426,244 learners in 2011. Key components of the Education programme included support for non-formal education (NFE), and Flexible Approaches to Basic Education (FABE), targeting pastoralist and nomadic children, teachers’ training and incentives, provision of education supplies, improved education infrastructure, and promotion of girls’ education. From 2009-2011 support was also provided through pilot ‘Integrated Quranic Schools’ where Quran Education is taught together with basic literacy and numeracy.
Thousands receiving school material
UNICEF is the largest provider of primary school supplies in Somalia. In 2011, education materials and textbooks reached 1,811 primary schools in Somalia, benefiting 642,964 students. Some 14,952 sanitary kits were distributed to schools and non-formal education centres in Puntland a further 4,500 sanitary kits were distributed to Maternal and Child Health Centres, hospitals, and internally displaced women. As a result, girls in upper primary classes showed lower drop-out rates, improved learning outcomes, and increased confidence in activities such as debates and sports. In 10 target schools for this initiative, enrolment increased by up to 200% between 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.
6,897 teachers were trained on child-centred pedagogies, Education in Emergencies Minimum Standards, psychosocial support, and life skills. Monthly incentives were paid to 5,782 teachers (1,104 female), resulting in increased teacher retention, which is particularly critical in emergency-affected areas. Training and ongoing support to 14,951 Community Education Committees members from 2,136 CECs contributed to improved school management and administration. Some 2,500 Child-to-Child club members were trained and mobilized in Puntland and the approach was introduced in 45 schools in Somaliland.
Educational system strengthened
UNICEF has been contributing effectively to strengthen policy, planning, systems and personnel within the Education Ministries in Somaliland and Puntland. In 2011, 10 diaspora technical advisors and 20 education officers were recruited to facilitate the transfer of skills and knowledge to Ministry staff in both regions. Gender Units were established and a scholarship programme for girls at all education levels was launched, enabling 450 disadvantaged girls to participate in education.
Critical data generated
An Education Management Information System (EMIS) was established in Somaliland and Puntland and the first government-led census of all primary schools was conducted.
Support to non-formal education
In order to reach out particularly to pastoralist/nomadic children, UNICEF has been supporting Non-formal initiatives and frameworks, particularly Alternative Basic Education (ABE).