Education in Somalia

Priority issues

UNICEF in Action


Education publications


UNICEF in Action

UNICEF Somalia/2015/Makundi
© UNICEF Somalia/2015/Makundi

Building the capacity of education ministries
In 2012, a five-year Education Strategic Plan (ESSP) was developed both in Puntland and Somaliland, reflecting voices of local stakeholders and signs of local ownership. Both ministries revised and rationalised their organisational structures, and are taking the lead in building capacity for the regional/ district level administrations.

Building resilience of communities
Community-based groups known as Community Education Committees (CEC) have played an important role in delivering education services. CECs consist of teachers and parents and are the main structure at the local level to manage the administration of schools. Today, CECs exist in most Somali schools. UNICEF supports the capacity building of CECs by providing training on school management and community mobilisation for increased enrolment.

Increasing the numbers of qualified/ certified teachers
Most teachers are trained by UNICEF and NGOs and incentives are paid by local communities with top-ups from UNICEF and partners. UNICEF supported, through EU funds, the development of a Quality Assurance/ School Inspection and Improvements Handbook and Monitoring and Evaluation Supervision tool to ensure the quality of education in Somaliland and Puntland.

Establishing national guidelines on corporal punishment
Schools continue to use corporal punishment as a form of discipline. In Somaliland, a Teachers’ Code of Conduct was drafted, together with the National Education Act, to ensure prohibition of corporal punishment in schools. In Puntland, School Rules and Regulations that bar corporal punishment have been developed and distributed to Regional Education Officers, District Education Officers, and local school management, including CECs.

Establishing an examination system to measure the quality of education
UNICEF supported National Examinations for primary and secondary education and Monitoring Learning Achievement (MLA) at grade 7. A Grade 4 MLA test for literacy and numeracy was developed for Puntland and Somaliland to determine children’s learning levels and to assess the quality of the education system and curriculum. Only 68 per cent of students met expected standards (score of over 60 per cent) for literacy, and only 19 per cent met the expected level for numeracy.

Ensuring education service in emergency situations
UNICEF works to ensure that children and youth during times of emergency have access to education. In 2014, through the emergency response programme, 23,739 children in IDP settlements and newly accessible areas were supported with schools supplies and a further 35,000 children in IDP settlements had their schools reopened once their teachers received school incentives again. Severe funding constraints continue to affect responding to education in emergencies.

Because of continued insecurity, UNICEF relies on local partners, CECs and umbrella organisations with operational access in Central South Somalia. UNICEF also employs third party verification to reach those areas which UNICEF staff cannot reach to ensure we have accurate information for programme monitoring.

Collecting reliable data for effective planning
Effective planning has been hampered by the lack of accurate and reliable data, including Education Management Information System (EMIS) and enrolment data. The establishment of an EMIS Unit in all three education ministries resulted in the third government-led School Census in Somaliland and Puntland and a pilot survey in 16 districts of Banadir region in CSZ.



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