Transforming Somaliland’s Education Ministry through an innovative retirement scheme
7 January 2013 - In Somaliland, the lack of a pension scheme has led to staff continuing to work at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoE) well past retirement age – preventing recruitment and management changes needed to revitalize education. However the Ministry is now tackling the problem in an innovative pilot initiative known as the Senior Leadership Succession Plan.
Twenty five retirees from the Ministry of different categories, all with more than 40 years of service, received recently an allowance during a special ceremony attended by the Minister of Education, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, the Head of the Civil Service Commission and other dignitaries.
The initiative, known as the Senior Leadership Succession Plan (SLSP), is part of the Integrated Capacity Development for Somali Education Administration (ICDSEA) Programme which is funded by the European Union, managed by UNICEF and implemented through the CfBT Education Trust.
The seniority of ministry staff was found to be one of the key bottlenecks in building capacity at the MoE. The Plan is expected to rejuvenate the Ministry by encouraging the retirement of ministry staff members that have either reached or passed retirement age. It was developed as part of the Human Resources and Organizational Management reform under the guidance of Magan Abraham, ICDSEA Technical Advisor to the Ministry and Abdirashid Dahir Musa, Education Officer and other staff members.
The retirement allowance is based on the years of service multiplied by the final salary. For example, if a staff worked for 40 years and the last salary was $200 per month, the retiree would receive $8,000.
Together with the Ministry of Finance, the MoE is committed to trying to secure $200,000 to fund the pension scheme over the next ten years.
The scheme is expected to help attract and retain more young talented staff to the Ministry, to ensure that the management is in the hands of energetic and capable individuals who will respond quickly to the needs of the Ministry and deliver improved quality education services. It is also hoped that this pilot Plan will initiate discussions in solving the overall retirement issue of long serving employees on the government payroll.
During the ceremony, the Education Minister Zamzam Abdi Adan thanked all those involved in the project, especially the EU, UNICEF and CfBT Trust Fund for helping the Ministry implement this pilot project which will be completed by the end of January.