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Somalia, 8 September 2015: Somaliland pledges to increase literacy by 2030

© UNESCO 2015

8 September 2015, HARGEISA, Somaliland – This year’s celebration of International Literacy Day in Somaliland brought together a wide range of government officials, NGOs, experts and communities. Events in Hargeisa began with a march from the Ministry of Education to the official venue, the Guled Hotel, which was joined by Education Ministry officials, youth groups, women’s groups, academics, teachers and adult and young students.

The theme for International Literacy Day this year was the link between literacy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- the proposed set of targets relating to future international development replacing the Millennium Development Goals. Literacy is recognized as a key driver for sustainable development and the Education SDG is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.

The event, which was supported by UNICEF and UNESO, brought together six Somaliland Ministers including Education, Planning, Health and Religion as well as UNESCO’s Project Coordinator for the Somalia Education Programme.

© UNESCO 2015
Students attending an event to celebrate International Literacy Day.

During the opening, the Minister of Education, Professor Farah Elmi Geedole, thanked UNICEF and UNESCO for their support in working to increase the enrollment of children and adults to meet the SDG target of ensuring that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults are literate by 2030. He requested the international community and humanitarian agencies to support the Ministry to reach its goals.

In 2011 UNICEF carried out a Multiple-Indicator Cluster Survey in Somaliland which found that only a quarter of women living in rural areas aged between 15 and 24 are literate and among the poorest households only 14 per cent are literate.

“We have made good progress in getting children to school in Somaliland,” said Linda Jones, Chief of Education for UNICEF Somalia. “But there is still a long way to go and we need to focus on providing quality education for all Somali children.”

There was also a panel discussion about literacy and its relation to the 17 Sustainable Goals, due to be adopted by the UN General Assembly later this month. The discussions which looked at the challenges and how to improve family literacy which involved Somaliland’s Director of Curriculum and Planning (Abdillahi Yasin), the Head of Hargeisa Cultural Center (Dr Jama Musse), the Chairman of the New Generation University (Mustafe Alkhalili) and the Education Manager of the NGO Candlelight (Abdi Ismail).



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