Education in Somalia

Priority issues

UNICEF in Action


Education publications


Priority issues

UNICEF Somalia/2015/Yoshimoto
© UNICEF Somalia/2015/Yoshimoto

Formal Basic Education 
UNICEF aims to provide access to formal primary education to 100,000 children (48 per cent girls) ages 6 to 13. CECs and Child-to-Child (CtC) clubs will continue to be empowered to advocate for increased enrolment. Additional learning spaces will be provided through construction and rehabilitation for primary education. Learning/teaching materials including recreational materials will be distributed to ensure the quality of education. Working closely with government, community groups, and other partners, UNICEF strengthens community participation in education, as well as building government capacity to ensure children are enrolling, staying in, and learning while in school.

Alternative Basic Education
Nomadic pastoralists account for 65 per cent of the population in Somalia. To ensure children from nomadic communities also have access to quality basic education that can adapt to their lifestyle, UNICEF works with local authorities and other partners to support Alternative Basic Education (ABE). These interventions include temporary learning spaces, accelerated curriculum, flexible timetables, interactive radio instruction and appropriate and relevant reading materials, education kits, teacher resources, and other materials to help provide quality, relevant, and flexible educational opportunities for pastoralist children. UNICEF aims to provide access to Alternative Basic Education to 45,000 out-of-school children ages 6 to 14. Additional classrooms will be constructed in the existing alternative basic education centres, and innovative approaches to deliver education are promoted.

Out of School Youth and Skills Development
Young people make up nearly 70 per cent of Somalia’s population, yet often suffer due to limited education and employment opportunities. UNICEF works with communities to get young people back into school and work with youth who are out of the education system. UNICEF targets unemployed and vulnerable youth by providing access to life-skills based education programmes, youth education programmes, non-formal education programmes and youth internship programmes.

In 2016, UNICEF also supported social mobilization campaigns across Somalia that resulted in the enrolment of over 4,240 additional girls in either formal or alternative basic education (approximately 42 per cent of new enrollments). UNICEF is implementing a youth employability skills initiative aimed at equipping out of school youth in southern and central Somalia with key technical and vocational skills enhancing their livelihood opportunities and meaningful contributions to their communities. This work has benefitted 2,370 youth (38 percent of which are female) through the youth education programme implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council and life skills training in youth centres.

Institutional Strengthening 
Although the role, reach and capacity of the Ministries of Education in overseeing the delivery of education has increased at central, regional and district level, a lack of financial, institutional and human capacity hinders the development of the Sector. UNICEF supports regional and district education offices in implementing monitoring of schools and performance of students and teachers.

UNICEF will continue to support the Education Sector Coordination Committee for better coordination of results. A teacher profile database for primary school teachers has been established in Somaliland and Puntland, and is underway for the Federal Government, enabling them to have better control over teacher payments. In addition to continued support for teacher incentives, UNICEF also supports the revision of the curriculum framework mainstreaming peacebuilding and reflecting regional priorities. At local levels, Community Education Committees (CECs) play a key role in school administration and in building community resilience, including support in school development plans.

Education in Emergencies 
Natural disasters, armed conflict and other crisis continue to impact children and education. To mitigate this impact and find ways to keep children in school – especially in times of emergency – education preparedness and response is increasing across Somalia. In 2016, UNICEF reached 38,080 children (46 per cent girls) with support with emergency education support (including provision of temporary learning spaces, learning materials and teacher training). Emergency education resources supported children in newly accessible areas, those living in IDP camps, and children affected by ongoing drought across Somalia. UNICEF also provides trainings and capacity building with ministries and partners to develop Early Warning and Early Action Plans.



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