Education in Somalia

Priority issues

UNICEF in Action


Education publications



From dark to brighter days of learning
30 May 2019 – Two years ago, as drought devastated parts of Somalia fourteen-year old Faylehay and her family were forced to leave their homes in a village near Qansaxdhere district, and travel more than 80km to Baidoa town in search of safe water.

Learning new skills gives young people the chance to build a more prosperous future at home in Somaliland
27 May 2019 – By the time he was 18 years old, Abdirahman Mohamed had twice attempted to start the long and dangerous journey to Europe, leaving his home in Somaliland and aiming to travel through the Sahara Desert, crossing the Mediterranean.

Asha’s story - A journey to safety and a start to education
19 October 2018 - Asha Abdulahi Jama was two years old when her mother died. She is now nine and has lived through more warfare, loss and displacement than most people experience in a lifetime.

Child-to-child club brings hope for a better future to out-of-school children
7 June 2018 - Mohamed Ali Sheikh, 11, is one of the 200 students enrolled at Aflah School in a camp for the displaced persons on the outskirts of Mogadishu.

USAID supports former animal herder Adan to show his skills in the classroom
26 February 2018 - Fourteen-year-old Adan Kero, wakes up early every morning in the makeshift Dusta camp on the outskirts of Baidoa town which is now home to 250 families displaced by the drought which swept through Somalia.

Somaliland communities use their phones to provide feedback on education, health and water services
February 2018 - Every month over 200 community members in Boroma receive a series of questions on their mobile phones about the quality of local education, health and water services.

Giving local governments more power helps improve education in Somaliland
February 2018 - Annisa Ahmed Mohamed Huseen, a Grade 8 pupil at Omar bin Khataab Primary School says she appreciates the high quality of teaching at her school and aspires to be a doctor.

Umalkhayr’s story
18 January 2018 - Umalkhayr Ali Dahir, who lives in Lasodawo village in Somaliland, never had the chance to go to school before. Her father died a year ago, when she was eight, and she had been helping her mother.

Puntland school children takeover Ministry meeting to mark World Children’s Day
20 November 2017 – Top officials from Puntland’s Education Ministry took a back seat today as children from a local school took over their training workshop to celebrate World Children’s Day.

Launch of Global Partnership for Education grant for Puntland
Garowe, Puntland, 23 October 2017 - A high level ceremony to launch the US$5.6 million grant for education in Puntland from the Global Partnership for Education took place in Garowe.

Global Partnership for Education Grants US$5.6 million for Quality Education for Children in the Puntland State of Somalia
Garowe, Puntland, Somalia, 23 October 2017 – The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is pleased to announce a US$5.6 million grant for Puntland.

Drought forces young Anab to leave her village – but she does find an education
12 September 2017 - The prolonged drought in Somalia has led to difficult decisions for families – whether to stay on their barren land and try to survive, to uproot everyone or to divide the family.

From Goats to Grade 1
August 2017 - I first met eleven-year-old Mariam Abdulahi at Waranley village while she was looking after her family’s herd of goats. She told me she had never been to school, but her dream was to be a student.

Never too late to learn – 65 year old farmer joins his children at school
20 July 2017 - Sixty-five year old Mohamed Sur sits at the back of the classroom in Beled Amin school in Baidoa, southern Somalia. He has three children at the school - Janow aged 10, Habiba who is 6 and Shamsa aged 4. But Mohamed is not here to watch.

Somali region’s only female village chief brings a school to the community
19 July 2017 - Abdio Aber Ali is a determined woman who is not used to taking no for an answer. She is the only female village chief in the whole of Gedo region and quite possibly beyond.

A village suffering for three years from drought given a ray of hope
13 July 2017 - Madina Ibrahim Hajji wanted to send her three children to school but there were none in her village or nearby. The village was made up of farmers whose crops have failed for the past three years due to the drought.

Expanding opportunities for Somalia’s youth as the Somali National University gets back its main campus
Mogadishu 12 July 2017 – UNICEF has welcomed the handover of the Somali National University’s main campus to the Federal Government as an important step forward in expanding opportunities for youth in Somalia.

Graduation ceremony in Puntland for a Japan-supported peace building programme
Garowe, Somalia, 27 June 2017 – A graduation ceremony took place in Garowe, Puntland, for hundreds of young people. They celebrated the successful completion of a course to learn vocational skills at a Japan supported Youth Education Pack (YEP) centre.

A chance at a better future
30 May 2017 - Youth literacy and vocational training funded by Japan offers skills and hope for Somali youth.

Hundreds of youth graduate with new skills from a Japan-supported peace building programme
25 May 2017 – A proud group of 350 young people took part in a graduation ceremony after successfully completing a course under the UNICEF peace building programme. The young people celebrated in front of guests at the Youth Education Pack centre.

A pastoralist life is no obstacle to education – thanks to UNICEF and USAID
23 May 2017 - Nimmo is a bright, curious nine year old living in a village in South Central Somalia. Her family are pastoralists who move around in search of grazing land and water for their livestock.

Children Displaced by Drought Benefit from a JPLG-supported School in Berbera
20 May 2017 - Twelve year-old Mohamed Muse has been living with his aunt in the coastal town of Berbera for the past two months after the severe drought ravaging parts of Somaliland forced his mother to split up her ten children among relatives.

Keeping children in school amidst a severe drought
1 May 2017 - Due to the severe drought, some 40,000 children have stopped going to school across Somalia, and another 50,000 are at risk of following suit.

Drought forces many Somali children to stop going to school to support the family
April 2017 – Thirteen year old Iftin was forced to stop going to school when his family decided their only hope for survival was to move. So last October the whole family left to travel 35 kilometres in search of pasture and water for their dying animals

Suada returns home determined to educate girls
April 2017 - Suada is from a pastoralist family in rural Somalia, but was raised and educated in neighboring Kenya.

It takes a village to educate a child
April 2017 - Nearly 60 % of Somalis live in pastoralist communities. However, children in these communities typically lack access to quality education opportunities.

Training teachers for a community’s first ever school
April 2017 - When 26 year-old Ibrahim came back to his home village of Tuulo-Sharif after studying in Mogadishu, he was disappointed to find there was still no school in the village.

Providing Adolescents and Youth with options in Somalia
15 March 2017 - The prolonged drought and looming famine has featured in the Somalia and global news of late, but a disruption has taken place in Puntland State (North Eastern region of Somalia).

Female teachers in Somaliland aim for the top after graduating from management course
January 2017 – More than fifty female teachers from across Somaliland could be set to become head teachers after completing a two year Diploma course in school management and administration.

Former labourer Abdirahman plans to be an engineer thanks to ‘Educate a Child’
January 2017: Just six months ago, 14 year old Abdirahman stepped inside a classroom for the first time. Now he is a keen maths student and can read and write in Somali. “I want to be an engineer.” he says.

Severe drought kills animals and forces Somali families to flee
December, 2016 - Seventy-eight year old Mohammed Idle wearily gets down from a truck that brought him and his 16 emaciated cattle over 500 kilometres west from his home district in search of water. But it was too late for some of his animals.

First time pupil Malyun determined to ensure others can follow
19 December 2016 - The village where ten year old Malyun lived never had a school so she had never even seen inside a classroom. However now she is an enthusiastic pupil in Grade 2 where her favourite subject is science.

Determined 14-year-old Zainab defied her parents on early marriage
28 November 2016 - When I met 14 year old Zainab in the small town of Dollow in southern Somalia and heard her sad but inspiring story – I felt she was a great ambassador for girls’ rights.

Thousands of Somali children displaced and out of school due to Galkayo fighting
15 November 2016 - More than 90,000 people, including at least 20,000 children who were in school, have been displaced by fighting between factions in the Galkayo region of Central Somalia, which began a month ago.

UNICEF’s contribution to civic education under the Joint Programme on Local Governance recognized in Somalia
Mogadishu, 9 November 2016 - UNICEF is one of five UN agencies working on the Joint Programme on Local Governance and the decentralization of Service Delivery (JPLG).

Pastoralist communities in Somalia believe education will build their children's future
November 2016 – Pastoralist children in Dolow district in southern Somalia rarely have the chance to go to school. A few villages have basic Quoranic or community schools but the two thirds of the families are pastoral and often on the move...

Blog: Meeting the children in southern Somalia who have never seen a school – or a football
November 2016 - It was a bright, hot morning when I set off for my three-day trip to visit nomadic communities in south Somalia to discuss the ways to bring education to their children.

Bringing basic education to those who’ve never had a school
13 October 2016 - The remote village of Gaafaay, in southern Somalia’s Middle Shabelle Region, is home to nearly 300 families from the Bantu minority, one of the most marginalized groups in the country.

Running water at Somali school means more time for lessons
August 2016 - Students at Kabasa primary school in south-west Somalia used to miss valuable school time because they had to go home for a drink of water.

Somali pupils work to ensure that all children go to school
13 July 2016: Somali pupils at Qalam Primary School in Gedo region are making a big difference in their community. With UNICEF’s support, they set up a Child-to-Child (CTC) club.

UNICEF and Government of Italy Ensure Education for All
21 June 2016 - “When I grow up and finish my studies, I want to become a doctor and help sick people in my community,” says 14 year old Sundus. Last year, when her mother died, Sundus’ dreams of completing her education were almost lost.l

African educationalists agree education is key to tackling conflict
ADDIS ABABA June 2016: Ensuring equitable access to education is key in addressing the root causes of conflict and instability in Africa. This was agreed by those attending a three day Pan-African Symposium on Education, Resilience and Social Cohesion.

Female teachers go back to school to learn leadership skills
May 2016 - Fatuma Hussein Dau’d, a primary school teacher in Somaliland’s capital city Hargeisa, has been teaching social studies for nearly forty years - but never felt confident about taking on a more senior position.

Remembering my mom: Woki Munyui, UNICEF Somalia Education specialist
20 April 2016 - On April 20 2015, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a bus carrying staff from UNICEF Somalia in Garowe, Puntland. Four people were killed, including Woki Munyui who had been a champion of girls’ education in Somalia since 2007.

Never too old to learn – a grandmother’s story
April 2016 - In a crowded Grade One classroom in southern Somalia one particular student stands out among the small chattering children who is particularly keen to learn.

Cleaners in Somaliland Schools are finally paid thanks to JPLG
March 2016 – Sahra used to clean the school her children attended in Burao free of charge. But this all changed thanks to the Joint Programme on Local Governance and Service Delivery.

Support from JPLG ensures a fire-gutted school reopens in record time
March 2016: Students at one of the main primary schools in Omar Binu Khatab, in Berbera will never forget the morning of 10 August last year when faulty electrics caused a fire and destroyed part of the building.

Blog: A second return to Somalia
March 2016 - I have just arrived back in Hargeisa, Somaliland for the first time in seven years. I worked in UNICEF Somalia from 2005 – 2009 and frequently visited.

Drought leave students without schools in Puntland
February 2016 – Ubah Farah Abdirahman, 15, bustles around her family’s small tea shop in the village of Yibayil, in Somalia’s Puntland region. Although she is not currently in school, Ubah dreams of completing her education.

Once in a lifetime training opportunity for female Somali teachers
February 2016 - Zamzam Abshir Samriye was delighted when she was chosen as one of 60 students taking part in the Female Teachers Training at the Garowe Teachers’ Education College - a four-part training course spread over one and a half years.

Educate A Child boosts school enrollment in Somaliland
January 2016 - The number of children in a Somaliland primary school has more than doubled thanks to outreach work supported by Educate a Child.

Youth for Change initiative gives young Somalis a second chance
November 2015 - When Asma moved with her uncles from Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa nearly 200 kilometres east to Burao, she found herself stuck at home and stopped from going to school.

Graduates from UNICEF’s Learning for Peace Programme set for a brighter future
12 November 2015: A graduation ceremony for 123 Youth learners who took part in the UNICEF-supported Learning for Peace Programme was held in Mogadishu. The graduates finished 10 months of vocational training.

Somali children take part in the World’s Largest Lesson on UN Goals
1 October 2015 - Schoolchildren in Somaliland are among thousands of pupils from around the world who have been taking part in the World’s Largest Lesson learning about the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Female Teachers in Puntland learn new skills to encourage them to stay in the classroom
14 August 2015 - In Puntland only 12% of teachers are female and many do not remain in the profession for long. This results in few role models for girls who already have lower enrolment and completion rates than boys.

Training course in Somaliland aims to increase number of female headteachers
August 2015 - In Somaliland there are over a thousand head teachers – but only 28 of them are female – less than 3 per cent. The Education Ministry is committed to increasing the number of female Head Teachers...

Learning for Peace in South Somalia
14 April 2015 - Dollow, South Somalia, March 2015: Seventeen year old Osob Abdullahi Mohamed carefully inserts a thread through a sewing machine needle, spreads the fabric in position and quickly kicks the machine into motion stitching the pieces together

Providing safe and reliable water in Somali schools and health centres
March 2015 – It is midday and the classes are over at Dhabolaq Primary School, southwest Somaliland. A few weeks ago, at a time like now, 13--year-old Hamsa Abdi Mohamed would be running home to go to fetch water down at the river, five kilometers away.

UNICEF and Educate A Child join forces to help marginalized Somali children get to school
January 2015 - Twelve year old Shab’aan used to spend her days herding goat in the mountains but then she had the chance to go to school and her life has changed dramatically.

The Somali Government’s Go 2 School campaign brings children to class for the first time
2 December 2014 – Ten-year-old Dahabo Abdulkadir Abdi, like many of her friends living in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, always dreamed of going to school but never had the chance until last year.

Somali teenager pursues her dreams with the help of her school
28 November 2014 - Fifteen-year-old Juweeriya Mursal is a quietly confident girl from northern Somalia who has been helped by her family and her school to achieve her ambitious goals.

Somaliland Schools see the benefits of increased local government involvement
10 November 2014 - The UNICEF managed Joint Programme on Local Governance and Service Delivery aimed at strengthening local governance and enhancing decentralized essential services like education, is making positive impact in schools in Somaliland.

First year of Somalia’s Go 2 School Campaign sees thousands of children in class for the first time
8 September 2014. The Go 2 School campaign to get one million Somali children and youth into school which was launched a year ago today, has led to tens of thousands of children getting an education for the first time.

Somaliland Ministry of Education signs agreement to decentralize delivery of education services
April 2014 - The Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Education signed a memorandum of understanding with three District Councils of Borama, Berbera and Burao to pilot a devolved system of managing primary school education.

UNICEF and partners use technology, flexible curriculum for pastoralist education
17 January 2014 - In many areas of rural Somalia, children have no chance for a formal education as they need to spend time looking after the family animals.

Programme provides a full courseload for pastoralist girls in Somalia
18 November 2013 – Somali children who once would have bypassed schooling to herd animals are now receiving a basic education, thanks in part to a UNICEF programme focused on rural and pastoralist communities.

World Sight Day marked in Mogadishu with performances and poetry by blind school students
27 October 2013 - Children from the Al Basiir School for the blind performed a thought provoking drama to mark World Sight Day in the Somali Capital, Mogadishu.

UNICEF helps Somali girls in Mogadishu, London and Oslo to make a connection
11 October 2013: To mark International Day of the Girl Child, on October 11, UNICEF Somalia organized a Google Hangout, bringing together Somali schoolgirls in Mogadishu and in the diaspora, via video call technology, to chat about school and their lives.

A Somali girl’s determination to get to school - even if it means taking her little sister too
October 2013 - Amid a sea of shy and happy faces of children heading to school on their first day back at school, there’s one face that genuinely beams with joy. It’s the face of 13-year-old Ismahan.

New York meeting sets agenda for progress in education in Somalia
27 September 2013. A meeting between the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown and Somali Ministers has set the agenda for a transformation in the approach to education in Somalia.

High level signing ceremony highlights importance of strategic partnerships for getting Somali children to school
23 September 2013 – A high level signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Somalia, the Government of Denmark, and UNICEF took place on 23 September in New York.

Children attending school for the first time talk about their hopes for the future
9 September 2013 - Somalia has launched the Go 2 School Initiative, an ambitious effort to get one million additional children to school following decades of conflict and continued displacement.

Somalis rally around the regions to send one million children to school
8 September 2013 – There was a rare atmosphere of excitement and celebration at Presidential Palace known as Villa Somalia in Mogadishu for the launch of the wide ranging Go 2 School campaign to send one million children and youth to school.

Massive campaign to get one million Somali children into school to be launched
6 September 2013 - The Somali authorities are launching a wide ranging campaign to give one million children and youth access to education as part of an ambitious Go 2 School Initiative.

News notes: Media, Community oriented on the Somali Go 2 School Initiative
30 August 2013 - The Directorate of Education in the Ministry of Human Development and Public Services, Somali Federal Republic, held a sensitization workshop on the Go -2 -School Initiative at the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu.

First High Level Conference on Education for several years opens in Mogadishu
18 June, 2013-The National Education Conference opened in Mogadishu on 18 June 2013 - the first such high level education meeting, bringing together leading educationalists from all over the country, for several years.

High Level Conference in Mogadishu to discuss the future of Somali education
18 June 2013 – More than one hundred Somali education experts are being hosted by the Somali Federal Government for a three day high level Conference in Mogadishu to discuss how to design an education system for the country after two decades of conflict.

Major new funding for teachers’ salaries in Puntland and Somaliland
23 May 2013-The Global Partnership for Education had just approved significant grants which will provide a major boost to efforts to get more children in Puntland and Somaliland into the classroom.

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 well past retirement age – preventing recruitment and management changes needed to revitalize education.

New school offers hope for children in Mogadishu
December 2012- The children of Somali’s capital Mogadishu have a rare cause to celebrate with the opening of a newly renovated school in the city offering free education to pupils.

A school census has collected crucial data to help Somalia achieve quality education for all
27 November 2012 - UNICEF and the Ministries of Education in Puntland and Somaliland have put education reform in the spotlight through the launch of the School Census Statistics Year Book 2011/2012.

Scholarships help Somali girls cross barriers to education
2 October 2012 - For 14-year-old Filsan Faisal Ismail, who lives in Hargeisa district, Somaliland, a school degree would be a bridge to a brighter future.

Education Technical Advisor Ayaan Gulaid speaks about her efforts and hopes for the future of Somali girls
Ayaan Gulaid is one of 10 Somali technical advisors who have returned from abroad to help Somali authorities deliver quality education. She tells Mike Pflanz about her job, and why she left a comfortable life in the UK to work in Somalia.

DG of Education in Puntland speaks about efforts made to help the national education system stand on its feet
DG of Education in Puntland Abdulkadir Yusuf Nur spoke to Mike Pflanz about how an innovative new skills-transfer programme where technically specialised diaspora Somalis partner with officials in his ministry will help increase quality education.

Somalia’s war refugees return home to help build the basics of a national education system
Read about education project pioneered by the European Union (EU) and UNICEF to boost the skills and widen the capabilities of Ministry of Education and improve the overall quality of the education system in Somalia.

In Somalia, UNICEF constructs classrooms and trains teachers for children displaced by conflict
UNICEF is constructing classrooms, training teachers, supplying learning and teaching materials and school uniforms, and distributing vouchers to families to ensure that displaced children receive basic education.

Mobile classes give nomadic children their first taste of school
A new scheme for providing education to nomadic children has introduced mobile classrooms – where teachers travel with the children to dry weather pastures – or schools where pupils can come and go without having to start afresh each time.

Student clubs give Somali children a say in how their schools are run
Read about the Child-To-Child Clubs which are small panels of pupils with a representative from each class or grade group, who together discuss issues affecting pupils and recommend action to teachers.

Hawa Aden: a Somali activist who continues to fight for girls’ education
16 March 2011: Hawa Aden is the Director of the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development, a network of schools and projects aimed at helping children – especially girls – start and complete education in Somalia.

Success of Somali schoolgirls helps overcome cultural barriers to girls’ education
Various efforts are underway in Somalia to overcome cultural barriers to girls' education.

Sewing and schooling give Somalia’s teenage girls a fresh start
The teenagers working in the sewing workshop are paid wages according to their production, and at the same time offered education that many of them – from the poorest and most vulnerable families – have so far missed.

“Facts of life” classes help Somalia’s teenage girls stay in school
The Management of Maturation Project is designed to increase school enrolment and reduce the number of children – especially girls – who drop out before completing their education.

Hawa Aden Mohamed: a woman of courage
For over 20 years Hawa Aden Mohamed, educationalist, peace activist and human rights campaigner, has worked to improve the lives of Somali women and girls.

Youth Centres inspire Somalia’s adolescents to broaden their horizons
BURAO, Northwest Somalia, "Somaliland, 20 January 2011 - Glancing from the computer screen only occasionally, Fathiya Suleiman taps swiftly at the keyboard, firing off Google Chat messages to a relative thousands of miles away in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

Education gives nomadic girl a chance to dream of being a doctor
Erigavo, Northwest Somalia, ‘Somaliland,’ 10 December 2010 - In class 2A, Fahima Mohamed sits tall amongst her schoolfriends, paying close attention in her science class in the remote windswept town of Erigavo, northwest Somalia....

Essential education and health supplies reach Somali children
HARGEISA, Somalia, 14 January 2010: Until the most recent school semester, every textbook at Sheikh Nur Primary School was shared by at least four students. But thanks to a new supply, students can now follow their lessons in their very own textbooks...

Life skills-based education builds young Somalis' self-confidence
July 2010: To see and hear Muna Ali Hirsi, 24, a vibrant and motivated life-skills mentor lead a discussion with 20 youths on the challenges they face, it is hard to believe that Ms Hirsi used to be timid and retiring...

Every child’s right to an education should be fulfilled, says UNICEF
April 2010: “Every child’s right to an education must be fulfilled,” UNICEF Education Specialist Safia Jibril Abdi recently said during the commemoration of the Global Action Week on Education in Northwest Somalia (“Somaliland”)...

Peace school strengthens friendship
September 2009: The friendship of two girls who attend the Galkayo Peace School in Northeast Somalia ('Puntland') overcomes local rivalry...

Training boosts girls' confidence
June 2008: 18-year-old Saida Noor Ahmed from Bossaso, Northeast Somalia (‘Puntland’) is a beneficiary of the girls’ leadership initiative (GLDI), a UNICEF-led process that has helped boost her confidence...

Baidoa school brings cheer to girls
May 2008: Emanating from a modest but completely refurbished building in the small town of Baidoa, one can hear the sound of a thousand voices resonating in song and echoing throughout the town every day…

Somalia participates in 'World's Biggest Lesson'
May 2008: Somali children last week took part in the ‘World’s Biggest Lesson,’ joining 7.5 million people from over 100 countries in a ‘lesson’ to ‘teach’ politicians and local leaders about the importance of education for all...

Education - Tents to the rescue of Somali children
November 2006: 13 October 2006 marked the first anniversary of the opening of a school for internally displaced children of the State House settlement in Hargeisa Northwest Somalia (‘Somaliland’). The settlement has existed for 15 years...

Emergency - New school rises from the Tsunami
December 2005: Like an oasis, the new primary school in Hafun is a welcome sight amid the devastation still evident almost one year after the Indian Ocean tsunami...

Education - Challenges of working in Somalia
November 2005: Early this year on on 27 July 2005, six people left Kismayo a port-town in southern Somalia headed for Merka, almost 300 km to the north, to a attend a training course organized by UNICEF for 53 mentors of teachers. Little did this group...

Education - Mine girl's dream takes root
December 2004: In 1995 an eight year old girl faced an audience of hundreds of people at an international conference in Geneva and spoke passionately about her plight caused by a landmine that had blown of her legs at an early age...



 Email this article

unite for children