Having endured long years of civil war and unrest, Somalia faces extreme poverty, high rates of displacement, and a devastated education system. For over two decades, schools were destroyed or unsafe, institutional structures were dismantled, and teachers and students were forced to flee.
The path towards a stronger education system
Recognizing the fundamental role education plays in development and growth, Puntland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia, has taken important steps to transform its education system, leading to notable progress in the past few years.
According to the 2015-2016 education statistics yearbook, the primary gross enrollment rate increased from 41% in 2011/12 to 58% in 2015/16.
In addition, the percentage of certified teachers increased from 27% to 52% and drop-out rates are also remarkably lower, decreasing from 16% in 2014/15 to 9.4% in 2015/16.
Gaps persist in learning outcomes and gender parity but the positive trends demonstrate that the government’s efforts towards expanding access to quality education are fruitful.
Puntland’s 2017-2021 education sector plan reaffirms the government’s commitment to strengthening the education system. Capturing the voices of local stakeholders and showing signs of local ownership, the plan presents a roadmap to improve access and equity; quality and learning outcomes; and efficiency.
GPE’s support means more children will go to school
Commonly referred as a role model for other countries and regions emerging from conflict, Puntland has attracted international organizations and the donor community to partake in the ministry of education’s efforts to improve the education system.
In late 2017, GPE allocated a US$5.6 million grant to Puntland for 2017-2020. The grant focuses on strengthening the ministry of education’s capacity, improving the quality of teaching and learning through teacher training, producing learning materials, and providing scholarships to reduce financial barriers to access education.
A previous grant of US$2.1 million for 2013-2016 had already helped Puntland make good progress, by providing monthly incentive payments for almost 900 teachers, and training 51 female teachers in ICT, multi-grade teaching, early childhood education, special needs and inclusive education. Also, a tool was developed to monitor teachers who received performance feedback and guidance for improvements.
GPE looks forward to continuing to work with Puntland’s ministry of education and partners to support their efforts to ensure thousands of children can go to school, stay in school, and learn.