The ministry of Education in Somaliland, with the European Union and the Global Partnership for Education, conducted a joint annual review of the education sector. Together they prepared an action...
Grant approvals by the GPE Board of Directors in the seven months since the successful Financing Conference in Senegal in February have reached almost US$300 million.
For Somalia, a country engaged in a civil war for almost 30 years and with over 70% of its population under the age of 30, youth education appears to be a key to a peaceful future. And, GPE has...

Education in Somalia

During nearly 30 years of civil war, more than 75% of public schools were either destroyed or closed in Somalia. In the last years, with support of GPE, the authorities have again started to build the education system.

While the governments of Somaliland and Puntland have developed their own education sector strategic plans, the Federal Government has been taking direct responsibility for the remainder of the country through a transitional education strategy. Recently, new state governments have been set up in the central and southern regions who are gradually taking up responsibility on education.

Since 2014, the joint sector reviews of the education sectors for Somaliland, Puntland and Somalia-Federal Government are organized annually, with large participation by stakeholders. Puntland held its fourth joint sector review in January 2017, while Somaliland plans to its fourth joint sector review in February 2018.

Education Sector Committees have been set up for Somaliland, Puntland and Somalia-Federal Government. In addition, a global Education Sector Committee (ESC) meets in Nairobi to coordinate donor support. The coordinating agency is the European Union.

Somalia - Federal Government

The Interim Education Sector Strategic Plan covers the period 2013/2014 to 2015/2016. The plan wants to develop a vibrant, efficient and accountable education system to improve access, quality, and gender equity at all levels of education.

In order to achieve its goals, the plan defines the following objectives:

  • Establish an education pooled fund initially co-managed by a managing entity to resource the establishment and development of the sector.
  • Mobilize funding from the government, the donor partner community and other sources, including the Diaspora.
  • Create institutions and systems necessary to develop, manage and provide effective education sector service delivery.
  • Restore basic education (early childhood education, primary and secondary levels) by adopting measures to provide school accommodation, teachers and relevant teaching and learning materials.
  • Address the needs of marginalized children through innovative and diverse delivery approaches.
  • Develop a livelihood-orientated curriculum by ensuring that schooling is linked to the creation of economic development activities and earning a living.
  • Develop youth empowerment programs leading to gainful employment. 


The Puntland newly developed Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) covers the period 2017-2021 and envisions quality education systems that guarantee and foster success for learners regardless of their abilities. The plan is guided by six principles: access, equity, quality, relevancy, efficiency, and sustainability.

Building on previous successes and the results of an education sector analysis conducted in 2016, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has identified six education sub sectors including (i) early childhood education, (ii) primary education, (iii) alternative basic education and non-formal education, (iv) secondary education, (v) technical and vocational education and training, and (vi) higher education.

The 2017-2021 ESSP focuses on four priorities which consist of:

  • Increasing access and equity to education opportunities,
  • Improving the quality of education and learning outcomes,
  • Enhancing efficiency of the education system, and
  • Strengthening systems and administration.

These priorities are supplemented by two cross-cutting thematic areas: education in emergency and child protection.

Source: Education Sector Strategic Plan 2017-2021, Puntland Government of Somalia – Ministry of Education and Higher Education.


Somaliland’s Education Sector Strategic Plan for the period of 2017-2021 is guided by the country’s national education policy of 2015-2030 and seeks to provide quality, affordable and competitive education to its citizens.

It covers early childhood education, primary education, secondary education, non-formal education, technical and vocational education and training, and higher education. The plan is structured around seven key policy objectives including:

  • To increase and expand access to education,
  • To improve the quality of learning outcomes,
  • To promote equity and inclusion for all students,
  • To build institutional and human capacity at all levels of the government to facilitate implementation of education reforms,
  • To strengthen the system and review policies in all subsectors,
  • To increase funding for general education to support implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan, and
  • To monitor and evaluate the implementation of the ESSP.

The plan also addresses several cross-cutting themes, with the overarching goal to strengthen governance and put in place institutional capacity to improve the sector performance.

Source: Somaliland Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP 2017-2021) of October 2017


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2018-2021 7,700,000
- Save the Children
2017-2018 1,920,000
- Save the Children
2017-2020 5,600,000
2013-2016 2,100,000
2,087,167 UNICEF
2013-2017 4,200,000
4,134,774 UNICEF
2013-2017 8,200,000
(Somalia-Federal Government)
7,323,268 UNICEF
Sector plan development 2017 462,552
(Somalia-Federal Government)
462,552 UNICEF
2016 483,327
483,327 Save the Children
2016 488,868
488,868 UNICEF
2012/2013 370,263 266,974 UNICEF
Program development 2017 399,502
(Somalia-Federal Government)
2017 166,194
- Save the Children
2016 184,131
2012 200,000 198,186 UNICEF
  TOTAL 32,474,837 15,445,116  


Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.


Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

GPE in Somalia

Two girls attend school in Somalia. Credit: UNICEF/Hana Yoshimoto

In Somalia, GPE processes fostered education sector coordination by encouraging regular meetings of the local education groups, joint sector reviews, and the inclusion of civil society.

Somalia-Federal government

Part of the grant was processed as accelerated funding to organize a 15-day accelerated training program and pay incentives to nearly 1,000 newly recruited teachers. This made it possible to extend access to public schools from the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. The remaining program implementation grant of US$6.8 million was approved in November 2013, for a total grant of US$8.2 million.

The program is structured into three components:

  1. Develop a teacher training system. This includes training of up to 1000 new teachers to expand access.
  2. Develop a teacher management system to increase the number of teachers in government-supported schools who benefit from predictable salary payments. This includes a setting up a new payment system and payment of teachers through the government.
  3. Strengthen regional institutions to improve support to basic education services by regional education officers.

Source: Program document 2014-2016


Puntland has recently been awarded a US$ 5.6 million grant to address key priorities identified in the country’s Education Sector Strategic Plan for 2017-2021. The overarching goal of the program is to improve the quality of education, promote equity and access for the most socially excluded children in Puntland, and to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry to deliver effective and efficient education services.

The program is built on three key components which consist of:

  1. Improving the quality of teaching in order to enhance children’s learning outcomes through:
    • In-service teacher training for teachers who do not have the required two-year teacher training,
    • Pre-service teacher training to increase the number of certified teachers in rural areas,
    • School management and instructional leadership training for head teachers, combined with the development of new textbooks and teaching guides.
  2. Promoting equity in education by providing targeted financial support to overcome financial barriers to access education,
  3. Strengthening the education system by supporting EMIS, annual examinations, learning assessments, inspection and supervision.

Sources: (i) Global Partnership for Education Programme Document 2017-2020, submitted by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of the Puntland State of Somalia, and (ii) Somalia-Puntland Quality Assurance Review Phase III – Final Readiness Review


Somaliland was awarded a US$ 1.92 million grant in accelerated funding for the education support for drought-affected communities project in February 2017. The project aims to ensure continued access to education opportunities in drought affected included displaced communities in Somaliland, through provision of teacher incentives, teaching and learning materials, temporary learning spaces, school feeding programs and water trucking. It targets 7,800 students in 50 schools and 5 temporary learning spaces and around 260 teachers from vulnerable drought-affected and displaced families living in the regions of Marodijeex, Sahil, Togdheer, Gabiley, Awdal, Sool and Sanaag.

Previously, Somaliland received a US$4.2 million grant, which closed in September 2017. The project aimed at:

  1. Strengthening teacher management systems through the payment of salaries of 300 new teachers (150 female teachers per year) and incentive payments for 900 head teachers and 13 regional education officers in order to:
    1. improve teacher salary payments
    2. strengthen school management through motivated head teachers
    3. improve regional management and delivery of education services through professionally motivated regional education officers.
  2. Implementing the Quality Assurance Framework through training workshops and increased supervisory visits to schools.
  3. Constructing a teacher training institution and implementing new teacher training programs
  4. Train female teachers to take up leadership positions in schools.

Sources: ‘GPE Accelerated Fund: Education Support for Drought Affected Communities – February 2017’ and World Bank Program document. 2013-2016


The overall context to carry out the activities supported by the GPE program is extremely challenging, with several attacks affecting the ministry in Mogadishu and partner staff. Despite this, the following progress has been achieved:

For the first time in more than two decades, Somalia has education sector plans that have been agreed by the respective government and its development partners including civil society. Getting partners together and agreeing common approaches to provide systematic and coherent support, away from the fragmented emergency response, has been a major achievement.

However, this remains a challenging task in the areas not yet under government control.

Somalia – Federal Government

  • 1,226 teachers, deputy head teachers and head teachers received monthly incentive payments
  • 7 regional education officers and 5 supervisors receive monthly salaries
  • A teacher information management system was successfully piloted.
  • 772 new primary school teachers have been trained in child-centered teaching methodologies.

Source: Standard reporting template Annex 1 to CGPC/2016/04 DOC 14


The US$ 2.1 million GPE grant, which expired in October 2016 has contributed to the following results:

  • 870 teachers receive monthly incentive payments,
  • 51 female teachers have been trained on ICT, multi-grade teaching, developing local teaching materials, early childhood education, special needs and inclusive education and other subjects. All of them passed the final examination and obtained a diploma in pedagogical skills.
  • A monitoring tool was developed and utilized during regular monitoring missions to monitor teachers who received performance feedback and guidance for improvements,

Source: ‘Final Report submitted on behalf of the Puntland Education Sector Committee (June 2013-October 2016)’, January 2017


The US$ 4.2 million GPE grant for Somaliland which expired on 30 September 2017 has contributed to the following results in the education sector:

  • Quality assurance officers and key Ministry staff benefited from training on school supervision and two vehicles were purchased to support the Ministry of Education and Higher Studies for school supervision,
  • 1,199 schools benefited from formal supervisory visits,
  • The National Teacher Training Institute was established,
  • 749 teachers, including 166 rural teachers received training through a Joint Summer Teacher Training program,
  • 890 primary school teachers and 849 head teachers received incentives in three years,
  • A Teacher Profile Database is successfully completed and operational, hosting the profiles of 5,150 teaching staff and 1,200 non-teaching staff,
  • 53 female teachers took ‘Educational Leadership and Management’ certificate course and all of them successfully graduated,
  • The gross enrollment rate has increased from 43.30% in 2014/15 to 46.50% in 2015/16.

Through the current accelerated grant, continued access to education has been guaranteed to more than 12,000 children of communities which are affected by the drought, including re-enrollment of more than 4,000 children who had dropped out. Remedial classes have been provided to children who had dropped out. In addition, education has been provided to more than 600 displaced children through temporary learning spaces.

Source: ‘Final Report submitted on behalf of the Somaliland Education Sector Committee (June 2013-September 2017)’

Last updated March 18, 2018