Challenges confronting the education sector are the direct consequence of protracted emergencies over the past two decades stemming from conflict, drought and flooding. Together the multi-pronged emergencies have had a significant impact on the education systems and on the lives of children and youth. The challenges facing the sector are daunting, including lack of access and widespread inequity.
Progress in restoring the delivery of educational services has differed across regions. In Somaliland and Puntland where there was greater political stability, security, and administrative development, student enrolments improved substantially over the past two decades. Post-war educational reconstruction has been slow in South Central Somalia and opportunities for public education are limited as most primary and secondary Schools s are managed by non-state providers.
In addition, the education provision is of low quality, mainly due to the high number of unqualified and untrained teachers, multiple curricula, poor education infrastructure and weak capacity for service delivery. A decentralized education system is currently being operationalized, however, newly formed states, regional and district-level offices have limited technical and financial resources.
The Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education has developed its Education Sector Strategic Plan which outlines its priorities to increase access to quality education for children and equip youth with the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to the social, political and economic development.
Given that the education sector is primarily financed by donor contributions and most of the schools are either community owned or under the management of private-sector umbrellas, the ESP development process was important for building buy-in around a shared agenda for the coming five years.
Recent achievements in support of improved learning outcomes include the development of the first unified curriculum and the implementation of a standardized exam system.
The lack of reliable data on children’s learning outcomes presents a major challenge to assessing the effectiveness of education at primary Schools level. The ESP seeks to address this gap through the introduction of early grade assessments and low-stakes assessments for monitoring learning outcomes. It also aims to strengthen and unify the examination system across Somalia.