Since the transitional federal government (TFG) came into power, a lot of effort through various international organizations, notably UNICEF and the UNESCO, has been to increase primary school enrolment with the adopted minimum standards of quality primary education and to improve access to post-primary education for Somali children and youth, including technical, vocational and higher.
Some of the strategies used by the UN country team in Somalia in collaboration with the
TFG include the following:
- A massive enrolment and back-to-school campaign to increase the number of child-and girl-friendly learning spaces to 7,313
- Provision of alternative primary education to 18,000 school-age children
- Extension of school-feeding programmed to cover 60,000 children
- Targeting of female enrolment of 40% to 50% at all levels
- Provision of literacy, life skills, and vocational training to 5,000 ex-militia
- In-service training for 1,800 head teachers and mentoring for 4,500 teachers
- Textbook induction for 4,500 upper primary teachers
- Conducting of Grade 8 examinations for 4,095 students and continuing to reach out to Arabic medium schools to unify the curriculum
At the secondary school levels, the policies were geared towards the following:
- Increasing enrolment in secondary schools to 25,000 students, targeting 35% female participation
- Completing 70% of the development of curriculum and assessment systems to international standards
- Increasing enrolment in technical-vocational training to 8,000 trainees, providing 1,540 textbooks in 64 titles to vocational training centres (VTCs), and upgrading managers and instructors of VTCs
- Developing a scholarship programme for 134 Somali university students
- Having HIV/AIDS mainstreamed as part of life skills in teacher training and publications including for children and youth and alternative methods of communicating to youth including through radio programmes
These objectives form the basis of a draft education policy that also aims to increase capacity for staff at the Ministry of Education, reconstruct schools that have been destroyed, and improve the curriculum.
Despite the lack of a central government and an economy in ruins, and to the surprise of its closest neighbors, Somalia’s telecommunication sector boasts cutting-edge technologies and a mushrooming of wireless solutions. For several years, the country was, to all intents and purposes, disconnected from the rest of the world, but it now has the lowest calling rates in the region.
Prior to 1991, the country had only 8,500 operational fixed lines, most of which were in the capital, Mogadishu. In the ensuing political turbulence, that infrastructure was destroyed, along with its Public Switch Transmission Network. This left Somalis without the means to connect to the large expatriate community of friends and relatives.
After the war, infrastructure had to be built from scratch, but the situation has developed quickly off a low base. Table 3 provides a snapshot of the state of ICT infrastructure in the country.