Education for girls is both the means and the end to a better life, as it enables girls to gain knowledge and earn a living. Giving girls education is a way of giving them greater power to make genuine choices over the kind of lives they wish to live. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women establish education for girls as a basic human right. Education enables girls to make decisions about their own lives, to acquire skills and competencies to secure jobs and to contribute to their communities as well as to promote progress for society as a whole. Additionally, education leads to increased literacy, enhanced political representation and poverty reduction since educated women are more likely to participate in business and economic activities. Better parenting and more thriving babies are a direct outcome of girls’ education. 1 The infant mortality rate of babies whose mothers have received primary education is half that of children whose mothers are illiterate. South-Central Somalia has one of the world’s lowest schools enrolment and literacy rates and incessant barriers to girls’ education following decades of conflict. In terms of access to education, the most disadvantaged are girls, and those who enrol are more at risk of dropping out of schools than is the case for boys. Challenges for girls to access education in South-Central Somalia are enormous and prohibitive, raising serious concerns for the future of hundreds of thousands of young girls.
Additionally, poverty, insecurity and instability, cultural norms and practices contribute disproportionately to low access to schools and consequently illiteracy is widespread, particularly amongst girls. In South-Central Somalia there is limited coordination of education matters. Every school is an independent entity run by entrepreneurs or a small clique of powerful individuals from dominant clans. Each school has a committee that oversees its operations; however, the committees lack gender parity and inclusivity.
In Baidoa the newly formed South West State 1 United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, http://www.ungei.org/. 8 government has initiated the formation of two committees composed of education managers and the state’s education department to coordinate education in the private and communal schools s. The researcher has not found out about such endeavours in Mogadishu. There is no uniformity in school’s curriculum in South-Central Somalia. schools s use various curricula, e.g., from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Kenya. Lack of structured curricula in schools leads to confusion in subjects and career guidance that would otherwise inspire girls to remain in schools and achieve educational goals.