Challenging Illiteracy In Somaliland

By Nashon Tado|

The world marks the International Literacy Day on 8th of September 2016. It is a time to reflect on the learning conditions especially in developing countries. Education plays a critical role in ensuring the developmental rights of children and young people.

A transformative educational project, titled ‘Horumarinta Cilmiga’, is presently being implemented in Somaliland with funds from the European Union (EU). The project uses an all-inclusive and harmonized approach, focused on promoting community cohesiveness in providing education for empowerment.

The initiative is being implemented in Somaliland within the six administrative regions of Maroodijeex, Awdal, Saahil, Togdheer, Sool and Sanaag. The project is implemented by four partners, Save the Children, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE International and the Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The project is increasing access to equitable and inclusive education, supporting vocational training and building capacity of educational institutions.

One year since the second phase was officially launched in June 2015, the efforts by Somaliland Ministry of Education and partners continue to strengthen the educational sector coverage by extending basic education and non-formal education to underserved areas in Somaliland as well as mainstreaming basic education for pastoralists. The key milestones from the project include increasing learning outcomes, improving literacy and numeracy, the use of mobile schools for pastoralist children, inclusive measures for children with special needs, continuation of scholarship programme and provision of scholastic materials.

“Through the Sector Wide Approach, or SWAP, the consortium is strengthening long-term collaboration and relationships with children, youth, civil society organizations, the donor community, governments, international agencies, and education umbrella organizations. This makes it possible to share experience, build knowledge, influence others, and strengthen the capacity of children and partners to promote children’s right to quality education”, says Lamin Manjang, the Area Manager for Norwegian Refugee Council in Somaliland.

“Illiteracy is a huge challenge for Somaliland. This project breathes new life into the education sector by working in a holistic coordinated fashion. Building the capacity of the Ministry of Education, and teachers. Involving parents and the community members to be committed champions in the education of their students and constructing safe appropriate classrooms and schools for students to learn in. By tackling the problem in this manner we hope to bring about sustainable lasting change to the communities we serve”, explains Fadumo Dahir Duale Education Manager for CARE International.

Through the school infrastructure improvement programme, NRC and partners are targeting 185 primary schools and 55 secondary schools in upgrading and rehabilitation. Construction of two educational facilities is currently ongoing in Koore Qaade areas of Hargeisa and Carale Ismael in Togdheer Region. These facilities will provide a secure learning environment for children and youth. In addition, one secondary school and 10 classroom extensions have been constructed and 17 classroom rehabilitated in various locations in Togdheer and Marodijeh regions. These are currently providing educational services to 4138 learners who have gained access to education in the first year of the project. About 42% of these learners are girls. In total the educational projects is benefitting more than 47,000 school-going children in Somaliland.

Source: NRC

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