Thursday 2 March, Hargeisa, Somaliland - Since Tuesday, education stakeholders have gathered in Hargeisa to discuss the challenges and way forward to provide access to affordable high-quality education for Somaliland children and youth. The two-day workshop which concluded Wednesday brought together education authorities, donors, implementing partners, civil society and private sector representatives as well as school communities.
This is the third education sector review organised under the leadership of the Somaliland Ministry of Education. It also aims to inform Somaliland's next five-year Education Sector Strategic Plan 2017-2021 that the Ministry of Education is finalising.
The review reveals that, while considerable achievements have been registered, still 50 per cent of children mostly from marginalised groups remain excluded from accessing education. One major success story is the introduction of a curriculum framework, and the printing of its own textbooks by the Ministry of Education. National funding to the education sector has almost doubled from USD 7.8 million in 2012 to USD 14.6 million in 2016.
"The review will provide participants with the opportunity to reflect on the past performance of the sector and plan for the following year. Somaliland envisions education as a means to prepare every student to be successful in life with partnership of their parents and communities and equip them with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to be productive citizens" says the Minister of Education, Abdillahi Ibrahim Habane.
"Successful joint Education reviews are clearly an indicator that the sector-wide approach in Somaliland is taking root, and that the government has assumed ownership and leadership of education initiatives" says EU Ambassador Veronique Lorenzo. "As EU we will remain engaged in the education sector in Somaliland and will continue to play our role in strengthening the sector and expanding opportunities for the youth. Education is key to counter radicalisation and the lure of irregular migration."
On the side lines of the meeting, the European Union formally handed over the Suldan Mohamed Secondary School to the Government of Somaliland. This school was built as part of the second phase of the EU financed 'Horumarinta Elmiga' project worth 11 million Euros. Since 2012, 41 new schools were built with EU funding in Somaliland and several existing schools expanded benefitting over 110,000 primary and secondary school children. The group also visited the construction site of the future Hargeisa Teacher Training Institute, built with funds from the European Union and the Global Partnership for Education.
The EU remains the largest donor to the education sector in Somaliland.