CURRENT AND FUTURE EDUCATION CHALLENGES IMPACTING UPON THE DELIVERY OF SDG4 IN SOMALIA

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The SDG4 is a critical goal that is needed to be achieved for improved quality of life and developmental advancement of any nation. We have identified some major challenges that can hinder Somalia from achieving this goal. While there are many more challenges, the major high-level challenges are summarized below.

1• Out of School Children: More than 3 million are out of school children in Somalia, the current GER of Somalia’s Primary Education is 14.3%. This means that around 85% of school age children are out of school. There is a danger of a big number of Somali children are missing education opportunities and grow as an illiterate adult. These will have a direct of impact on Growth of Human Capital and security in the country.

2• Insufficient resources: Ineffective educational policies, limited education infrastructure both in urban and rural areas, limited of teaching and learning materials due to the limited resources and weak governance coordination mechanism in the country which impacts on the quality of education which results low education achievement, thereby affecting the achievement of SDG4.

3• Low government allocation budget: low budgetary allocation by government. The current government budget allocation to education is only 5.2%. We are expecting the new elected government to prioritize education by increasing the education investment and to upscale quality of education in the country.

4• Unqualified Teaching Force: There is big number of unqualified teachers who are teaching schools in the country due to lack of training opportunities. Unqualified teachers do not have a pedagogical skill to deliver teaching and learning. However, the current ESSP 2022-2026 emphasizes on teacher training of up to 10,000 teachers for the next five years. Still, this does not meet the needs of achieving the pupil’s teacher ratio (the approved PTR is 1:40). Currently, PQTR is more than 1:100.

5• Drought: recurring drought has disrupted education delivery in Somalia for the last 3 years. Many children dropped school due to the severe drought in the country. 6.1 million or almost 40% of the Somali population are now facing extreme levels of food insecurity with pockets of famine conditions in some areas of the government.

6• Insecurity: There are still some parts in Somalia which are unreachable due to insecurity and children in those areas are lacking education services. In other parts, where children have access to education are becoming victims of violence In and around schools.

7• A significant number of IDPs: Conflicts and emergencies in many areas of Somalia results in many people becoming IDPS in many cities especially the capital city of Mogadishu. Currently there are about half a million internally displaced peoples (IDPs) are living in Mogadishu. This place great pressures on the demand for services including a high demand for education which goes over and above would have been planned for. If the IDPs do not return to their original places or stay longer in Mogadishu, their children need to be targeted and provided with education services. This will require additional resources. The presence of IDPs which is totally unplanned for make it difficult to plan for education provision that will adequately meet the needs of all children.

8• COVID-19: The COVID – 19 pandemic had a negative impact through school closures making it difficult to conduct face to face lessons which was the norm. Online learning and distance education methods were introduced. Even after the introduction of online education, there exist inequality in terms of children accessing the education. This really impacted how schools’ function. If the pandemic continues or may require closure of schools again teaching and learning and delivery of education services will be negatively impacted posing a challenge of achieving the SDG4.

ABDURAHMAN ALI MOHAMED
Technical Advisor
Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education of the Federal Government of Somalia

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