Garowe – Tuesday, Mareeg.com– Education stakeholders in Puntland converged in Garowe for a two-day workshop of the Education Sector Review to assess progress, discuss challenges and the way forward to improve school enrolment in rural areas and reduce education disparities among boys and girls in Puntland State of Somalia.
Puntland’s Vice President H.E. Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar was the chief guest at the education sector review. He was joined by the new European Union Head of Delegation and Ambassador to Somalia Veronique Lorenzo on her first official visit to Puntland and Garowe. The ceremony was also attended by the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF and EU implementing partners, local civil society organizations, education officials, teachers, parents and religious and community leaders.
Puntland has made substantial progress in the development of the education sector. Enrolment in primary education has increased from 47% in 2013 to 56% in 2014; physical facilities in schools have been expanded, leading to an improved learning environment; and a comprehensive Education Sector Analysis was recently carried out, paving the way for the development of Education Sector Strategic Plan 2017- 2021.
The education stakeholders however noted that several challenges still exist, notably that few children from pastoralist communities access schooling. Gender disparity still exists, teacher pay remains low and unpredictable, 73% of primary teachers are untrained, and overall enrolment in the secondary sub-sector remains low at 12.6%, while technical and vocational education and training (TVET) remains underdeveloped.
The joint education review recommended further improvement on both the quality of education and the expansion of access, with a significant focus on primary education (including early child and special needs, pastoralist education, minority groups), secondary education, and TVET.
‘’The single most effective way to protect children from hazardous, exploitive labour and radicalization is to extend and improve education with emphasis on vocational and technical education, and an education system that ensures learners graduating at every level should have practical knowledge that can be utilized for either self-employment, salaried employment, further education or training’’ said Ms. Lorenzo, the Head of EU Delegation and Ambassador to Somalia.