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Education in Somalia

somalia
by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Education in Somalia

A country which has suffered greatly because of former oppressive regimes, civil war and radical movements, Somalia is deeply affected by its past and is currently struggling to build a better future. It is well known that children are the future of a nation and their well-being and mentality are of outmost importance.

The Somali educational system is supposed to be in charge of shaping the minds and future of the nation but instead its structure is jeopardizing their development. The system is divided into many complicated educational umbrellas, each and every one with its own rules and policies.

Some respect the 4-4-4 system, which comprises of 4 years of lower primary education, 4 years of upper primary education and 4 years of secondary education. The students finish school when they are 18 and they are free to pursuit the courses of a Somali University, such as Mogadishu University. Others follow the more Arabic-like 6-3-3 system which includes elementary schooling of 6 years, 3 years of intermediate and 3 more years of secondary school.

No umbrella’s curriculum matches the others. Some schools prefer their classes to be taught in Arabic, others are big fans of English and a small number prefer Somali as a main language. They have different uniforms and prefer different structures for the academic year. All of them have sciences, social studies and Islamic studies on their timetable but despite this, the poor quality of the teaching and the sheer lack of an overlooking evaluation system have led to an unprecedented educational crisis.

In addition to these pressing issues, there is also the huge problem of adult illiteracy as well as the belief that girls, respectively women should not attend schools. There are several forms of non-formal education available in Somalia, though. Even so, they are not enough in order to increase literacy and teach the people basic crafts and about agriculture-related activities.

The research system in Somalia is also very poor. Its desperate attempts at solving agriculture and society related issues are its only assets. Without research, no country can evolve and surpass its problems. This area of education is vital to the system but it certainly requires more effort and more involvement in the near future or else it will completely cease to exist.

Starting this year, the Government in Mogadishu has begun to promote and support the educational system of Somalia. There is a great hunger for change in the lives in both the young and the mature. Separately, the European Union has also developed a program dedicated to increasing the quality of teaching. These initiatives are important beginning of a strategy focused on rebuilding the Somali educational system, making it more efficient, less violent and more compassionate towards the children.

Maybe in the not so far away future, Somalia will be able to support all its students: the disabled, the old, the girls and the poor, all integrated in a system aimed at their development. Through the hard work and dedication of the teachers and the responsible decision making of the Government, the country could reach its true potential and become a role model for its neighbors.

Find more information relating to Somalia, and Mogadishu here.