Monday March 13, 2023
Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia's Education Ministry organized a national conference at the Afisyoni tent in Mogadishu on Monday to gather practical ideas and recommendations for improving access to quality education in Somalia. The conference was attended by around 250 people, including high-level government officials, scholars, education practitioners, the private sector, civil society, and international partners.
President Mohamud delivered the keynote address, expressing his lifelong passion for learning and gratitude for the free government education he received. Before entering politics, President Mohamud was a university professor and dean at SIMAD University, which he co-founded. He presented an ambitious plan to recruit and train at least 10,000 teachers nationwide within the next four years.
However, before President Mohamud's speech, he was ushered out of the secured hangar by his security detail due to an electrical issue that caused a fire, according to Somali police. The incident caused no serious damage, and the conference participants returned to the Afisyoni tent to continue the program.
The Ministry of Education established the conference to agree on the aims, goals, and outcomes of national education, initiate ideas about expanding access and improving the quality of education, explore a governance system that can effectively manage the education sector, and present innovative and visionary ideas that address the existing challenges.
Recently, Somalia's federal government pledged
to hire 3,800 new public school teachers, and in late February, 8,000 prospective educators sat down for an examination administered by the Ministry of Education. However, according to the Ministry of Education Director General Mohamed Hassan, only 1,000 teachers
have been on the government payroll for the past five years.
Somalia's educational sector has been decimated by over two decades of conflict, resulting in low quality, a lack of qualified teachers, and insufficient resources. According to the United Nations, approximately 3 million of Somalia's 5 million children are not in school. Several factors contribute to this situation, including poverty, long distances to school, safety concerns, social norms favouring boys' education, and the low availability of sanitation facilities, especially for girls. Furthermore, children in nomadic pastoralist communities, which account for nearly 60% of Somalia's population, are constantly on the move and often denied an opportunity for education, making education in regular, static schools impractical and often impossible.
The National Education Conference will continue until March 17th.