Heritage Institute Study on Educational Challenges in Somalia

This new Heritage Institute report on the state of education in Somalia, using Mogadishu as a case study, is worth a read. Here is the link: http://www.heritageinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Educational-challenges-in-post-transitional-Somalia_ENG.pdf

It’s short but packed with important findings that have broader implications. Two findings really jumped out:

1) None of the schools surveyed in Mogadishu offers instruction in the Somali language. Instead Arabic and English are the two preferred languages. This may suggest that Somalis are viewing education mainly as preparation for a search for work abroad. That in turn raises concerns about the long-term viability of an economy so dependent on remittances and export of labor. It also raises concerns about preservation of cultural heritage.

2) Though the country suffers from exceptionally high unemployment, the report finds that trained teachers are very scarce. The study suggests that teaching is no longer viewed as a desirable profession. This same trend exists in northern Kenya, where schools have had to rely heavily on non-local teachers, many of whom have fled in the aftermath of the Shabaab attacks. This issue merits more research, to uncover if the low interest in teaching is due to low pay or if there are other reasons why Somalis view the profession with less interest.

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