By Joel Savage
Somalia, a country torn apart by war, has the weakest educational systems in the world. It is estimated that 1.8 million children between 5-17 years of age already out of school in southern and central Somalia. Investigations by the Education Cluster in ten regions, suggests the number could increase significantly when it is time for school, unless urgent action is taken to change the situation. Somalia has little to offer to the people, yet the little they have is completely dented by war spanning over two decades.
It is said, “Where ever there is lack of education and leadership, confusion prevails.” Is that the situation of Somalia? Due to the high level of poor educational standard, there is an acute shortage of teachers and the demand for education services throughout the whole country, including Mogadishu its capital.. “Education is a critical component of any emergency response. Schools can provide a place for children to come to learn, as well as access health care and other vital services,” said UNICEF Somalia Representative Rozanne Chorlton.
Under the administration of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, European Union and its member states is the largest donor towards the country’s development. EU took their plight into consideration with the aim to reduce poverty, provide learning opportunities in safe environments, development and build a stable and prosperous government for the country. The plans of the European Union member states are to create primary and secondary education opportunities; vocational training and boosting employment, with investment to the tune of 85 million Euros.
United Kingdom recently launched the ‘Girls Education Challenge’ worth £21.3 million to get girls into school to have better education and future. The Netherlands supports UNICEF, in strengthening education for peace building in conflict areas, while collectively the member states are helping to establish a functioning education system through a 3 year $14.5m allocation from Global Partnership for Education.
Instability in Somalia has weakened its infrastructure to the deterioration of the little sanitation, health systems and safe-water. To avoid more diseases and human catastrophe, the European Member States aim to improve the health care services, in particular material and reproductive health and human resources. In terms of infrastructure, Italy has funded the rehabilitation of 12 hospitals in country, including Mogadishu the capital. France, through International Organization for Migration funds health clinics in Dobley and Dolow, the points of entry for returnee refugees from Kenya and Ethiopia.
Sweden, UK, Finland, Denmark, is among the donors supporting the ‘Joint Health and Nutrition Program, which helps to improve health and nutrition, and reduce material and child mortality rates.’ Other diverse roles include the promotion of peace, reconciliation and democratic governance.