Finland helps Somalia expand educational services for children
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's minister for Education and Culture Abdullahi Abukar Haji says €7.65 million donated by Finland will be used for the expansion of schools in the Horn of Africa nation, which has been struggling with instability for over three decades.
Throughout that period, the country has failed to put on track the education system, which is not stratified despite efforts to revamp it. However, there have been deliberate attempts to streamline the system by various stakeholders.
Finland, a close financial partner of Mogadishu, noted the money will strengthen the educational services for children, adding that the money will be administered by the UNICEF, which has been boosting education in Somalia.
Abukar, who has previously been criticized for failing to merge the federal education system with those of some states, said more schools will be built through the money. Finland noted that it will continue to support that country.
“Finland is extremely pleased to start this partnership with UNICEF for the benefit of Somali children,” said Finnish ambassador His Excellency Pirkka Tapiola.
“Education is a fundamental human right and a priority in Finland’s development cooperation. Our aim is to support the inclusiveness of education systems at all levels of administration. It is crucial to support equal access to educational services and strengthen capacities to improve learning outcomes. This requires well-educated teachers and investments into better teaching and learning practices and educational environments.”
UNICEF’s support to the education sector aims at expanding access to pre-primary and primary education and ensuring that children acquire the learning outcomes and skills required for success in later life. This engagement directly aligns with government sector policy priorities articulated in the Education Sector Strategic Plan.
“Finland’s contribution comes at a critical time when we are just beginning our new, five-year country program of cooperation with the Government of Somalia,” said UNICEF Representative Mohamed Ayoya.
“The program sets ambitious targets aimed at doubling primary school enrolments, improving the quality of education, and strengthening the capacity of our government partners to deliver a more equitable education for all children. Providing every child with a chance to learn is the best investment any nation can make, and we are proud to be part of this effort in Somalia.”
Significant efforts have been made by the Government in recent years to increase the proportion of children enrolled in quality school services and complete a full cycle of primary education.
There remain however a significant number of children, particularly those residing in rural areas and those from the poorest families, whose rights to basic education are denied. Investing in the education of Somali children is a critical means of reducing poverty, driving sustainable economic growth.