A two-day European Union funded education curriculum workshop in NairobiKenya brought together Somali education authorities, education experts and international partners to review progress towards the implementation of the new curriculum framework and share best practices in a bid to accelerate the roll-out of the new curriculum across all Somali regions and States.

The workshop organized by the Africa Educational Trust (AET) brought together 34 participants including representatives from education authorities drawn from the Federal Government of Somalia, Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland, Galmudug and the South West State and donor agencies among them USAID and the World Bank.

The workshop took place against the backdrop of an EU sponsored learning visit by the Somali education representatives from all the regions to Malawi to learn from Malawi’s experience with examinations and curricula. Participants to the workshop had the opportunity to synthesize the Malawi visit experience and analyze how to translate best practices to the Somali context.

The European Union is working with the Somali education authorities to move towards an inclusive curriculum that promotes peace and instils values. This curriculum will be different in each region, but it needs to be compatible to ensure that students can move easily from one region to another.

“The EU has supported each region to develop a curriculum framework for primary schools. Puntland and Somaliland have gone ahead to produce syllabi and textbooks. The next steps are to finalize the syllabi across the regions, develop and distribute text books and to orient teachers on the new curriculum,” said Maria Pilar Palmero Vaquero, EU Delegation Head of Cooperation.

One example of a positive outcome of efforts in curriculum development is the fact that the education authorities in the Federal Government of Somalia managed to increase enrolment of secondary school-year exam takers from 3.400 students in 2015 to 12.000 students this year.

“We hope to take home the good practices we brought from our visit to Malawi Education and also this workshop in Nairobi. These eye catching experiences will help us immensely to improve our own curriculum and examination systems. The EU is our biggest partner and supporter and we acknowledge and thank them for their generous support in the education sector without which we would not be where we are today,” said Ahmed Hassan Yusuf, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education, Federal Government of Somalia.

The EU will sign a new contract in 2017 worth € 5 million to support taking the curriculum into the classroom. “We have learnt a lot in the past week and hope to improve our curriculum and examination approaches through the best practices and experiences we have learnt from established educational institutions in Kenya and Malawi,” said Abdi Ali Jama, DG, Somaliland Minister of Education and Higher Education.

Distributed by APO on behalf of European External Action Service (EEAS).

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