BOSASO, Puntland State of Somalia—On September 27, the Somali Youth Leaders Initiative (SYLI) with the Puntland Ministry of Education launched a five-year program to build and rehabilitate secondary schools in Puntland. The objective of the initiative, funded by USAID, is to boost enrollment and retention of secondary school students, particularly girls.
The SYLI education project is being implemented through a consortium involving Mercy Corps, Save the Children, and CARE International, in partnership with the Puntland Ministry of Education. The project is currently assisting 10 secondary schools--with a target of 20--across all regions of Puntland. It is increasing the number of classrooms, laboratories, and other learning facilities. In addition, to ensure that more girls in particular attend secondary school, the project will construct separate sanitation facilities for girls and boys, train more women teachers, run local campaigns on the importance of girls’ education, and involve the communities in school management.
The target schools and communities were identified through a participatory process led by the Puntland Ministry of Education. The Puntland Vice-Minister for Education, the Honorable Jama Yasin Jama, presided over the ceremony on Thursday, laying the foundation stone for the Bosaso Public Secondary School.
“This program plays a great role in improving access and quality of secondary education in Puntland. We hope at the end significant gains will be made in secondary education and that more children, especially girls, will further their education,” Jama said.
Latest statistics show that only 56 secondary schools are operating in Puntland, with an estimated enrollment of 11,670 students. Many schools operate double shifts because of the dearth of classrooms. Most of the 415 secondary school teachers need more training to be fully qualified.
Other SYLI projects for youth provide skills training, start-up business grants, and opportunities for civic participation.
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