19 May 2007 04:18

SOMALIA WATCH

 
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  • Survey Title: [SW Country] (UNICEF Somalia) Survey of Primary Schools in Somalia, 1998/99
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  • Date :[20 May 2000]

Survey of Primary Schools in Somalia, 1998/99

FOREWORD

 

Dear Partner,

 On behalf of UNICEF, I am happy to present herewith the latest Primary School Survey Report for Somalia for your information and use.

 This quantitative survey was conducted by UNICEF to provide latest data relating to primary schools in Somalia and attempts to bridge the serious lacunae in the availability of key educational data for Somalia.  North West 'Somaliland' and North East 'Puntland' data was collected during November/December 1998; however, because of serious security constraints in several regions of Central and Southern Somalia, the survey for all regions of Somalia could be completed only by June 1999.  While this resulted in some unavoidable delays, we believe that this constraint did not compromise the findings of the survey significantly.

 This survey is an improved version of the Primary School Survey conducted by UNICEF in 1997 and aims at establishing baseline data against which progress can be measured and plans of actions developed by various partners operating in the field of primary education in Somalia in the coming years.

 The major findings of the survey are clearly listed in the Summary section to this report and will therefore not be repeated here, though I would like to highlight below some of those key findings which merit your special attention:

·        The survey reveals that presently, there are a total of 651 operational primary schools in Somalia, an increase of 38 schools from 1997 with a total enrollment of about 148,000 pupils which in fact is lesser than the previous survey enrollment figures which stood at around 153,000 pupils. This highlights the serious problem of access and of the poorest enrollments globally (the Gross Enrollment ratios are estimated to be under 10% of school age population).

·        The survey highlights, once again, the great need for the development of an efficient and responsive Education System in Somalia to effectively address serious problems and issues relating to enrolment, retention/dropouts, pupils' performances, teacher/head teacher qualifications and proficiency, learning and teaching environment, physical facilities, sports/recreational/cultural activities, costs and sustainability of education, management and supervision and, the establishment of an Education Management Information System (EMIS). These issues are dealt with in the body of this report.

·        Further, the survey reveals the considerable disparities in prevision of primary education that continue to exist among Somaliland, Puntland, and Central/South Somalia due to a variety of socio-cultural, economic and political realities, which need to be taken into consideration by all partners in formulating more sensitive plans to improve the status of primary education in Somalia as a whole.

·        One of the key areas of concern is the continuing gender related disparities, considering that only 35% of pupils enrolled in grade 1 are girls which percentage further declines rapidly in higher grades with only 29% girls enrolled in grade 8. Only 15% of the teachers and 4% of head teachers are females.

·        In addition to girls, the survey indicates that the access of children to primary schools in the remote and low population density geographic locations is extremely poor. This issue also needs to be seriously addressed in the coming years.

·        The criticality of strengthening the Community Education Committees (CECs), which stand out as the single most critical local level institutions for management and financing of primary education in Somalia for expanding access, improving quality and providing sustainable primary education is highlighted by the outcomes of the survey. The strategy of attaining greater community mobilization and ownership, which has also been strongly advocated by the Education Sectoral Committee of SACB does not in any way, reduce the importance of financing by local authorities, NGOs, and external agencies; rather, it places the roles and responsibilities of respective partners in a developmental perspective given Somalia's current economic and governance realities.

 On behalf of UNICEF Somalia, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who have participated in and, supported the planning, conduct, data entry, analysis, report writing and dissemination of this important report.  In particular, I wish to thank the UNICEF Somalia Education and Monitoring and Evaluation teams in Nairobi and field offices, the Education Sectoral Committee (ESC) of SACB, the local authorities, NGOs (both National and International), the field enumerators and all respondents at the school and community levels for having given their best technical inputs and valuable time for completion of this survey. Most importantly, I also wish to thank Mr. Ben Makau our senior education consultant from 'Research and Evaluation Associates' for his able technical leadership and professional inputs in analysis, writing and finalization of this report. He was ably supported by Mr .Teshome Ayehu, the statistical assistant who also deserves our special appreciation and gratitude.

I wish to specifically thank our donors, DANIDA and the Netherlands Government without whose contributions and support we could not have completed this report. In this context, the current efforts of UNICEF Somalia to establish and implement a simple Education Management Information System (EMIS) with proposed EC funding, which is expected to provide regular, reliable and valuable educational data effective year 2000 while also building national capacities, merits special mention.

 I hope this survey report will provide communities, local administrations and other national and external partners with a better understanding of the situation of primary schools and primary education in Somalia and help them to make informed decisions as they continue their endeavours to strengthen, improve and reconstruct the primary education system and programmes for the Somali children - THIS IS THEIR RIGHT AND OUR OBLIGATION.

 

 

October, 1999

                                                                                    Sincerely Yours,

Gianfranco Rotigliano

Representative

UNICEF Somalia

 

Survey of Primary Schools in Somalia, 1998/99

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS………………………………………………………………
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS……………………………………………………………………………
1. INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………………
2. PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE SURVEY……………………………………………..
3. METHODOLOGY………………………………………………………………………………..
3.1 PRIMARY SCHOOL AS BASIC SURVEY UNIT……………………………………..
3.2 SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE…………………………………………………………..
3.3 DATA COLLECTION…………………………………………………………………..
3.4 DATA ENTRY, ANALYSIS AND REPORT WRITING………………………………
4. FINDINGS………………………………………………………………………………………...
4.1 NUMBER OF SCHOOLS……………………………………………………………….
4.2 PARTIES OWNING SCHOOLS………………………………………………………..
4.3 PARTIES MANAGING SCHOOLS…………………………………………………….
4.4 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT………………...
4.5 COMMUNITY EDUCATION COMMITTEES (CECs)………………………………..
4.5.1 Size and Status of CEC Membership…………………………………………..
4.5.2 Frequency of CEC Meetings…………………………………………………...
4.5.3 CEC Activities………………………………………………………………….
4.6 ROLE OF PARENTS IN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT…………………………………
4.7 ENROLMENT…………………………………………………………………………...
4.8 SCHOOL ORGANISATION……………………………………………………………
4.8.1 School Calendar………………………………………………………………...
4.8.2 School Size……………………………………………………………………..
4.8.3 Number of Classes……………………………………………………………...
4.8.4 Organisation of Teaching………………………………………………………
4.8.5 Shifts……………………………………………………………………………
4.8.6 Staff Meetings………………………………………………………………….
4.8.8 Record Keeping………………………………………………………………...
4.9 TEACHERS……………………………………………………………………………...
4.9.1 Number and Gender…………………………………………………………….
4.9.2 Teachers’ Qualifications………………………………………………………..
4.9.3 Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Teaching Force…………………………...
4.10 CURRICULUM………………………………………………………………………….
4.11 PHYSICAL FACILITIES……………………………………………………………….
4.11.1 Physical Structure of Schools…………………………………………………..
4.11.2 Number of Classrooms per School……………………………………………..
4.11.3 Ratio of Classes to Classrooms…………………………………………………
4.11.4 Latrines…………………………………………………………………………
4.11.5 Water Sources…………………………………………………………………..
4.12 COSTS AND FINANCING……………………………………………………………..
4.12.1 Parental expenses……………………………………………………………….
4.12.2 Support for Teachers……………………………………………………………
4.12.3 Other Support for Education……………………………………………………
4.13 OTHER BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAMMES………………………………………
5. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS…………………………………...
REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………………………..
APPENDICES…………………………………………………………………………………………...
Appendix 1 - Number of Primary Schools, Pupils, Teachers and Classes, and Basic Statistics, 1998/99
Appendix 2 - Number of Primary School Enrolment by Region, Grade and Gender, 1998/99….
Appendix 3a –Number of Primary Schools by Owning Bodies and Region, 1998/99……………
Appendix 3b – Managers of Primary Schools by Region, 1998/99……………………………….
Appendix 4 – Community Education Committees (CECs) by Region, 1998/99………………...
Appendix 5 – Fees per Pupil per Month: Responses by Schools, 1998/99………………………
Appendix 6 – Cash Incentive per Teacher per Month: Responses by Schools, 1998/99………...
ANNEXES……………………………………………………………………………………………….
Annex 1 – Survey Questionnaire (English Version)………………………………………………
Annex 2 - Instruction Manual for Interviewers…………………………………………………...

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

UNICEF-Somalia would like to heartily thank all the people who participated in the survey – including its planning, fieldwork, entry and analysis of the data, and writing of the report.

We are grateful for the in-put made by data collectors and UNICEF’s zonal officers in Somalia who undertook completion of the questionnaire and coordination of all aspects of fieldwork. Mr …. and Mr Teshome Ayehu undertook data entry; the latter also did a thorough job in using the consultant’s draft blue print for analysis to draw data tables using SPSS. We are grateful for their invaluable contribution.

Ben Makau, an educational consultant with Research and Evaluation Associates, took responsibility for interpreting the data, preparing the tables and graphics, and writing the report. As would quickly be acknowledged by readers of the report, he did a good job of it. We greatly appreciate his contribution.

 

 

UNICEF-Somalia

Nairobi

October 1999

 

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

 

CEC Community Education Committee

CSZ Central/South Zones

EFA Education for All

EMIS Education Management Information System

GER Gross Enrolment Ratio

INGO International Non-governmental Organisation

LA Local Authority

MOEY Ministry of Education and Youth Affairs

NEZ North East Zone

NGO Non-governmental Organisation

NWZ North West Zone

PCR Pupils per Class Ratio

PEER Programme of Education for Emergencies and Reconstruction

PTR Pupils per Teacher Ratio

RCC Ratio of Classes to Classrooms

SNGO Somali Non-governmental Organisation

SPSS Statistical Package for the Social Sciences

TCR Teachers per Class Ratio

UN United Nations Organization

UNDOS United Nations Development Office for Somalia

UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund

 

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

 

  1. Number of Schools

    A total of 651 primary schools were identified. However, for a number of reasons 54 (8%) were reported closed at the time of the interview.

  2. Owners and Managers Schools
    1. Communities owned 43% of schools. Other owners were local authorities (30%); combinations of community, local authorities and NGOs (13%); and private entrepreneurs (14%).
    2. Communities were reported to be the managers of 34% of schools. NGOs (international and local) managed 19% of schools. The other managing parties were local authorities (15%), Ministry of Education and Youth in the North West zone (13), combination of community and NGOs (10%) and private entrepreneurs (7%).
  3. Community Education Committees (CECs)
    1. CECs had been set up in 91% of schools for the purpose of undertaking management tasks. About a fifth (18%) of CEC members were women. Three quarters of members were parents while nearly a quarter (24%) were teachers; the proportion of "other" members was negligible.
    2. Although there were variations across zones, the tasks carried out by CECs in more than half of the schools were problem solving (94%), community mobilisation (84%) and monitoring of learning (72%). Resource mobilisation was undertaken in slightly more than two fifths (42%) of schools, while only a quarter of CECs were involved in general school management.
    3. Most CECs continued to carry out a limited number of the tasks that they are supposed to undertake.
  4. Role of Parents in School Management

    About 95% of schools indicated that they convened parents’ meeting, with about a third of schools claiming that over 4 such meetings had been held in the previous year. However, the survey questionnaire did not allow for a definition of the role of parents as a management organ vis-ΰ-vis that of the CEC.

  5. Enrolment
    1. The enrolment in Somali primary schools was reported to be 148,015 children. Slightly more than half (53%) of the children were enrolled in schools in the central and southern zones, 32% in North West zone schools and 15% in North East zone schools. Almost a third (30%) of children were enrolled in Mogadishu schools. About a tenth (9%) of pupils were enrolled in schools owned by private entrepreneurs.
    2. Slightly more than a third (35%) of pupils were girls. Gender disparity increased rapidly with higher grades: while 40% of children in grade 1 were girls, the proportion of girls in grade 4 with 34%, and still lower in grade 8 with 29%.
    3. About four fifths (81%) of all pupils were in lower school (grades 1-4), while about a fifth (19%) were in upper primary school (grades 5-8).
    4. A gross enrolment ratio of 9.0% (male=11.8; female=6.3) was estimated for the whole of Somalia.
  6. School Organisation
    1. Reflecting the absence of a Somalia-wide government since 1991, there was no fixed school calendar. The start of the school year in various areas of the country was dispersed across the 12 months of the year.
    2. Somalia was characterised by small schools. The average school size was 228 pupils while the average number of classes per school was 6.3 (6.2 for grades 1-4 and 1.2 for grades 5-8).
    3. Slightly over three fifths (62%) of schools practised subject-teaching (i.e. a class is taught different subjects by different teachers). Class teaching (all subjects are taught by one class teacher) was practised in 9% of schools. The rest of the schools (29%) used a combination of subject and class teaching.
    4. Slightly more than half (52%) of the schools operated a single session per day, while 47% had a double shift and 1% three shifts. The predominant organisational logic for shifts was grade (used by 91% of the 295 schools operating shifts) as opposed to gender or a combination of grade and gender.
    5. 11% of schools reported that they had no formal staff meetings; 74% reported holding ten or more staff meetings per year, most likely an unrealistic claim.
    6. Although 84% of schools indicated that the headteacher maintained a record keeping system, the situation appeared to be unsatisfactory. The most common type of record keeping was pupils’ enrolment and attendance (54% of schools). Only 1% kept financial accounts records, and 13% had records of equipment and materials. No schools reported keeping records on pupils’ academic progress or minutes of meetings of staff, CECs or parents.

     

  7. Teachers
    1. There were 5,310 teachers (19% with university degrees, 40% with pre-service training received prior to 1991, 23% with in-service training received after 1991 and 18% untrained). There were indications that teachers in the untrained and in-service categories fell short of the minimum academic and pedagogical accomplishments necessary for effective teaching.
    2. There were 784 (15%) female teachers. The gender imbalance was greater among headteachers: only 4% were women.
    3. The average pupils per teacher ratio was 28, while the teacher per class ratio was 1.31 with a pupils per class ratio of 36.
  8. Curriculum
    1. The Somali national curriculum, i.e. the pre-1991 school curriculum, was in use in 56% of schools while in another 29% it was being used together with "other curricula" adopted from without Somalia. 15% of schools were entirely using "other curricula".
    2. Proportions of schools adopting "other curricula" from elsewhere were: 76% from Middle East countries, 19% from Western countries and 5% from Kenya.
  9. Physical Facilities
    1. Most schools (71%) reported having permanent buildings (concrete entirely). 23% had traditional thatched structures, and 4% a mixture of "concrete and thatched". Only 2% reported to have no structures, i.e. school is held under a tree or some other open space.
    2. The average number of classrooms per school was 6. Overall, there were more classes than classrooms with a ratio of classes to classrooms of 1.11.
    3. The provision of latrines was grossly inadequate. 49% of schools indicated that they had no latrines. The average number of latrines per school was 1 and only less than a third (29%) of schools had 3 or more latrines.
    4. 41% of schools reported having sources of water within the school compound. Of these, 16% had tap water. Of the 59% whose sources were outside the school compound, only 6% had tap water.
  10. Costs and Financing
    1. Fees paid by parents constituted the most important household contribution to primary education. However, 38% of schools did not ask parents to pay fees. For the rest of the schools, the amounts paid per pupil per month were: less than US$1 (30% of schools); $1-3 (29%); and more than $3 (3%). There were wide zonal variations, with households in the North West and North East zones paying more than was the case in the central and southern zones.
    2. Out of 651 schools, 457 (70%) indicated that their teachers received remuneration mainly in cash. Communities and parents gave in-cash support to teachers in the highest proportion of schools (79%). Other sources of in-cash support were NGOs (33% of schools), local authorities – predominantly in the North West zone (8%) and UN agencies (2%). The proportions of schools by monthly in-cash support per teacher were: nil (28%); less than US$10 (12%), $10-30 (23%); $31-50 (20) and more than $50 (17). In relation to the $55 thought to be the essential minimum living wage of a teacher, most teachers were disadvantaged, a situation which forced them to generate additional income outside teaching.
    3. Out of 651 schools, 417 (64%) indicated that they received support (unspecified) from UNICEF.
  11. Other Basic Education Programmes

Out of 651 schools, 223 (34%) indicated that, in addition to the regular school programme, they operated other basic educational activities. The frequency of such activities was: one activity only (79% of schools); two activities (17%); and three activities (4%). The types of "other activity" by proportion of schools were: adult education / vocational training (69% of schools); youth activities (13%); early childhood development (7%); and other (11%).

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

 

This report is an analysis of data collected from primary schools in November-December 1998 (North West and North East zones) and April-June 1999 (Central and Southern zones). As a follow up to the 1997 primary school survey report (UNICEF Somalia, 1997), the document is a further step in the processes of creating an education management information system (EMIS) to fill the gap identified in the introduction to the earlier survey.

Comparisons of data in the two survey reports should provide interesting indications of change in a number of aspects of primary education over the intervening period. However, it should be borne in mind that between April 1997 (completion of field work for the earlier survey) and November 1998 (commencement of field work for this survey) there were no precipitate developments in the Somali socio-economic context, a scenario mirrored in primary education. Social upheaval in many parts of Somalia with adverse effects on education continues to be problematic and necessitates continued reliance on external support (UN agencies, multilateral and bilateral donors and NGOs) with regard to financing, planning, and delivery of education. As was the case with the 1997 survey, it is possible that data collection for the 1998/99 exercise was not free from a number of adverse effects of social upheaval. Lacunae in and suspected unreliability of data arising from the unstable social setting are pointed out in various parts of this report.

 

2. PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE SURVEY

 

The purpose of the survey was to get a better picture of the situation related to primary education and primary schools for better planning for the development of the sub-sector in Somalia. The survey had the following specific objectives:

    1. To provide a yardstick for assessing and evaluating developments in primary education since the publication of the 1997 survey report.
    2. To provide the latest data on key aspects of primary education for use by organs involved in the provision and delivery of education (e.g. external agencies, governance bodies, community education committees, civil society, households, teachers, scholars and consultants).
    3. To take further the development of an EMIS for Somalia by collecting and analysing data on a questionnaire that improves on the 1997 version.

 

3. METHODOLOGY

3.1 PRIMARY SCHOOL AS BASIC SURVEY UNIT

 

As in 1997, the exercise was carried out as an institutional survey with the primary school serving as the basic unit for interviewing. The aim was to visit all primary schools throughout Somalia, including those that had been closed for a shorter or longer period (see Annex 2 General Instruction # 2). Schools were identified on the basis of information (a) in the 1997 survey report; (b) obtained from records of external agencies working in Somalia (e.g. UNICEF and other UN agency offices, and international NGOs), national NGOs, regional and district education authorities where present, communities and teachers.

 

3.2 SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE

 

The 1997 survey questionnaire was modified to a more focussed and detailed data collection instrument. Additions to the questionnaire included items aimed at the collection of data on school term dates, parents’ meetings, staff meetings, organisation of shifts, record keeping in schools, type and number of physical facilities (materials used in constructing school buildings, numbers of classrooms and latrines for both boys and girls, and sources of water), household expenditures on primary education and teacher material incentives. The 1998/99 English version questionnaire is in Annex 1.

 

3.3 DATA COLLECTION

 

In consultation with the UNICEF-Somalia Education Programme Officer, the Education Consultant and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in the UNICEF Somalia Support Centre in Nairobi undertook the development and production of the survey questionnaire and related documents. Within Somalia, UNICEF’s Zonal Education Officers coordinated the data collection (including appointing and training interviewers, distributing interview materials, receiving questionnaires filled by interviewers, completing specified items in questionnaires filled in at the school level and dispatching to Nairobi the finalised questionnaires). Interviewers were appointed from among Somali nationals involved in education including regional / district education officers and teacher trainers.

The training and briefing of interviewers and the actual data collection were guided by a detailed Instruction Manual for Interviewers (Annex 2). The manual required that the questionnaire be filled by the interviewer on the basis of the headteacher’s responses to items. The total number of schools reported to be in existence was 651 (see 4.1 below). For 630 (97%) of these schools, the person interviewed was reported. Table 1 shows the number and status of respondents by zone.

 

 

 

Table 1. Status of Persons Interviewed by Zone, 1998/99

 

AREA

Number of Schools Reporting

NUMBER OF SCHOOLS (% in brackets)

Headteacher

Deputy Headteacher

Teacher

District Ed. Officer

CEC Member

North West

181 (100)

165 (91)

10 (06)

6 (03)

0 (0)

0 (0)

North East

125 (100)

76 (61)

2 (02)

26 (21)

3 (02)

18 (14)

Central/South

324 (100)

291 (90)

16 (05)

6 (02)

11 (04)

0 (0)

SOMALIA

630 (100)

532 (84)

28 (04)

38 (06)

14 (02)

18 (03)

 

As indicated in the introduction, the interviews at the school level were held over a considerably extended period. Table 2 shows the numbers and proportions of the 649 (99.7%) schools for which the month and year of interview was reported.

 

Table 2. Date of Interview, 1998/99

 

AREA

Number of Schools Reporting

NUMBER OF SCHOOLS (% in brackets)

Nov. 98

Dec. 98

Apr. 99

May 99

Jun. 99

North West

197 (100)

-

197 (100)

-

-

-

North East

126 (100)

126 (100)

-

-

-

-

Central/South

326 (100)

1 (0.3)

2 (0.6)

30 (9.2)

81 (24.9)

212 (65.0)

SOMALIA

649 (100)

127 (19.6)

199 (30.7)

30 (4.6)

81 (12.5)

212 (32.7)

 

To facilitate comparability of data, field work at the school level was expected to be conducted at the same time or nearly so in all schools. For various reasons, including security considerations particularly in the Central/South Zones (CSZ), this was not possible. Thus, it should be borne in mind that some of the inferences made from the data may not be fully representative of temporal reality across all areas.

 

3.4 DATA ENTRY, ANALYSIS AND REPORT WRITING

 

Data entry, analysis and report writing were coordinated by the UNICEF Somalia Support Centre in Nairobi. Two research assistants were hired to create a computer data file in SPSS 8.0. This took about six weeks in June-July 1999. An educational consultant was hired to draw an analysis structure. Over about four weeks, one of the research assistants used this structure to develop and print data tables in readiness for report writing by the consultant. The final report, processed in MS Office 2000, was prepared by the educational consultant 


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