News / Africa

UNICEF Pushes for Female Enrollment in Somali Schools

Students read the Koran during class at a primary school in Hargeisa, Somaliland, Sept. 25, 2006.
Students read the Koran during class at a primary school in Hargeisa, Somaliland, Sept. 25, 2006.
A new report from the U.N. Children's Fund, UNICEF, finds more children are going to school in the Somali regions of Puntland and Somaliland.  Both regions enjoy relative peace and stability compared to restive south and central Somalia.  But a challenge remains in getting more girls enrolled in school.

A survey conducted by the ministries of planning for the two regions and UNICEF found very encouraging figures on young children's education.  In Puntland, the number of students enrolled in primary education went from 26 percent to 43 percent over the last five years.  A smaller rise was reported in Somaliland.

Susannah Price, the chief of communications for UNICEF Somalia, says communities are benefiting from an increasing number of schools being built in the region.

"UNICEF, for example, have worked very hard on training enough teachers, working on non-formal education as well as alternative kind of education - for example for the pastoralist children," she said. "We have also worked with community committees within the community, helping to support them and also help with building classrooms, building schools.  Education is absolutely key for the future of Somalia."

However, challenges remain in convincing parents to send girls to school just like boys.  

Price says her organization promotes gender equality in education and is striving to improve girls’ access to education.

"We’ve been focusing on changing attitudes on girls' education, to talk to parents to explain to them why education of girls is as important as to the education of their brothers, why you shouldn’t keep girls at home to do house work while they need to go to the….," she said. "We’ve also helped with scholarships for girls to get them to school, to get them to higher education and to change their attitudes as well and to use girls who have succeeded in education to talk to other girls to persuade them to come to school as well."

UNICEF says education could help the regions improve in other areas of development that are lagging behind, such as health care.

The survey showed no great improvement in health and nutrition in the past five years, while immunization coverage also remains low.

The report only covered the autonomous and semi-autonomous regions of Somalia, as surveyors said it was too dangerous to conduct research in central and southern Somalia.  But they are planning to organize a survey for the rest of Somalia when security improves.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid