Education, in all its levels, is important for the development of any country and society. It is the locomotive of future generations. In Somaliland, the education sector has witnessed a huge set back and devastation following the collapse of all educational facilities in the 1988–1991 war with Somalia’s military regime.
Since 1991, when most of the Somaliland citizens returned from the refugee camps in Ethiopia and in Djibouti, the education sector has witnessed a quantitative increase, in which both the primary and secondary education enrollment rate increased. Not only the increase of the enrollment rate, but also the educational facilities including classrooms. Equipment needed for studying have also quadrupled. For instance, while in 1991 there were only 46 primary schools, by 2015, primary schools were estimated around 1083 across the six regions of Somaliland. On the other hand, the number of secondary schools has moved from 3 schools in 1997 to 146 in 2015.
The increase of the primary and secondary education has also had a corresponding increase on the number of private and public universities. In 1998 Somaliland established its first-ever university, the Amoud University, in the Awdal region. In 2017, the number of universities in Somaliland reached 32 universities.
It is true that the three levels of education in Somaliland have shown rapid quantitative increase; however, quality as an integral part of education, is missing at all levels.. Somaliland education, at the primary, secondary and higher levels, face critical challenges such as the commercialization and professionalization of the education from kindergarten to the university level. Furthermore and very importantly, human population growth, inadequate skilled and professional teachers, low payment for the teachers, are also other critical elements hampering the quality of the education.
To overcome these challenges facing the education sector of the state, the Somaliland Government, particularly the Ministry of Education and Science should reaffirm its commitment to improve the quality of the primary, secondary and higher education and re-institutionalize the agencies responsible for the quality of the educational institutions, in order to safeguard the country’s education system.