Somaliland: Challenges of Curriculum Implementation



Somalilandsun – Curriculum implementation, according to Okello and Kagoire (1996:124) “is a network of varying activities involved in translating curriculum designs into classroom activities and changing people’s attitudes to accept and participate in these activities”. However, curriculum implementers in our country (teachers, head teachers, standard officers and others) are faced with barriers which hinder the successful implementation of the curriculum.

It is very difficult to implement a curriculum successfully if the education system has limited funding capacities. Under funding raise a lot of other implications on the part of curriculum. The economy of a nation will determine the success of curriculum implementation. In developing countries, the numbers of pupils and teachers have kept on rising but government money available for education is less.

Since manpower in the education sector has increased in Somaliland, the size of money allocated to education is absorbed by salaries because 90% of the education budget of Somaliland is personnel budget leaving very little for teaching materials, books, in-service training, monitoring and other things needed for the smooth implementation the of curriculum and budget allocated for education in Somaliland government is less than 12% in the overall budget as approved by parliament (Somaliland’s education sector strategy plan 2012-2016). In the absence of teaching and learning materials, the teaching and learning processes will be hampered and if standard officers do not go out to evaluate, it will be difficult to know whether the curriculum is being effectively implemented or not. Although the government introduced fixed tuition fees in secondary schools but still secondary public schools take different tuition fees this move has had impact as most learning institutions are still experiencing liquidity problems. This has had a negative effect on curriculum implementation.

Unavailability of school facilities and equipments like classrooms, libraries, resource centers, offices, desks, schools halls and others including sabotages of the curriculum implementation. The fact that the education sector is under-funded by the government means that the availability and quality or facilities in learning institutions is affected negatively because government has only allocated for education less 12% of the budget and 90% of this budget is absorbed by the salary of the staff. In most government schools in Somaliland with an exception of the newly built by donors, infrastructure is in a deplorable condition.

Teaching and learning resources are also a challenge. There is limited procurement and supply of these resources in schools. Instructional materials and equipment are all in short supply or may not be available at all – no enough books, no science equipment. Worse still, with increase enrollment for primary schools after free primary education classrooms are overcrowded and learners are made to share whatever little stocks of material and furniture available. In such situations, teacher effectiveness in hampered and it becomes almost impossible for the teacher to render individual pupil attention because of large numbers of pupils in classes over enrolment. This kind of situation in education institutions of learning will make it very difficult for curriculum implementers to carry out their roles effectively.

Quality and quantity of teaching staff to meet the expectations of pupils and the society is another impediment. Teachers are the most important human resource in curriculum implementation since they are the ones who adopt and implement the ideas and aspirations of the designers. This implies that success of the curriculum depends on the teachers (Okello and Kagoire 1996). A sufficient supply of trained teachers is therefore, needed if the implementation of the curriculum is to be effective. In Somaliland, however, learning institutions have been for a long time experiencing a shortage of the teaching staff (pupils’ certified teacher Ratio 64:1 by: appraisal Report of Somaliland education sector strategy plan 2012-2016 Dr. Alan feb,2013) and the rural areas are the most affected since teachers avoid those areas and untrained teachers are involved . In urban areas when a school does not have enough teachers, the few that are there are overstretched/overloaded; hence they are overworked which in turn affects their capacity to teach effectively.

Okello and Kagoire (1996:125) say, “The quality of education of a country largely depends on the quality of teachers.” In other words, the quality of education is as good as the quality of teacher. If the quality of teachers is poor, the quality of education will be poor. What this means, therefore is that the quality of teachers will determine the effectiveness of curriculum implementation. The education system needs adequately trained and motivated teachers in order to succeed in its program.

Mohamoud Dahir Omar

Education Analyst