USAID and Mercy Corps Build and Improve Schools in Somaliland


Education minister Hon Zam Zam Abdi lays foundation stone for a new schoolPress Release

Today, the Somali Youth Leaders Initiative (SYLI) with Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Studies launched a five-year program to build and rehabilitate secondary schools in Somaliland. The initiative is funded by USAID and implemented by a consortium led by Mercy Corps, Save the Children, SONYO and CARE International in partnership with Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Studies.

The SYLI education program works with 24 schools across all regions of Somaliland and is designed to decongest schools, add separate sanitation facilities for girls and boys, train more teachers, and improve enrollment, especially for girls. The project will assist 10 schools in the first six months. By the end of the program, over 10,000 new pupils are expected to be enrolled in these schools.

The schools and beneficiary communities were identified through participatory process under the leadership of the Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Studies. The Honorable Somaliland Ministry for Education and Higher Studies, Mrs. Zamzam Abdi Aden, presided over the ceremonies, laying the foundation for the Mahmoud Ahmed Ali Secondary School in Hargeisa.

The five-year program will also improve the quality and management of secondary education through the training of teachers, head teachers, and community education committees. It will provide teaching materials and technical assistance to the Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Studies at both regional and district levels. The SYLI program is also providing skills training for youth, business start-up grants, and opportunities for civic participation among youth.

Latest statistics show that there are only 63 public and 37 private secondary schools in Somaliland, with estimated enrollment of 36,000. There are 1,202 secondary school teachers, most of whom are not fully qualified. Most schools operate double shift because of a dearth of classrooms.