TECHNICAL, VOCATIONAL AND TRAINING IN SOMALIA
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Published: Fri, 12 May 2017
TECHNICAL, VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (TVET) IN SOMALIA
Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, a situation aggravated by the civil war and the absence of a functioning national government for over a decade. The impact of state failure on human development in Somalia has been profound, resulting in the collapse of political institutions, the destruction of social and economic infrastructure, and massive internal and external migrations. This is more pronounced in Central South Somalia where intermittent conflicts continue to destroy what has been left. In the more peaceful semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland, notable progress has been registered in public sector growth, albeit slowly. Even in these regions, the public sector has very limited capacity to create employment opportunities for its own citizens. Providing employable skills is one of the alternatives assessed to have potential to create employment opportunities for the youth.
The level of economic development notwithstanding, partner governments in Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia need to formulate and execute appropriate systems and policies that can effectively guide and facilitate the growth of the private sector within agreed national development priorities.
Still, in spite of the efforts of the international community, weak coordination and fragmented implementation of actions has not supported the effective growth of the TVET sector. The choice of skills training is not always guided by the needs of the market but by need to ‘address all needs’ by projects whose scope is too small to warrant such undertakings.
Puntland, Somaliland and Central south Somalia do not have standardized curriculum or syllabi for TVET. There is also no standardized system for TVET assessment, examination and certification. The only standardized curriculum available but not being used in most of the TVET centres is the UNESCO PEER developed curriculum. It is imperative that this is considered in any future intervention.
Implementation of education programs in Somalia is coordinated through the Education Sector Committee (ESC), yet there are many partners with sub-programs falling under this sector but subsumed under a different thematic area. In such situations, the TVET does not receive appropriate technical direction for its success.
The survey involved conducting a skills training market and opportunities study in respect of the vocational training leading to livelihoods opportunities of the unemployed youths in Somalia. The survey was expected to provide a situational analysis on skills development by focusing on opportunities and institutional arrangements for skills development taking cognizance of the specific characteristics of the three different zones of Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia.
The study would come up with recommendations on appropriate skills development to provide the target and guidelines on implementation framework of the skills development strategy. Data was gathered using secondary sources, key informant interviews, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and direct observation. Excerpts of interviews with stakeholders by the first consultant were reviewed and relevant inferences made.
The survey found that skills market in Puntland, Somaliland and some regions of South Somalia has potential owing to private sector growth, the high demand for specific skills, among other factors. The skills in high demand include electrical works, tailoring/dressmaking, solar PVC technology, plumbing, shampoo/soap making, masonry, metal work, shoe making, fabric design (tie/dye, printing, batik, and embroidery), secretarial, management and ICT.
Poverty, insecurity, low expectations and an overall environment characterized by market imperfections limit skills development and will be critical challenges during project implementation.
Based on the findings, the survey recommends the following:
1. Financial support to partners and institutions implementing vocational training activities should demand a proportionate financial contribution from the partner government or institutions. This could take either or all of the following forms: cost recovery through charging user fees; government part funding to the VTCs or public-private-partnership.
2. Capacity strengthening of MOEs structures to execute a policy framework which will guide the quality implementation of vocational training by public and private institutions.
3. Given the nascent/formation level of the management structures of respective vocational training centers, it is critically important to train and build the functional capacity of these institutions on the vocational skills training concept and Employment Promotion so that they can be stronger in their role of designing and implementation of literacy and vocational training in skills with economic and social relevance to the community.
4. Orientation of the vocational training teachers on adult education pedagogy/methodologies. Even if they have been found qualified during recruitment, orientation is critically important for consensus and solidifying their understanding on vocational and livelihoods skills training objectives and expectations as well as the different stages in the learning process.
5. UNESCO needs to re/design modular training process entailing the following three areas:
(i) Basic functional literacy and numeracy skills.
(ii) Vocational and Livelihoods skills in identified trade areas. Cross cutting issues such as HIV and FGM needs to be gradually worked into this module.
(iii) Simple business management or entrepreneurship skills on identifying and evaluating a viable business idea, market effect on skills demand, getting started and basic management and book keeping, and customer care principles.
Continuous efforts should be made to bear in mind that livelihood and skill training is a process and not an episodic event.
6. Given the landscape of insecurity and the concomitantly heavy investment in security, it is advisable to link vocational training with peace and reconstruction efforts. The example of Kosovo Enterprise Programme (KEP) in the collapsed USSR can be a learning model. The model is simple and workable in any society under reconstruction.
7. In order to enhance the marketability and relevance of the skills, it is critical to support a research and marketing development unit that regularly undertakes local Economic Development and Skills Market survey for consideration by VTCs in reviewing vocational skills curriculum. The training approach adopted should be one that links center-based vocational training and apprenticeships in which those being trained can undertake practical work with the local business/merchant community for purposes of applying the knowledge acquired and getting exposed in starting their own enterprises. The capacity of the master craftsmen to whom the trainees will be attached will have to be improved through training and induction on areas of practical emphasis.
8. Address the poverty barrier that hinder access to vocational skills training by implementing competency/performance based bursary schemes for the trainees. Existing schemes pay the cost of training based on duration required to complete the training. It is a fact that not all are competent enough to produce quality products after completing. A high premium needs to be pegged on performance for both the trainee and the master trainer.
9. Within a wider consultation under the principle of Sector Wide Approach, rethink the incentive structure for trainers at vocational training centers so as to attract and retain qualified trainers.
10. Creating synergy with other vocational training programs implemented or being implemented by other donors (STEO, VETAPE etc) in the same regions will strengthen the sector growth by avoiding wasteful duplication of efforts. This should be greatly achieved through the organisational platform of Somali Support Secretariat/Education Sector Committee and other coordination mechanisms in Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia.
Susceptibility of Communities to adverse effects of poverty is largely contributed by lack of appropriate skills to engage in efficient and diversified income generation production systems. In Somalia, unemployment creation is slow and inadequate to absorb the high number of youth looking for employment opportunities.
Livelihood skills that include technical and vocational abilities impart the community with capabilities, resources and opportunities for pursuing individual and household economic goals. Where this is lacking, poverty and insecurity rise by almost equal proportion.
Weak institutional structures limit the provision of skills causing individuals’ ability to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life to be adversely affected.
The political and social turmoil in Somalia provides many challenges for young people, which could be potentially alleviated by providing them with opportunities to acquire appropriate employable skills. Consequently, UNESCO is supporting the development of a systematic, coordinated, needs-based and institutionalised provision of vocational, technical and livelihoods skills approach in Somalia. By working with the local administrations, partners and institutions to set systems and standards for skills development, UNESCO aims at strengthening vocational, technical and livelihoods skills for development and participation of young people.
One of the major problems UNESCO will be addressing is the need to increase opportunities for employment and participation in income generation activities for the youth. As verified from different studies and reports, the youths are deficient in employable skills and have limited opportunities to develop themselves in the current situation.
In the last 7 years, there has been increased attention by the international community to the revitalisation of the TVET sector. Unfortunately, the capacity of the Ministry of Education to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the TVET is weak raising serious questions on quality and sustainability.
The result has been training that is neither linked to the market nor designed with adequate consideration of the capacity of the trainees to uptake and practice the skills effectively.
With a population of 7.7 million in 2006, and an income per capita estimated in 2002 to be $226 (compared to $515 in Sub-Saharan Africa), Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. The UNDP’s Human Development Index ranked Somalia 161 out of 163 countries in 2001. Extreme poverty (less than $1 PPP) is estimated at 43 percent. It is 10 percentage points higher for rural and nomadic populations. General poverty (less than $2 PPP) afflicts 73 percent of households, but reaches 80 percent in rural and nomadic populations.
Income inequality is significant with the poorest 10 percent of the population receiving only 1.5 percent of total income. The civil conflict, continuing insecurity in many parts of the country, and poor access to services and infrastructure have made conditions worse than they were before the civil war. Absent or weak administrative structures provide minimal interference with trade or private sector activities. As a consequence, the private sector has flourished, trading with neighbouring and Asian countries, processing agricultural products and manufacturing on a small scale, and providing services previously monopolized or dominated by the public sector.
There has been significant (but unmeasured) private investment in commercial ventures, including in trade and marketing, money transfer services, transport, communications, airlines, telecommunications, construction and hotels, education and health, and fishery equipment, largely funded by the large remittances from the Diaspora. The World Bank Country brief for Somalia (2009) assesses that remittances, amounting to about $1 billion per year, have partially offset a larger drop in per capita output for Somalia. However, persistent insecurity threatens further growth of the private sector and the absence of provision of key public goods is hurting both rural and urban households and the private sector.
The macro-economic situation offers opportunities as well as challenges in the promotion of vocational and livelihoods skills. The thriving private sector, offers varied opportunities for skills to drive the growth of the different enterprises. Some of the skills are not readily available in Somalia and are frequently sourced from Diaspora or neighbouring countries, the main reason being that there are not adequate Vocational Training Institutions that offer quality trainings to meet the skills demand of the local market.
On the other hand, the weak administrations have resulted to growth of the private sector, including the vocational training under a policy vacuum. Even where it exists in Somaliland, enforcement is weak leading to major challenges on quality control. In an environment where the private sector is far ahead of the regulatory functions of the government, it would be more prudent to pursue the dual track of strengthening the government’s capacity to implement policy guidelines alongside capacity development of the private vocational training institutions and organisations to implement demand driven quality skills training and self regulate.
Male and female Gross Enrolment Rates was estimated by UNICEF to be 37 percent and 25 percent respectively in 2006/2007 school year. Since 2000, the number of children enrolled in grades 1-8 has increased roughly by 300%, from an estimated 150,000 to over 467,780. There is a very high disparity between male and female learners, administrative regions, and various social and economic groups. Secondary enrolment rates are even lower, estimated by UNESCO to stand at only 6%. Those joining Institutional Based Vocational Training are even lower as the facilities only exist in major cities of Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia. Even where they exist, their capacity to absorb the growing number of school dropouts and those who complete grade 8 and form 4 for vocational training is limited.
It is estimated that about 65.5% of the urban youth are unemployed. The figure is lower among the rural and nomadic communities where it is estimated to be 40.7%. This is expected, bearing in mind that in rural areas, over 75% of the communities is estimated to be employed within the agricultural and livestock sector- their main source of livelihoods. Overreliance on traditional farming systems coupled with extreme weather conditions have been highlighted as major causes of poverty in the rural areas.
A feasibility study conducted by the EC in June 2004 in Puntland and Somaliland revealed that there was a very high rate of unemployment among young adults, and in turn resulted to vulnerable livelihoods and widespread poverty of the target groups. The situation is worse in Central-South Somalia where the civil war destroyed the entire economic and social infrastructure resulting in missed opportunities, disruption of the social order, poverty and vulnerability.
Based on available policy papers, strategies and study reports available in the three different regions major problems identified on access to TVET include: threat to traditional livelihoods sources, Structural constraints on job creation, limited availability of people with employable skills and basic education and, high population of disadvantaged people. Among the strategies suggested to address these problems include: provision of financial resources to strengthen TVET framework; Institutional and organisational development for sustainability of TVET, raising quality levels and relevance of skills to increase employability; policy dialogue with partners; Increase and optimise capacity through better management and utilisation of facilities; increased provision and retention of qualified trainers and the implementation of employment promotion to improve rural livelihoods.
Financial support towards development of TVET sector by EC, Italian Cooperation, UNDP and other international development partners have resulted to enhanced institutional framework for implementation of vocational training. In particular, capacity has been developed in the ministries of Education in Puntland and Somaliland resulting to the establishment of TVET units, administered under the NFE department headed by a Director. TVET policy developed under the EC funded PETT project has already been approved and adopted by MOE, Somaliland. In Puntland, the draft policy developed under the same project has not been finalised for adoption by the council of ministers and parliament. However, attributes of it are well captured in the Puntland Education Policy Paper (PEPP), 2007.
Personnel working in Vocational Training Institutions have benefited from capacity building programs implemented under the PETT and STEO projects funded by EC and UNESCO support. The vocational training centers in Kismayo, Mogadisho, Berbera, Burao, Hargeisa, Galkaio, Garowe and Bosaso have received support in the form of equipment. The Kuwait government contributed equipment towards Garowe Technical and Vocational Training center. However, due to low pay, the institutions have not been able to retain all the trained personnel.
However, as captured by End of Project evaluation report of PETT (Promotion of Employment Through Training) project, there are many gaps that the current grants are not able to completely address owing to the large number of people who need the skills.
The vocational training manuals developed by UNESCO for 11 crafts and trade skills covering levels 3 & 2 are the only coherent manuals that exist. The manuals have been good references materials for vocational training programs implemented from different funding sources in Somalia.
Several studies undertaken by international development partners indicate that the vast majority of the 14-20 year age group is out of school and with very limited access to education and skills training. Among the urban, rural and pastoral families, lack of employment and poverty are consistently ranked the most common problems and potentially the most common causes of other social problems.
The institutional framework for implementing TVET in all the three zones (Puntland, Somaliland and South Central Somalia) is weak and currently not able to offer technical support that would guarantee quality control, registration and certification of all the institutions providing vocational training.
The situation in south central Somalia is different; Coverage of Ministry of Education as an implementing partner is limited to small pockets of Mogadisho; No recognizable central authority for liaison purposes; Widespread destruction of facilities which could create demand for more capital especially for institutional based intervention (IBTVET); fluid security situation pitting the armed groups against the Transitional Federal Government and threatening to result to full blown conflict.
The Technical, vocational and livelihood skills development envisaged by UNESCO is in tandem with the Rehabilitation and Development priorities for Somalia that can partly be pursued through supporting sustainable livelihoods improvement via provision of employable skills to the youth. Currently the majority of the youth have limited knowledge and skills to enhance their employability (self or paid) and productivity. It is recognized that chances of gainful employment are enhanced by acquisition of employable skills.
The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Somalia is very limited due to lack of adequate infrastructure and systems to implement the activities falling under the sector. Trainings are provided by private vocational training centers and the few public training centers funded by the international community. As institutionalised training is limited, most trainees acquire their skills through apprentice training. In effect the quality of skills acquired is dependent on the capacity of the trainee and the quality of the trainers/craftsmen to provide training. TVET needs to be expanded in order to produce skilled artisans and middle level technicians who will eventually strengthen the Somali economy, which can then increasingly rely on their own domestic workforce. Consequently, the MoEs need support in order to expand their capacities by strengthening the TVET framework.
The increased efforts by the international community to provide improved technology (eg motorised water pumps, grain milling machines, tractor hire, and improved livestock management systems) are intended to raise productivity and value addition to cushion people’s livelihood activities from the effects of extreme weather patterns. Due to limited technical skills, the uptake and sustainability of this technology has been discouraging. The low unemployment in the rural areas by itself is deceiving as there is plenty of disguised unemployment. Many implementing partners (IPs) have activities under the broad category of livelihoods development. These entail beekeeping, tailoring and dressmaking, soap making, sesame oil extraction and flour milling. By funding livelihood activities, Implementing partners plan to graduate the communities from emergency to development status. But despite the increased programming around the livelihoods development activities, beneficiaries are not being linked to vocational training institutions to acquire the relevant skills; in other regions, skills training opportunities are completely lacking. Evaluation reports of many of these interventions present a very grim picture of the sustainability of provided technologies. The primary objective in providing the technologies was to increase productivity that was to result to increased income and employment opportunities for the many unemployed youth in the urban and rural areas.
As poverty and unemployment are the major drivers of conflict in Somalia, employment creation for the youth is not only a social and economic necessity but also a political imperative.
The study is based on the information needs by UNESCO to guide in planning interventions in TVET and livelihoods Skills Development in Somalia. The study aims at analysing the status of Technical Vocational Education and livelihood skills Development (TVELSD) in Somalia to map out current interventions and gaps in the sector. It also aims to assess the policy and resource capacity of the respective MOEs to implement a sustainable TVET. The survey is reviewed against the existing policies by the government in the respective regions.
The broad national development study in Somalia is well documented in the Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) report and the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) report.
A previous survey undertaken by UNESCO PEER in 2002 revealed that a number of the institutions providing TVET lacked proper management structures, standardised curriculum and assessment system. Additionally, they lacked adequate equipment, teaching and learning materials, and qualified and motivated personnel.
A countrywide market feasibility study conducted by European Commission in 2004 re-confirmed this state of affairs by citing the following constraints in the TVET sub-sector.
* Weaknesses in the management of TVET activities;
* Difficulties of quality assurance for TVET, especially limited availability of course syllabi and lack of qualified technical trainers;
* Limited number of standardized TVET courses;
* Lack of standardized assessment and certification services;
* Urban bias of TVET opportunities and limited benefits to rural communities;
* Difficulties of sustaining TVET interventions;
* Lack of strategic planning for TVET by local authorities;
* Limited capacity of local authorities to manage TVET
Prior to the civil war that culminated in the collapse of the government in 1991, Somalia had functioning technical and vocational institutions in Mogadishu, Kismayu, Burao and Hargeisa that specialized in a range of technical courses and traditional trades at craft and artisan levels. Youth joined these institutions to acquire specialized skills that in turn enabled them to join the employment sector, either as employees or self employed persons.
Most of these institutions were however destroyed or run down during the long period of civil. Consequently, these events resulted to high drop out of youth from schools to add to the number of unskilled youth that existed even before the civil war. With limited skills and no functioning education system, the youth had limited livelihood options.
In apparent response to the demand for education and vocational skills training, the international community through UN, INGOs, LNGOs have supported the rehabilitation and or construction of vocational training centers in major towns of Somaliland (Hargeisa, Berbera and Burao), Puntland (Bosaso, Garowe, Gardo and Galkaio) and Central South Somalia (Mogadishu, Merka, Baidoa). Most of the functioning institutions are owned by local Institutions and governments through the support of the International Community.
Several skills provided in these institutions include: garment making, soap making, tie and dye, carpentry, computer technology, masonry, electrical installation, plumbing and metal fabrication.
UNESCO PEER through Technical and Vocational Education projects funded by the Italian Government initiated several interventions to revitalize technical and vocational education in Somalia at the grassroots level. Some of those interventions include: development of curricula/syllabi in selected marketable and demand driven trade areas, training of instructors and center managers, provision of course materials and textbooks to vocational training centres and initiation of standardized assessment and certification.
This study commissioned by UNESCO PEER draws lessons from past and current activities on TVET in Somalia.
1.2 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
According to the TOR, the study will identify dimensions of technical and vocational education training (TVET): Skills Development and issues of economic relevance, social relevance, and management models effectiveness. Based on this; make recommendations for increased and improved TVET delivery in Somalia.
The anticipated results of the study will be as follows:
1 Analysis of the organization and structure of TVET, public and private, formal and non-formal, by levels and management structures, including objectives, strategies and results, as well as the regulatory framework for private TVET
2 Identification of the main issues and problems in TVET delivery in terms of relevance to economic and market requirements, access to training, quality of training, and efficiency in the delivery processes.
3 Analysis of government TVET management and delivery.
4 Recommendations on improving the relevance, equity, quality, efficiency and management of TVET
1.3 SCOPE OF WORK
The study was planned to cover the whole of Somalia but due to insecurity in the Central South Somalia, the Consultant limited his visits to Puntland and Somaliland- the two semi-autonomous regions of Somalia. The survey covered the Non Formal, technical and vocational Education sub-sector targeting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS), Refugees, Returnees, pastoral communities and ex militia as study groups. The study involved undertaking socio-economic and prefeasibility investigation of vocational and livelihoods skills training in Somaliland, Puntland and Central South Somalia. Unfortunately, field visits to south central was not undertaken due to insecurity.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION FOR THE STUDY
i. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in conflict and post conflict areas is a critical component of the socio-economic development of target communities. It has been assessed that acquisition of livelihood skills results in enhancing communities’ ability in battling poverty and social exclusion in favour of self-employment. By spreading know-how, it inspires innovation and works to curb unemployment, especially among marginalized population in conflict and post-conflict countries.
ii. It will act as a catalyst for streamlining the TVET sector in Somalia by providing information which will better inform policy makers and service providers and facilitate TVET programme development.
iii. It will contribute to better coordination and implementation among stakeholders.
1.5 APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
Following initial meetings with the Head of UNESCO PEER in Somalia, it was agreed that the study would review the initial study report, assess information gaps not addressed by the submitted report and use a combination of methods to collect information necessary in re-drafting the report.
The study thus reviewed available information on TVET projects that included the PETT and STEO, relevant TVET-related surveys, project evaluations reports and best practices undertaken elsewhere in the world. There was a feasibility Survey done by EC in June 2008 covering Puntland and Somaliland and the report was extensively used as a key source of information for this study especially in the general overview of livelihoods and vocational training situation in Somaliland and Puntland.
However, from the gaps identified from the direct interviews with stakeholders in Somaliland and Puntland and to validate some of the information contained in the report and documents reviewed, questionnaires were designed to elicit information from the some of the VTC where much of the information gaps existed. The data collection was undertaken by consultant assisted by field based UNESCO staff.
The methodologies adopted in redrafting the report included:
i. collection of data from the submitted report,
ii. stakeholders consultations and interviews,
iii. Review of literature available, and
iv. internet research,
The methodology and approach used in generating data for the first report included:
i. Discussions with different TVET stakeholders, NGOs, UN agencies, institutional managers and trainees to understand implementation of TVET;
ii. Focused group discussions with the Somali Ministries of Education officials at various levels and other stakeholders to establish policy aspects of Non Formal and Technical and Vocational Education;
iii. Site visits to observe institutional facilities;
iv. Document review of UNESCO PEER reports and syllabuses and reports of other agencies’ hard copies and online including UNESCO Website to gain insight into technical and vocational education;
v. Structured questionnaire used to access baseline data on institutions offering technical and vocational training;
vi. An assessment of the job market to find out the livelihood skills and skill gaps.
The consultant was not able to visit some central south Somalia but was able to interview MOE officials in Puntland, Somaliland and other implementing partners in both locations. Much of the information in compiling this report is derived from the initial field interviews undertaken by the first consultant and enriched by additional literat
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