Horumarinta Somalia

When getting back to basics doubles the numbers of kids in school.

For all that we want to think about the cutting edge, and experiment with new approaches to end poverty, sometimes there’s no substitute for investing in the basics. In the words of the evaluator, “…educational services and structures are still to be built rather than transformed.” Taking a look at the most common problems across Somalia and investing across the board—rather than focusing on “islands of excellence”—means that the Horumarinta El Miga project was able to double primary school enrollment, and improve learning in 55% of primary schools.

Horumarinta El Miga II rand from 2015 to 2018 with the generous support of the European Union. CARE was a sub-grantee to save the children, and partnered with the Norwegian Refugees Council and the Minstry of Education. We reached 78,000 students.

What did we accomplish?

  • More kids went to school: Enrollment in primary school doubled. That’s 55,063 more kids in primary school. Enrollment for secondary schools went up 87%.
  • Kids performed better in school: 55% of primary schools saw improved learning outcomes. That included a 41% increase in reading comprehension.
  • Kids were more likely to stay in school: There was an 11% increase in kids in primary school continuing on to the next grade.
  • Teachers are more engaged with children: There was a 24% increase in high school teachers who engaged students in learning as part of their classroom work.
  • More teenagers got jobs: 81% of teenagers who went to vocational school were self-employed after the program.

How did we get there?

  • Align with the government: The project built its strategies in alignment with the government, and partnered with the Ministry of Education to make sure that activities made sense in the national plans.
  • Think wide, and focus on the basics: The project focused on a country-wide investment, rather than “islands of excellence.” This included investing in building a teacher training college, and taking a sector-wide approach, rather than investing deeply in just a few communities and schools.
  • Look at what the market wants: The project did a market survey and then provided technical and vocational training to 1,113 people. Because they were getting training relevant to market opportunities, they were much more likely to be successful.
  • Train teachers: The project trained 522 teachers, and helped build a teacher training college so that teacher quality remains high in schools.

Want to learn more?

Read the project evaluation.