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Over 2,500 school children in Puntland to benefit from $5.6 million GPE grant

Storyline:National News
The Global Partnership for Education announced Monday $5.6 million grant to support education in Puntland. File Photo: UNICEF Somalia

At least 2,500 school children in Puntland will have access to quality education and scholarships, thanks to a $5.6 million grant from the Global Partnership for Education.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a multi-stakeholder partnership and funding platform that supports education in developing countries announced the grant Monday to be administered by Puntland Ministry of Education.

The grant will focus on strengthening the Ministry of Education through capacity building and technical support to provide effective and efficient services to the most marginalized children in Puntland.

It aims at strengthening the quality of teaching and learning through teacher training, producing much needed learning materials, and addressing financial barriers to access education with scholarships.

The fund’s chief executive director Alice Albright said the grant will be instrumental in ensuring more children in Puntland access education.

“GPE’s work in Somalia and Puntland focuses on strengthening their capacity to improve equity and access to quality education, and improving teaching and learning,” said Albright.

“This grant will help thousands of children in Puntland go to school, stay in school and learn with qualified teachers,” Albright noted.

The grant will support 2,650 children from the poorest households, thereby helping families, a joint statement from Puntland Ministry of education, the children’s agency UNICEF and GPE said.

At least 200,000 children in Puntland do not attend school despite gradual increase in the number of children enrolling school in the recent years.

Puntland Minister of Education Prof. Abshir Aw-Yusuf Isse said the grant will go a long way in fostering quality education and expanding access for more learners.

“The support from the Global Partnership for Education is highly appreciated by Puntland,” said Professor Isse. “It will help us realize our vision of a quality education system that guarantees and fosters success for learners regardless of their abilities, and responds to and recognizes the potential of all learners, enabling them to make fulfilling life choices.”

UNICEF which will be the grant’s agent hailed the donation noting it is instrumental in securing the future of the children and enhancing prosperity in Somalia.

“This key investment in educating children in Puntland is critical for their future well-being and for building a prosperous and peaceful Somalia,” said Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Representative in Somalia. “There is a huge demand for education. Families know how important it is and we are moving forward with building on our positive partnership with the Puntland Ministry of Education.”

Somalia has been a Global Partnership for Education partner since 2012. Since then a total of US$14.5 million was allocated to Somalia for 2013 to 2016. The current GPE funding for Somalia is almost US$33 million for the entire country, with US$ 9.6 million for Somaliland, US$ 5.6 million for Puntland and US$ 17.9 million for the Federal Government.