The outbreak of civil war in 1988 and the following collapse of the central state in 1991 severely disturbed all public social services in Somalia. The education system in Somalia was totally demolished, destroying the infrastructure and the disruption of educational services. Many students and teachers fled from the schools to their home-clan areas and became an Internal Displacement People (IDPs) or refugee camps abroad. Meanwhile, school buildings were being destroyed and School premises were turned into accommodation for the internally displaced people fleeing from the war (Abdi, 1998), educational material and equipment were being looted and teachers and administrators were not being paid. It is estimated that more than 80% of the educated elite left the country in the period since the conflict began (Lindley, 2008). This extended period of insecurity and instability has robbed a generation of young Somali men and women the chance to attend formal education. Somalia now suffers from one of the lowest literacy rates in the world (Cummings and van Tonningen, 2003).
There are approximately 263 million children and youth out of school globally today(UNESCO-UIS (2016) Conflict, poverty, and other forms of marginalisation often prevent children from entering into school in the first place, or force them to drop out of school earlier than they should. The most vulnerable and marginalised – often displaced children and young people, excombatants, girls and children with disabilities – are most likely to find it difficult to access and complete their education.
For over 28 years, the INGOs and UN Agencies has supported out of school children and youth to regain access to schooling by supporting Alternative Basic Education (ABE) programming. Such programming has been and continues to be implemented across Somali regions in which INGOs and UN Agencies is responding to humanitarian and early recovery situations.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This case study is seen by the author as an opportunity to share evidence-based best practices and lessons learned from the different phases of the humanitarian and early recovery response with other education actors. Additionally, Findings from this case study will help strengthen education actors capacity to design, deliver and evaluate quality ABE programmes and responses. It is also attempts to provide an insight into the state of Alternative Basic Education (ABE) in Somalia by examining the following criteria:
1) Definition and Goal of accelerated education programmes (AEP).
2) Rationale for Alternative Basic Education (ABE) program.
3) Basic principles of Alternative Basic Education ABE program
4) Target beneficiaries of Alternative Basic Education (ABE )
5) Alternative Basic Education (ABE) Program Implementation
6) Roles of Stakeholders in Alternative Basic Education (ABE) Provision
7) Monitoring and evaluation of ABE program
1) DEFINITION AND GOAL OF ACCELERATED EDUCATION PROGRAMMES (AEP) OR ABE
Lacking a precise meaning, the term “alternative education” describes different approaches to teaching and learning other than state-provided mainstream education, usually in the form of public or private schools with a special, often innovative curriculum and a flexible programme of study which is based to a large extent on the individual student’s interests and needs (Raywid, 1988; Koetzsch, 1997; Aron, 2003; Carnie 2003).
An accelerated education programmes (AEP) are flexible age-appropriate programmes that promote access to education in an accelerated time-frame for disadvantaged groups, over-age out-of-school children and youth who missed out or had their education interrupted due to poverty, violence, conflict, and crisis. The goal of AEPs are to provide these learners with equivalent certified competencies as in the formal system, in an accelerated timeframe, with learners transitioning to mainstream education at some intermediary point, or completing an entire primary cycle within the programme (This definition is taken from the (Accelerated Education definition by the Inter Agency Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG), October 2017 INEE EiE Term Bank (http://toolkit.ineesite.org/term-bank/en/terms/).
Alternative Basic Education is one variety of Non-Formal Education (NFE). According to UNESCO (1997), NFE is defined as “any organized and sustained educational activity with a specific purpose and provided outside the formal education system”. Similarly, Alternative Basic Education (ABE) program in Somalia is an educational program that addresses the needs of out of school children through condensed and integrated curricula, flexible time table, cost-effective use of resources and high community participation aimed at improving access, quality of education and attrition.
Education For All (EFA) is a global movement led by UNESCO (United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), aiming to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015″The EFA movement”. (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 11 Sep 2010.). Alternative Basic Education (ABEs) programs/ projects are among those committed to the EFA goal. The key focuses are on access, retention, equity, quality, relevance and internal and external efficiency within the education system in Somalia.
ABE programs/ projects are designed to enable the Ministry of Education and other education actors to establish proper mechanism in the implementation of Alternative Basic Education (ABE) and its linkage with formal education system. The purpose is to ensure and make them complementary to each other in order to achieve the Education for All (EFA) and MDGs.
There are several terms used to name the provision of alternative education. Alternative Basic Education (ABE) is also known as non-formal basic education (NFBE) and in the UNICEF surveys it is referred to as Primary Alternative Education. The regular ABE program is an accelerated curriculum, completing primary education in 4 years instead of 8 years. It should be noted and clear to everyone; that the ABE basically uses the formal curriculum but condensed and integrated to fit the given time.