Secondary and Vocational Education Evaluation 2013-2015, in Gedo Region of Somalia
Background: The Education for Peace, Stability and Development project was implemented by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) in partnership with Social-Life and Agricultural Development Organization (SADO) and Centre for Research and Integrated Development (CeRID). It aimed at increasing access to post primary education and vocational training to empower adolescents and youth with necessary knowledge and skills that would enable them become useful citizens, improve on their livelihoods, build their resilience and contribute to Peace, stability and long term development. This project was initiated in 2013 as a continuation of the previous phase that was implemented from 2010-2013. This evaluation covers the activities implemented by the project in the second phase from 2013-2015. The project was implemented in Belet-Hawa, Garbaharey and Bardera districts in Gedo region. The interventions included; support to Technical and vocational training centre in Belet-Hawa and 2 secondary schools in Garbaharey and one secondary school in Bardera Purpose/ Objective: The purpose of the evaluation was to; assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the programme, the degree which the objectives were met, document achievements and lessons learnt and provide recommendations for programme development and improvement Methodology: A mix of approaches including; quantitative, qualitative methods were applied. The evaluation grid and results frame work analysis were used to directly measure the performance of the programme. The analysis of data was undertaken in line with the outcomes and presented in tables and figures. Content analysis of secondary and qualitative data was undertaken for in-depth explanations. Information from the three approaches were triangulated and incorporated in the findings Key Findings: Findings on secondary education: Under outcome 1, there was marked improvement in overall enrolment in the secondary schools by up to 140% increase from the phase one, but at about 54% of the current phase targets. There was an increase in girl enrolment, retention and completion as compared to phase one of the project but this fell short of the 40% increase, reaching 30.1%. Different results were found in the secondary schools with rates of school completion among girls ranging from 40 - 60% below targets. In-service training of teachers was done for all the available 21 teachers in the 3 schools out of a target of 27. There are limited number of female teachers in all the three schools. Education supplies were provided in Amir Nur and El Ade secondary schools but were not provided consistently in any of the three schools. Two out of the three schools were provided with lab supplies. School infrastructure was improved by construction and rehabilitation. 11 classrooms were constructed as per plan while 60% of the desks were provided against a target of 200. Recreational materials were provided in 2 out of the 3 schools. On outcome 2, the CECs are in place in all schools and are discharging their mandate albeit at varying levels. Although trainings of CECs were done, capacity challenges hence ability to fully execute their oversight role still exists. Girl’s education is inhibited by many cultural factors such as ECM, FGM and other dominant social norms. As such, enrolment and retention of girls in schools is facing a number of challenges. The efforts on girl-child education promotion is still low as only 58.2% are enrolled against the target. However, it is noted that there is significant improvement from phase one. Two out of the three schools established peace clubs, but the scale of membership was quite low while the annual targets were not met (one new peace club per year). Regarding outcome 3, the regional ministry of education is largely dysfunctional, with only one officer, a regional education director in place and with no capacity, resources or logistics support. The Gedo Education Network (GEN) chaired by NCA is currently active and is organizing and holding meetings on quarterly basis to coordinate education interventions in the region. Some of its members are NCA, CERID, SADO, Trocaire and NAPAD. The GEN is supportive on issues of overall education sector player’s coordination, information sharing, training and recruitment of teachers as well as coordinating with AET on issues of administering exams and issuing certificates. Findings on vocational education: On outcome 1, the technical /vocational centre achieved enrolment targets by up to 99% with an enrolment of 864 over the 3 years. A total of 606 students were retained in the centre with 260 having successfully completed. In 2012, the institution was offering 5 courses. This increased to 13 courses by the end of 2015 which was a significant expansion in training courses offered with females mainly taking perceived non-technical courses such as tailoring and saloon/beauty/heena while men mainly took up technical courses such as mechanics, woodwork and electrical installation. On infrastructure, the vocational centre met most of the targets in the ambitious scale up plan. 6 out of 7 classrooms were constructed and 6 halls as planned were constructed as well as 2 toilets. In addition, some rehabilitation work was also done to the library and the textile practical hall which were destroyed during the occupation of the institution by the Ethiopian forces during a counter attack to the militia group. On outcome 2, the enrolment and retention of girls on the vocational centre met expectation with 391 girls and with a low drop-out rate of 11.3% over the 3 years. This was against a target drop out of less than 30%. The vocational centre established one peace club, with a total of 25 members. The plan was to have one peace club added per year meaning only 1 out of 4 was done, thus failing to meet the target and therefore not adequately contributing to peace building efforts. But the interaction of students through the peace club from different clans is a good start to building cohesion among students. It was noted that 60.3% of the graduates at the vocational centre were organized in cooperatives, and supplied with kits for practice start up. The start-up kits were however not sufficient for all the members of groups of 5 (each group got 4 kits), a gap that left one graduate without. However, through the cooperatives, proactive groups were able to work jointly and purchase additional kits for their members through pooling of resources, sharing of costs such as rent and joint business investments. Outcome 3, the vocational training centre has a CEC that provides oversight constituting of 11 members (6 women). The local authority engagement is quite limited mainly due to cited reasons of turnover and lack of interest. However local elders are fairly involved and have been helpful in resolving crisis such as during the occupation of the institution by Ethiopian forces in Aug. 2015. The regional ministry of education is not quite functional and does not exert any influence on the operations of the vocational centre. The GEN similarly is not active on matters of vocational training though the local partner CERID is an active member of the umbrella network Recommendations: Based on the results, various recommendations have been suggested for programme improvement. These include; community mobilization for improved enrolment in secondary schools, review of teacher incentives for vocational centre and secondary schools to increase teacher retention, regularity in learning supplies and strengthened training for CECs. More attention on quality and equitability of the tools during the training and post–graduation are recommended. The schools and vocational centre needs to pursue feasible strategies for sustainability which remains a big gap in the whole project. This can include coming up with differential school fees payment plans where those able can pay. The vocational centres should strengthen the income generating units as they develop skills that are marketable. There is need to ensure the vocational centre courses are rationalized to address high potential skills requirements in terms of employment (formal or self-employment) and potential for generating sustainable livelihoods. There is also need for more secondary schools to have at least one secondary school per district since at the moment the schools are concentrated in only 3 districts out of 6. NCA should lead the education stakeholders in further strengthening the GEN and the regional ministry of education and find ways to incentivize the staff of these institutions to stay on board and support the education work across the Gedo region. On the programmatic part of NCA, it is important for NCA to strengthen its field level monitoring of local partners so that major challenges such as ban by a militia group are remedied and project intervention is not materially affected. Comments from Norwegian Church Aid: NCA is working towards ensuring that the recommendations from the evaluation and lessons learnt will be prioritised and will serve to inform programming in the new strategic period.