The Fragility of Higher Education in the Post-Conflict Somaliland: A Dialogue
20 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2016
Date Written: August 31, 2016
This article is based on a three years of hands-on experience, informal interviews with key educationists, lecturers and Somali students; and insider-outsider observations of Somaliland University Education. Its goal is to identify higher education gaps and possible pathways that could resurrect quality higher education. The article was analyzed based on desk and document review assisted by personal ethnic observation and participatory learning both in the boardroom and classroom.
Evidence shows that an over 80% educated elite fled the internal Somali conflicts before 1991. Multiple increases in the number of universities in the aftermath of the civil war have attracted teachers with less or without any teacher training. Quality higher education and quality teaching are the highest priority in Somaliland Universities reflected in the very few technocrats imported from East Africa and across the globe who are not enough to fill the gap with very few quality local teachers. Local teachers not well prepared to do the difficult job of teaching, research and consulting because they are either un-or-under-qualified.
Vulnerable university instructors and absence of national framework that regulates higher education comes with structural challenges of: infrastructure, policy, curriculum and teaching, accountability and; unemployment and vulnerability which are discussed at length. An etic outlook of Somaliland’s higher education is also laid out. They impede practical education and breeds double vulnerability to the graduates and future economy since the future of any country depends on its teachers. The fate of Somaliland education is not only a product of their own making but also attributable to neoliberal policies. The article outlines a number of policy recommendations in relation to post-conflict societies around that could guide the Somaliland Ministry of Education and policy on possible realities that could move this country forward.
Keywords: fragility, higher education, post-conflict, commoditizing, neoliberalism, policy, structural operation and Somaliland
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