Education in Somalia

Education in Somalia Last updated on Monday 26th April 2010

Education up to the civil war of 1990 was free and compulsory. A comprehensive government programme was able to raise the literacy rate from about 5% in 1970 to 60% in the mid-1980s. At this time, elementary schools numbered nearly 300,000 pupils and there were good secondary schools and vocational institutions.

Unfortunately, because of years of civil war, the educational system has virtually collapsed and most schools have been closed. Even the Somali National University, which was founded as early as 1954 in Mogadishu, had to close its doors to some 5,000 students.

At the time of writing (September 2001) there seems to be a slow return to normalcy.


Literacy: 24 % (1995)
male: 36 % (1995)
female: 14 % (1995)

School enrolment
Primary total: 11 % (1990-96)
male: 15 % (1990-97)
female: 8 % (1990-97)
male: 9 % (1990-96)
female: 5 % (1990-96)
Tertiary: 2 % (1996)

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