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The education system of Puntland comprises two years of Early Childhood Development (ECD), eight years of primary education (four years of lower primary and four years of upper primary) and four years of secondary education. University education will comprise an average of four years (see Figure 1). In essence, the education system in the Puntland State can be described as a 2-4-4-4 system. The policy also recognizes non-formal and technical and vocational education as integral parts of the Puntland Education System.

The Government recognizes the existence of Koranic schools that focus on teaching basic Islamic values and early literacy in Arabic to young children.

The Government, however, also recognizes the limitations of these establishments and is committed to improving teaching and learning in them as well as to widening their curriculum and quality.

The Government will ensure that Koranic schools are regularly supervised and supported.

ECD , primary education and non-formal education programs fall within the category of basic education. Basic education equips learners with the essential skills of literacy and numeracy upon which other learning and skills can be built. Koranic education will form a component of ECD

ECD is offered to children in the 0-5 age bracket. The focus of ECD is on stimulating and developing the cognitive, affective and psycho-motor skills of the young child and his/her holistic development.

ECD will also prepare children for school and ease the transition from home to primary school

Primary school education is generally offered to learners in the 6-14 year age bracket.

The primary education level is comprised of a four-year, Grade 1-4 elementary cycle and a four-year Grade 5-8, intermediate cycle. The Puntland Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) assesses the completion of this stage and determines entrance into secondary school.

Non-Formal Education (NFE) refers to a broad set of learning opportunities that are offered to young persons and adults. These include vocational skills training, adult literacy, community health education and agricultural extension activities.

Secondary school education is offered for four years to learners in the 15-18 year age bracket and leads to a Puntland Secondary School Certificate Examination (PSCE). The broad aims of secondary education are two fold: (a) to provide its beneficiaries with the knowledge to pursue further education; and (b) to enable them to acquire basic life skills required to earn a living.

Tertiary education refers to education offered on completion of secondary education. The purpose of tertiary education is to assist the Puntland State meet high level of human resource requirements for all sectors of the economy. Teacher Education is grouped for convenience under Tertiary education.

Technical/Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is designed to contribute to occupational proficiency through the inculcation of appropriate skills and training in the development and application of indigenous technology. It also responds to the basic occupational needs of its recipients.

Language of Instruction
Somali, Arabic and English are the recognized official languages in Somalia .

The medium of instruction in primary education from Grades 1-8 is Somali. English will be introduced as a subject from Grade 5.

The medium of instruction (except for in Islamic, Somali and Arabic languages studies) at the secondary school level will be English. Arabic and Islamic studies will be taught in the Arabic language through all grades.

The medium of instruction for tertiary education, except for Arabic and Faculty of Sharia, will be English.

Given the important role that language plays in national and cultural development, active encouragement will be given to the promotion of Somali language and culture at all levels of education.

The Government also recognizes the need for a language of communication with the outside world. Consequently, the Government will actively support the teaching of English and Arabic as international languages. In this regard, English language teaching will be encouraged as a tool for accessing the technologies of the world, whilst Arabic teaching will be encouraged for its cultural, commercial and regional importance and as a vehicle for the primary religion of the state, Islam.


Education System
Primary Education
Secondary Education
Higher Education
Vocational Education
Non Formal Education
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