The ninth year since the introduction of standardised examinations in Somalia kicked off on Saturday, as form four students across the country sat for the Unified National Examinations.
The Ministry of Education and examination officials oversaw the start of the exercise in the capital, Mogadishu, and all the Federal Member States except for Puntland, which has yet to ascribe to the system.
A total of 33,700 students are sitting for the exams in all the participating regions, with the examinations taking place in 114 centres countrywide. The first standardised examinations were introduced in 2015, marking a significant shift in the country’s education system.
Before the introduction of standardised examinations, school groups issued different exam models depending on their syllabus, including those from Kenya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. The umbrellas, which still operate, continue to issue their respective exams, but students must ultimately sit for the government-administered exams.
The introduction of standardised examinations was aimed at improving the quality of education in Somalia and ensuring that students receive a uniform education regardless of the school they attend. The move was also aimed at addressing the issue of exam leakage, which had been a major challenge in the education sector.
Over the years, the government has taken steps to improve the education system in Somalia, including the construction of new schools, the recruitment and training of teachers, and the provision of learningmaterials and resources. The introduction of standardised examinations has been one of the key measures aimed at improving the quality of education in the country.
The Unified National Examinations are an important milestone for the students who have been preparing for the exams for months. The exams are expected to test the students’ knowledge in various subjects, including mathematics, English, science, and social studies.
The Ministry of Education has assured students that the exams will be conducted fairly and transparently, with strict measures in place to prevent any form of malpractice.
The introduction of standardised examinations has not been without its challenges. Some schools and education groups have been resistant to the new system, and there have been concerns about the quality of the exams and the resources available to students.
However, the government has remained committed to the standardised examinations and has taken steps to address the challenges facing the education sector. The government has also worked closely with international partners to support its efforts in improving the quality of education in the country.
As the exams continue, students and education officials will be closely monitoring the results to assess the progress made inimproving the quality of education in Somalia.