Final Report of the Somali Interactive Radio Instruction Program
The project used Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) accompanied by capacity building, partnerships with communities and governments, and the provision of educational resources to create sound, sustainable education services. Begun in 2006, SIRIP originally focused on improving quality in existing schools, later shifting its emphasis to providing access to quality education for out-of- school, displaced, and otherwise marginalized children and youth. SIRIP collaborated closely with numerous Somali institutions and individuals to build capacity for the continued growth and improvement of the country's educational services. With the support of its network of NGO partners, many of them local NGOs, SIRIP trained over 9,300 teachers in basic teaching competencies and over 500 principals or school leaders in school planning, management, and pedagogical support.
Roughly 3,000 IRI learners in Somaliland, Puntland, and the South Central Zone (SCZ) took a pre-test on basic Somali literacy and math skills in October and November of 2006. SIRIP measured student learning achievement in 2010 and 2011, this time comparing students in non-formal IRI learning centers with those in formal schools not receiving IRI. The assessment in mathematics and Somali literacy was intended to examine the effectiveness of SIRIP's methods of teaching and learning among children who do not have an opportunity to enroll in regular elementary schools. Comparative indicators used in the tests were: 1) academic achievement gaps between children enrolled in non-IRI school versus those in the IRI schools; 2) gender comparison between boys and girls; 3) age comparison; 4) rural versus urban learners; and finally between children whose teacher was a female versus children whose teacher was a male.
Two studies of student learning achievement demonstrate that participating in SIRIP programming significantly improved learning gains. In contexts where little or no educational system existed, it was often the only source of education available to children. In a 2007 assessment, first-graders in schools supported by SIRIP earned higher post-test scores in Somali literacy and mathematics than first-graders who did not take part in the program, with statistically significant results. A 2010 study concluded that out-of-school children attending grade 1 through 3 lessons in SIRIP learning centers achieved equal or greater learning gains compared to children in formal schools.SIRIP increased access to education in a country with some of the world's lowest enrollment figures. The program reached many of the 40,000 out-of-school, displaced, and marginalized learners by opening learning centers in camps of internally displaced persons (IDPs).