Introduction

In 1986, the Somali Government approved regulations on the establishment of privately owned educational institutions/ umbrellas (articles 42 & 48). Since then a great number of primary and secondary schools, run by educational foundations and associations, have been formed in the country to provide the young generation with quality education.

Since the collapse of the Central Government in Somalia in late 1991, role of the private education has been increasing to fill the gap left by the Ministry of Education of the ousted regime from power. However, there have been a lot of obstacles on the way forward such as the following ones:

1- Lack of unified and clarified educational philosophy

2- Absence of a proper/ appropriate plan

3- Various educational curricula in the schools

4- Shortage/ Scarcity of tools, text books and teacher guides

5- In adequacy of qualified and trained teachers for the tasks they have to perform

6- Improper schools buildings as educational places (most of them)

7- Lack of centralized examinations

8- Absence of accuracy monitoring and supervision system for the institutions involved in education

9- Weakness in the coordination and cooperation on the educational efforts of the schools

10- Lack of unified certificates recognized by the concerned other educational sides.

In response to these problems/ obstacles, there have been sub-meetings between the foundations and associations involved or interested in developing the private education in Somalia to find common ground for the implementation of their task. Finally, an official meeting was held, in Mogadishu, the capital on 19-09-1998, by 14 foundations and associations run more than 50 schools, with around 24000 students, throughout the Somali regions. In this meeting, the participants discussed ways of improving the previous efforts on coordination and cooperation/ collaboration between the foundations/ associations involved in developing the private education.

In the end of the meeting, the participants agreed to hold further meetings to discuss the following topics:

1- Study of the obstacles that hamper/prevent from running or achieving satisfactory educational work

2- Study of ways of helping overcome these obstacles/ difficulties

3- Thinking about the possibility of the establishment of an umbrella for the formal private education in Somalia

4- Review of the coordination system in the educational efforts made by the associations and foundations involved in education

5- Improvement in the contact and collaboration between the associations and foundations in one side, and between them and other national, regional and international institutions in the other side

As a result of consequent meetings, sub-committees were formed to prepare Regulations and any other necessary thing for the establishment of an educational umbrella composed of all sides interested in the topic

It took approximately three months for the heads of associations and foundations, meeting weekly to exchange ideas and discuss the suggestions put forward by the sub-committees until they agreed on the final wording of the Regulations of the Formal Private Education Network composed of 18 articles.

At last, the Regulations were approved by a majority and signed by the participant chairmen and directors, representing 14 member associations/ foundations of the network.

Articles of the Regulations of the Formal Private Education Network in Somalia

Article 1

Name

The official name of this network is the Formal Private Education Network in Somalia (FPENS).

Article 2

Definition

FPENS is a privately established educational network founded by associations and foundations involved in the field of education development in Somalia.

Article 3

Emblem

FPENS emblem is composed of an open book on a saddle; on the book, a pen and shining candle; upon the candle, a white star in two framed branches.

Article 4

Language

Both Somali and Arabic are used as administrative languages. The English language is also used if necessary.

Article 5

Headquarters

The main office/ headquarter is in Mogadishu, the capital, and branch offices could be opened in the other regions and districts.

Article 6

Philosophy of Education of the Network

Specifications of the education philosophy of the Network confine to the following points:

a- Education based on the principles of Islam that relay upon knowledge and work

b- Sources of education/ knowledge:

Through inspiration (the Holly Koran and Sunna- sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him)

Through earned knowledge via studding the world

c- Centralized and harmonized curriculum which qualifies the learners to gain basic skills that will enable them to obtain basic skills after finishing the planned educational stages to develop their country

d- Translation of the school learning subjects from the Somali environment and culture.

e- Paying interest in the application of the knowledge

f- Paying interest in the girls’ education and qualifying them for basic career in the life of the Somali families

g- Focus/concentration on the student

h- Teaching a curriculum encourages self-education and scientific thought

Article 7

Vision

FPENS has a vision of getting a community safe and free from community diseases socially, morally and spiritually.

Article 8

Mission

FPENS mission is to provide high quality education to the Somali community.

Article 9

Goals or General Objectives

FPENS has long term goals to achieve such as to:

a- contribute to building the Somali community highly developed in the field of education;

b- endeavor to get a unified and modernized/ advanced curriculum;

c- make the young generation firmly related to the Islamic religion, and create patriotism in their souls through education;

d- Get recognized certificates of FPENS equivalent to those in the other countries;

e- build/develop capacity of the management and teachers;

f- spread the principles: peace, culture, harmony, cooperation, productive work and environment protection, and

g- increase students’ abilities physically, mentally, morally and culturally

Article 10

Methodology

To achieve its objectives, FPENS follows all legitimate ways such as these:

a- Establishment of schools and institutes

b- Holding of meetings and conferences

c- Holding of seminars

d- Arrangement of summer camps

e- Organization of competition, workshops, etc.

Article 11

Membership

a- There are two kinds of membership:

Full membership: every association or foundation which fulfilled the membership terms described in letter (b) of this article has right to be a full member.

Honorary membership: every one who cooperates with the Network is eligible for the Honorary membership.

b- Eligibility for full membership:

Being member association or foundation run a formal school or schools in the country

Being an experienced, no less than three years, association or foundation in the field of education

Being complied with the Regulations of the Network.

Being an association or foundation run schools that can fulfill these conditions

· Carry out no less than four working hours in teaching per day

· Practice specific academic year of no less than 10 months

· Teach all subjects of the formal schools

· Practice specific educational stages(6,3,3)

· Have schools with a minimum capacity of 6 classrooms and 150 students

Article 12

Loss of Membership

The member association/ foundation lose its membership if:

a- Violated Regulations of the Network

b- Did not pay the dues and subscriptions for a year

c- With-draw from the membership

d- Absented, without justification, from three subsequent meetings of the General Assembly meetings

Article 13

Administrative Structure of the Network

1- General Assembly:

a- Definition of General Assembly

The General Assembly, composed of representatives of the member associations/ foundations, is the highest authority of the Network. For every association/ foundation, one vote in the meetings of the General Assembly.

b- Responsibilities of the General Assembly

Responsibilities of the General Assembly are to:

Draw up plans and general policies of the Network

Approve Regulations of the Network after amendment

Elect or re-elect the Board of Directors

Approve the annual budget of the Network put forward by the Board of Directors

Approve membership of the association/ foundation candidates submitted by the board of directors.

Monitor/supervise and follow up how the Board of Directors perform their duties

Withdraw the confidence from the Board of Directors if they don’t perform their responsibilities properly by a majority of a two third of the General Assembly members participated in the meeting

c- Meetings of the General Assembly:

The chairman of the Network presides the meetings of the General Assembly

The secretary of the Board of Directors undertakes the secretariat duties of the meetings of the General Assembly.

General Assembly meetings can be held if a two third of the General Assembly members are present.

Decisions should be taken/ made by absolute majority. In case of equality of the votes, the chairman of the Network (chairman of the Board of Directors) or his acting has right to decide in all meetings.

For every member, one vote when voting, and no one has right to alter his vote after casting.

The chairman of the Network or his acting summons to hold emergency meetings. Also a one-third of the General Assembly members can request so.

Agendas put forward by the chairman of the network or his acting will be discussed in the normal and emergency meetings. Moreover, it is possible to discuss agendas/ items put forward by the members.

General Assembly meetings take place once a year unless there is an emergency situation.

d- System of the Elections

Steps of the elections are to:

Form/ choose election committee composed of three members of the General Assembly members.

The candidate for the membership of the Board of Directors should be a chairman of an association/ foundation for at least 7 years.

Submit list of the candidates to the election committee.

Members of the General Assembly vote secretly to elect the Board of Directors from the candidate members.

Count the votes soon after the voting to announce the result, where the votes mainly will be for the members of the Board of Directors according to the order.

2- Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, composed of 16 members -14 of them are official members of the General Assembly and 2 are honorary members (former chairmen of the network), is the administrative machine officially responsible for the supervision and making sure that every thing is done correctly, and the plans and general policies that decided by the General Assembly are implemented.

a- Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

Responsibilities of the Board of Directors are to:

Elect the chairman of the Network (chairman of the Board of Directors), secretary of the Board of Directors and head of the finance

Prepare the annual budget and submit it to the General Assembly

Prepare the final financial report

Propose candidate associations, foundations and organizations for the network membership and submit to the General Assembly

Give principle memberships to the new associations

Follow up and monitor/ supervise how the chairman and his two deputes, secretary of the Board of Directors and head of finance perform their administrative duties

Withdraw the confidence from the administration of the Board

Approve the employment of the Executive Director and his group

Task a private audit or with examining the business and financial records of the Network

b- Meetings of the Board of Directors:

– The chairman of the Network or one of his two deputies’ pre sides the meetings of the board of directors.

– Board of Directors meetings can be held if a two-third of the Board members is present.

– The secretary of the Board of Directors undertakes the secretariat duties of the meetings of the Board of Directors.

– Decisions should be taken/ made by absolute majority. In case of equality of the votes, the chairman of the Network (chairman of the Board of Directors) or his acting has right to decide in all meetings.

– Decisions related to the confidence withdrawal from the chairman of the Network (chairman of the Board of Directors), his two deputies, secretary of the Board of Directors and head of the finance, should be taken by a two-third of the Board members.

– For every member, a single vote when voting, and no one has right to alter his vote after casting.

– The chairman of the Network or his acting summons to hold emergency meetings. Also a one-third of the members of the Board can request so.

– Board meetings take place once every three month (quarterly) unless there is an emergency situation.

c- System of the Elections

-Forming/ choosing an election committee composed of 3 members of the General Assembly members.

– Submission of the list of the candidates to the election committee

– Duration of the chairman of the Network (chairman of the Board of Directors), his two deputies, and secretary of the Board of Directors and head of the finance is 3years renewable.

– Counting the votes soon after the voting to announce the result, where the votes mainly will be for the members of the Board of Directors according to the order/ regulation.

d- Specifications and Conditions of the Members and Deputies of the Board of Directors

He should be/have:

A chairman of an association/ foundation

A university graduate

A minimum experience of 5 years in administration

Good conduct and good reputation in the community

Good at either the Arabic language or the English language in addition to the Somali language

Old no less than 35 years

e- Responsibilities of the Chairman of the Network

Responsibilities of the chairman of the Network are to:

Represent the Network in the local, regional and international conferences and meetings

Sign agreements with other sides

Sign all external correspondence

Be chairman of both of the General Assembly and Board of Directors

Supervise and follow up how better offices of the Network perform their duties

Issue all administrative, financial, etc. programs and decisions on condition that they do not contradict the articles of the Regulations

Authorize and approve spending of the money of the Network according to the financial regulation

Summon for holding normal and emergency meetings of the General Assembly as well as the meetings of the Board of Directors

Authorize secondary and intermediate certificates of the Network

Nominate administrators and employees of the offices, and dismiss them after approval of the Board of Directors

Speak officially in the name/ on behalf of the Network

f- Responsibilities of the Two Deputies of the Chairman of the Network

The 1st deputy or the 2nd, in the absence of the first, represents the chairman of the Network in the following situations:

In his absence from office for travel or illness

In his resignation, dismissal or death

In the Network chairman’s attribution responsibility, according to the administrative structure, to his deputies.

g- Responsibilities of the Secretary of the Board of Directors

Responsibilities of the Secretary of the Board of Directors are to:

Arrange meetings of the General Assembly and Board of Directors

Run deeds of the Board of Directors

Submit the periodical reports to the Chairman of the Network

Keep the files and registers of the General Assembly and Board of Directors

h- Responsibilities of the Head of Finance:

Supervision of the activities of the Financial Office

Following up movement of the financial lists/ statement of account and offering them to the Board of Directors

Establishment of financial sources

Arrangement of the income and expenditure documents/ deeds

Submission of periodical financial reports to the Board of Directors

Article 14

Source of Income

Finance for the network comes from the following sources:

a- Subscription from the member associations and foundations

b- Unconditional donations from donors, governments and organizations

c- Tithes, gifts, alms and endowment funds

d- Income from investments

Article 15

Amendment to the Regulations

Amendment can only be made to the Regulations of the Network after the approval of a two-third of the present members of the General Assembly.

Article 16

Properties of the Network

All properties paid by a member association/ foundation or another side, in the name of the network, are regarded as a donation to the network, and the donor has no right to take back/ reclaim them because they have become part of the things owned by the network.

Article 17

Dissolution of the Network

FPENS can only be dissolved in the following cases:

a- If a two-third of the General Assembly members of the Network endorse/ approve the dissolution

b- If a legitimate court, issues the dissolution

Article 18

Application of the Regulations

The Regulations become effective after the approval and signature of the FPENS General Assembly to it.