Bar ama Baro (BAB) "Teach or Learn"

Speeches Shim

BAB (“Teach or learn”) is a five-year, accelerated basic education program to bring more than 100,000 out-of-school children back into schools. These out-of-school youth, many going to school for the first time, are often many years behind students enrolled in regular public schools. To close this gap, BAB helps their students gain basic literacy and numeracy skills along with other essential skills that they will need to lead productive and healthy lives.


Somalia hosts one of the world’s largest out-of-school populations, with nearly three million – out of five million – children not enrolled in any kind of school. Over two decades of conflict resulted in the collapse of Somalia’s education system, which now suffers from an insufficient number of qualified teachers, poor infrastructures, and inadequate funding.

Basic reading and math skills are the foundation for all future learning and earning. Through BAB, USAID provides over 100,000 out-of-school children with foundational literacy, basic math, and life skills in a shorter time, enabling them to re-enter the formal school system. BAB improves children’s reading by training teachers in innovative, student-centered teaching approaches, and developing high-quality teaching and learning materials.

When students graduate from BAB schools, they will be ready to either rejoin public formal schools or they will develop skills that they will need to invest in their own lives.


BAB targets out-of-school children and youth ages 9 to 16 years old in 188 schools across 11 districts in Somalia. BAB ensures that youth, especially from marginalized communities, will be able to access equitable, safe, conflict-sensitive education. In 2021, BAB enrolled nearly 40,000 students.

BAB is also recruiting more women teachers. Women teachers will support girls to remain in schools and will also serve as role models to both girls and boys on the positive roles that women can have in their communities.

The program also supports the government of Somalia’s education efforts by opening accelerated basic education schools, as well as informing instructors about inclusive teaching methods.


BAB is partnering with the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Higher Education and Federal Member States’ Ministries of Education to develop and strengthen the Accelerated Basic Education (ABE) policy and curriculum framework. The ABE policy and framework will guide Somalia’s efforts to reach out-of-school children and youth with flexible education and training options and transition these students into the formal education system or vocational education and training opportunities.

BAB also provides technical assistance and builds partnerships with Ministry of Education counterparts to deliver, monitor, and regulate accredited flexible education opportunities for out-of-school children and youth.

BAB is also partnering with local communities to rehabilitate classrooms, build temporary learning centers, and construct schools to allow more children to safely attend schools within their communities.


  • Funding Level: $49 million
  • Duration: October 2019 – October 2024
  • Activity Locations: 11 Districts in Hirshabelle, Jubaland, and South West States and Banadir Regional Authority
  • Implementing Partners: Creative Associates, Save the Children, ORB International, SIL LEAD, Formal Education Network for Private Schools, Hano Academy, Himilo Relief and Development Association
  • Key Partners: Federal Ministry of Education, Culture, and Higher Education and Federal Member States’ Ministries of Education
Issuing Country 
Monday, May 30, 2022 - 8:30am

Last updated: September 08, 2022