Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced the country will hire a record 3,000 new teachers to try to bridge a wide education gap. The move follows a four-fold increase in the Somali ministry of education’s budget for 2023. But critics note funding for education is still poor, and that insecurity and poverty have pushed the majority of Somali children out of school. Mohamud said Somalia this year will hire 3,000 more teachers to address a shortage that has hindered learning. In an interview with VOA, Somalia’s Ministry of Education Director General Mohamed Hassan says the teachers are sorely needed. He says one thousand teachers are on the government payroll in Mogadishu and all the regional states combined for the past five years. Hassan says the ministry’s latest report shows only a quarter of school-age children have access to education. Hassan says the new teachers will be recruited with priority given to areas of Somalia that have little access to education.