South Sudan has one of the world’s highest proportions of out of school children, with over 2.8 million children - almost 3 in 5 children – outside of the classroom. Pandemic-related school closures sent an additional two million students home. The situation of girls is particularly alarming as they represent the largest group of out-of-school children and are at a higher risk of suffering from gender-based violence, forced marriage and exploitation.
Providing quality education to South Sudan’s children is hindered by political instability, a struggling economy, extreme poverty, food insecurity, armed conflict and displacement. Protracted violence has devastated South Sudan’s education system. Since 2013, more than 150 schools were used for military purposes and a third of all schools in the country have been either damaged or destroyed.
South Sudan’s youth face restricted opportunities in an over-stretched education system. The country’s education system consists of 4,564 schools of which the vast majority are general education schools and around 120 are secondary schools. There is only one university and one functional teacher training college.
Enrollment and regular participation in school provides children with an essential sense of normalcy following the years of violence, displacement and poverty that the children of South Sudanese children have endured. GPE's current education sector program implementation grant of US$41,700,000 aims to reduce the number of out-of-school children by 15% by increasing equitable access to quality education.
This will be achieved by identifying, profiling and enrolling out-of-school children in target areas that have a high number of children who have been displaced by conflict and children of pastoralist communities.
With these efforts, more children in South Sudan will have a better chance to escape the cycle of poverty and build better lives.
As the world emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, the Transforming Education Summit, convened by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, will take place in New York on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, during the high-level week.
The Summit aims to place education at the top of the global political agenda and will provide an opportunity to gather major education actors, such as Ministers of Education, UN Organizations, youth, CSOs and private sector partners.
At the Transforming Education Summit, GPE is calling on world leaders to urgently fund 12 years of quality education for all children.
00:00:02 – 00:00:40 – B-roll – Mangbondo School exteriors, classrooms
00:00:41 – 00:01:33 – INTV – Anite Margret James – 18-year-old student
00:01:34 – 00:02:23 – INTV – Kutio Wilson Martin – Science Teacher, Mangbondo School
00:02:24 – 00:03:48 – B-roll – St. Bakhita School exteriors, classrooms
00:03:49 – 00:04:41 – B-roll – Salawa Emmanuel – Daily life
00:04:42 – 00:05:48 – INTV – Salawa Emmanuel – 16-year-old student
00:05:49 – 00:06:26 – INTV – Adam Gabriel – Teacher, St. Bakhita School
Anite Margret James – 18-year-old student
I was not having a good time because I thought that they would not build a school again. Many students, they're going to the garden (read: farm) (instead) and then at that time I missed my friends, even my teachers and I didn't know if education would be there again, I would think about my life: how would I be in my future, without going to school.
I was very happy, very proud to hear the school is open, so, now I am very happy because I'm going to school, I'm seeing my people, they are there finally, now I can learn, that's what I have.
How I think education can help me: if I'm going to school, I will succeed, if I open my mind and my head to hear what my teacher is telling me then I think I will be a person in the future who can help, that's what I think.
Kutio Wilson Martin – Science Teacher, Mangbondo School
During conflict education helps the country, the community, to keep up to date with information. As pupils get to class, it helps them not to focus so much on the sound of the gun or take part in other criminal activities.
After the conflict, the minds of the learners, they will be able to forget what has happened, because we as teachers, we’re not politicians, we’re an independent body, our focus is on education, we build them mentally, we make sure they forget what has happened during the conflict.
Salawa Emmanuel – 16-year-old student
I was about one year out of school, because in 2013, there was a war and so many things drew people from school, and they closed the school.
I was not feeling (happy), because I was thinking about the school, when saw other people, as they were working, I felt that, ah they will close the school for me. It means I will not go like them. It made me remember my time at school.
I was happy and I jumped that day, I ate lots of foods…
My hope for the future is, I want to go to school, finish it and become a doctor, and help my parents, and if I see my teacher on the roadside, I’ll help him.
Adam Gabriel – Teacher, St. Bakhita School
During conflict and after conflict, the aim of education, the goal of education is to build a peaceful society, to bring up a good citizen of South Sudan.
Let me say, last year, our enrollment was 1222 and this year the enrollment has increased, it’s reached 1300. And as we’re talking now, parents are still coming to register their children.