Home | News    Thursday 23 June 2011

South Sudan calls for more financial support for education


June 22, 2011 (JUBA) - The government of the oil-producing region of South Sudan on Wednesday called on the international community to provide more financial support to education in the region, as the region approaches statehood on 9 July.

South Sudan’s education minister Michael Milli Hussein told reporters on Wednesday that resources were overstretched and it was challenging time for the government.

“We have a lot competing priorities, ranging from Security to building of physical infrastructure and enrolment of school children”, the minister said.

“Education is one of the important service sectors in any country. It is a vital sector for it plays a greater role in building a better future. This was why our late leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabior, used to constantly emphasise on the significance of education”, explained Minister Hussein.

He quoted Garang as saying, “it is through education people and countries build the skills needed to strengthen self reliance, expand choices and create shared prosperity”.

The senior government figure appealed for financial support following a similar call made by the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization upon the international community to act with a greater sense of urgency and resolve in supporting the development of a national education system in South Sudan.

In a policy paper entitled ’Building a better future: Education for an independent South Sudan’ launched on 21 June, UNSCO, said in a press statement, in the regional capital of Juba, it documented the scale of educational deprivation across much of the region, saying ’Over one million primary school-age children are out of school’ – around half of the total.

The new country has the world’s lowest recorded of enrolment rate in secondary education. Deep gender disparities mean that fewer than 400 girls make it to the last grade of secondary school, while just 8% of women are literate’, the policy paper said.

It noted that with a national population slightly larger than cities like New York, Paris and London, all of South Sudan’s secondary school students could be accommodated in around five schools in one of those cities – and the girls in the last grade of secondary school in half-a-dozen classrooms.

“It is hard to overstate the scale of the challenge,” commented UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, “but independence brings with it an unprecedented opportunity to build a good quality education system. The people of South Sudan cannot afford to see that opportunity squandered – and neither can the international community.”

Since the peace settlement in 2005, South Sudan has witnessed some extraordinary gains in education. The number of children in school has tripled. Hundreds of new classrooms have been built. And more teachers are being recruited and trained. Yet the reconstruction effort in South Sudan falls far short of the standards set in other post-conflict countries, including Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

The policy paper is particularly critical of the slow rate of aid disbursement through a pooled donor fund.

“The overall aid effort suffers from under-financing, fragmentation, weak coordination and a failure to put in place long-term financing commitments” said Kevin Watkins, Director of the EFA Global Monitoring Report.

The paper also called on the government of South Sudan to step up its own efforts. More robust financial management systems and a strengthened commitment to overcoming inequalities between different regions and groups, a major source of conflict, are highlighted as priorities, along with action to tackle gender disparities.

“South Sudan cannot afford to waste the talents, creativity and energy of its young girls,” commented Bokova.

While recognizing the daunting scale of the challenge, the UNESCO report describes independence as a unique opportunity to set South Sudan on a new trajectory towards more dynamic growth, shared prosperity and common security.

“Education is one of the most vital foundations for a human development take-off in South Sudan – and the time to put those foundations in place is right now,” the survey said.

The paper calls for the creation of a new multilateral fund to back national reconstruction. It also urges the United Nations and the wider international community to act more decisively in protecting the peace settlement.


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  • 23 June 2011 07:28, by Quol Quot

    Aleu Ayeny ran away from reporters and journalists yesterday when he was ask about few simple questions. Just simple questions like :

    1) what did the government do with 4.5 billions donated in OSLO in 2005?
    2) What are the plans of the government will leads to what we fought for?
    3) Why arrest journalists like Nhial Bol when they tell the truth, isn’t this part of the freedom we fought with Khartoum that you are trying to deny them now?
    4) Why do you want to replace elected public officials with friends of Kiir who will not listen or do anything to the people who elected them?
    5) With the above, are you not now representing the Khartoum regime in the face of our brother?
    6) Why is there no term limit in the constitution? Is this dictatorship? Will this not be a recipe for wars in the country?
    Since Aleu was clueless and thought that the whole country is in his finger tips, he insulted everybody and worked, away, what a shame. This explains why we are having a hard time in everything in the government. In fact, the government is full of people worst then Aleu Ayeny.

    UN is tired because there is correlation between free money donated from international community and corruption in South Sudan. The more free money we get, the more corruption we see!

    What have we done with the money donated since 2005? Stop begging in the name of poor people who don’t even get a single cent from the donation.

    Quol Quot

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  • 23 June 2011 08:03, by Bush

    Yes, educate young Dinkas for better South Sudan because their current elders seemed to have bought their PhD and masters from the markets and are misleading the Southerners.

    There is no job ethics and professionalism been practiced at all in the various positions that they are holding. Corruptions and nepotism are the orders of day.

    So let H.E minister of education concentrate on educating the young ones may be they will understand better than their illiterate and corrupt uncles.

    Christians United for Israel

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  • 23 June 2011 08:13, by Naked Dinka

    Everything international community? for how long can we depend on them? Cleaning Juba, we called for international community help,for relief ;international community, for clean water ;international community. How is the billions of money from south’s share? Do you think the money you asked for would benefit the poor? Not at all. The big fish is right there ready to to prey on little ones. The corrupt goss is salivating like dog for every money that comes in. If kiir is not for democracy why international community borders,with his goverment, or rather they should work for his downfall. one of the core principles of SPLA was democracy, but none is happening. Kiir wanted to rule south as Museven does, with no term limits, do you know where he gets the ideas from;Museven.

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    • 23 June 2011 08:40, by Lamija Milaja

      Jenges (dinkas) have spoiled south Sudan. kirr has faied with distinction to rule south Sudan, everything is international community.

      I wonder even if their wives have problem they will call international community. kirr is only good in suppressing south Sudanese, protecting corrupt GoSS officials from his tribe, appointing on tribal basis, and above all accusing his deputy when the deputy was abroad on official duty.

      I have never seen an incompetent government like this one of south Sudan under kirr’s illiterate, dull and corrupt leadership.

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      • 23 June 2011 09:55, by Thomas Andrew Hissen

        I got shack if the newly government use to beg money from International community using the name of innoncent people so that they use this money for their own corruption and sent their own children out isde the country and get good education, since the agreement was sign in 2005 there are so many million billion of dollars been donated to the government of south sudan for different project include education is the top agenda and where is this money goes, why there are street children on the road in this ten state of south sudan, why can they make free primary school for this children and yet begging for money from our sider imaging is this a government we tolk of corruption these senior and inner party to the presidnet of the south sudan who are doing this corruption, Imaging the University Juba upto now still closed why where is this money that UNDP donated to them ministry of education,
        My opted if the internatonal community need to donated money let them not giving them direct cash better they should constructed the school and accompany this street children who they cannot effort to go to school,

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  • 23 June 2011 10:18, by Chol de Kwot

    South Sudan education policy and priorities need review after July 9.
    The country needs fewer public universities, more polytechnic education institutions, more primary and post-primary (secondary) schools.
    A few modernized public universities can serve South Sudan better than 10 public universities with poor facilities and comprised quality education.
    The remaining gap in higher education can be filled by private institutions (Catholic University and St. Mary’s University and others).
    Resources are limited no matter the level of assistance the country gets. South Sudan must strategically use her limited resources to achieve better results in primary, secondary and technical education. South Sudan most requires basic and technical education at the moment. South Sudan still ranks low in literacy rate and the region’s first three universities could have served it for more 10 to 15 years before adding more public universities. Within the last six years, three public universities were added into the list of South Sudan public universities and the government is planning to add more in the near future; this approach to education will definitely stretch badly the already limited resources.

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  • 24 June 2011 00:13, by marie

    A number of donor agencies have channelled a lot of money to South Sudan. I hope South Sudan does not follow the trend of what George Ayittey characterize as vampire state in his famous lecture in the link below:

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