Home | News    Thursday 26 April 2012

British ex-PM backs calls for international funding for South Sudan education “crisis”


By Toby Collins

April 24, 2012 (LONDON) – The UK’s former prime minister, Gordon Brown, has launched a campaign calling on the World Bank, Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other international organisations to tackle South Sudan’s "education crisis” after the release of a report ranking it as one of the world’s worst for education standards.

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Gordon Brown (Getty)

Brown’s launch on 18 April is, according to the campaign, particularly pertinent within the context of South Sudan’s increasing fragility. Juba is currently locked into an escalating, military conflict with Khartoum.

For children “trapped in conflict”, education can offer a “sense of normality and keep alive the hope of a better future”, according to Brown.

The aim of the campaign is to get 1 million children into school in South Sudan, which has a larger proportion of its children out of school than "almost any other country in the world, along with the deepest gender inequalities” according to Brown.

The report has revealed that of the countries for which data is available, South Sudan has the worst level of secondary education enrolment. Also, less than five percent of girls in South Sudan complete primary education; and in some parts of the country there are 200 students to every teacher.

After more than two decades of civil war, woeful under-investment under the former rule of Khartoum and statehood achieved only last year, much of South Sudan’s infrastructure is in urgent need of development.

Brown described an improved education system as also potentially have a positive impact in other fields such as nutrition, child survival and combating infectious diseases.

The report published by the office of Brown and his wife, Sarah Brown, described the education situation in South Sudan as an opportunity to show the attainability of international development goals, even within fragile states.

However, the report claims the GPE’s response to the education strategy produced by the Government of South Sudan was “a showcase for what is going wrong in an aid system that is too inflexible [...] to the needs to conflict-affected countries”.

Brown is backing an online advocacy campaign calling for funding towards South Sudan’s education, before South is one year old, on 9 July 2012. It suggests US$180 million from the World Bank and GPE; US$30 million from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development bilateral donors; and US$30 million from the Africa Development Bank/Africa Development Fund.

This is running concurrently with Brown’s attempts to engage the private sector in developing South Sudan’s education system as part of the “Education Without Borders” initiative and is part of a larger project to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015.

Brown’s report suggests a plan which includes the construction of classrooms, teacher training and offering incentives to parents to get their children, and in particular girls, into school.

Co-convenor of the High Level Panel on Global Education, Graça Machel, said that basic education is the “birthright of every child”; even those in conflict-zones.


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  • 26 April 2012 05:30, by Dinkawarrior

    We are now in pain and we couldn’t call or visit any more to our friends! Whoever step up with whatever they have and help our people at this critical time, he or she will be our best friends forever! Thanks Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his efort!

    repondre message

    • 26 April 2012 08:30, by WendeMajok

      Gordon Brown has launch a great and meaningful campaign.
      Indeed, education in South Sudan need boosting. In my own opinion, I would say that there is no need of funding education facilities now because the funds always fall in the hands of wrong administrators that use the Nation’s stuff for their own benefits. Illiteracy will remain South Sudan’s cancer unless those administrators are changed.

      repondre message

    • 26 April 2012 09:05, by THEY PEOPLE’S POWER

      The government of south Sudan without Dinka Bor is doom to success believed it or not, you will hear and see the doom south Sudan within the government of Kiir without the Bor, not with leaders who love nothing than alcohol, Salva Kiir is not a leader and was not a leader believed it or not I know what I am talking about.

      repondre message

  • 26 April 2012 05:54, by Young Patriot

    Thanks Mr Brown,
    Education is much
    neglected in South Sudan
    and I believe it is
    the only panacea to South Sudan
    woes. God Bless you MR Brown

    repondre message

  • 26 April 2012 06:39, by Thomas Ader

    Wise called, Education is a key to the life. Sudan as a whole have not had a better Education system since the creation of earth because of government run by Khartoum that only give South Sudan 10 students for university scholarship a year compared to the numbers of South Sudan seccondary school.

    repondre message

  • 26 April 2012 07:03, by Madina Tonj

    Toby Collins

    I think Gordon Brown was right to call for funding new nation. British are supposed to do more as they were the one who divide Sudan in to two from the beginning. Now the Old regime in Khartoum are so desperately sad because this South Sudan was the main not only make Sudan well known but in everything supply Sudan nation belong in South Sudan. The new nation adop English as language

    repondre message

  • 26 April 2012 12:06, by Waucity

    White people Drama...We are talking about funding oil pipeline, so jump up and fund it, since you are so dramatic!!!!

    repondre message

  • 26 April 2012 18:19, by sudinka

    I thank Hon: Brown the world decision makers are fews and good Governace also are fews that decision will help war affected children in our country go ahead MR former Prime minister but make sure for rats in Juba are very busy taking all the public fund to the inner ground I( mean) official in the Government those who are stealing money very now and than may GOD BLESS YOU WITH YOUR CAMPAIGN.

    repondre message

    • 26 April 2012 21:41, by Elijah B. Elkan


      Many of your comments are missing the mark by a mile. First, talk is cheap, what did Mr. Gordon Brown did when he was a prim-mister. Now he’s out of the office so, he’s now concerns about south.

      Mr. Brown need to talk about the borders, or tell Khartoum who is in business of killing southerns. Bashir is the most wanted criminal in the world. Please don’t buy Mr. Gordon Brown lies.

      repondre message

  • 26 April 2012 22:42, by Northern Sudanese

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA South Sudan is so poor that it needs a white man to educate its people HAHAHAHAAHHAA

    someone yesterday said that the south is a rich ccountry hahahahaha, i cant see his comment here hahahahahaha

    repondre message

  • 27 April 2012 03:52, by Chris B

    Northern Sudanese,
    If your education system is so good, then why do so many of your high-achievers leave the country! Many of your so called good doctors and specialists that have worked underneath me whilst I trained them were very average at best! Most in fact were quite stupid!
    So just you wait and see, in 10 years, we will have overtaken you academically and then we’ll see who’s laughing!

    repondre message

    • 27 April 2012 20:06, by Born-to-Rule

      Chris B,

      I agree with you 100%, this inbreed people in N. Sudan are inferior. Having children with your cousin(s) can create idiots, just like Bashir, Kariti and Hussein. Khartoum ran Sudan for almost 60 years, and look were it’s now. The fool Bashir is in business of killing people, he had killed 2.5 millions southerns and almost 1 million Darfur citizens.

      repondre message

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