Home | News    Sunday 1 March 2015

Jonglei launches campaign to get children back into school

February 27, 2015 (BOR) – More than 400,000 children are not accessing education in Jonglei state either due to the country’s ongoing crisis or tribal violence.

Civilians fleeing violence seek refuge at the UNMISS compound in the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, Bor, following the eruption of violence on 15 December 2013 (AP)

At Friday’s launch of the “Let’s all go back to school”, the state director general in the ministry of education science and technology, Abel Manyuon, said a number of challenges remained, including lack of education facilities, inadequate number of teachers and consistent violence across the state.

All primary and secondary schools in Jonglei have now been officially declared open.

Manyuon said the ministry had a number of promising education programs planned in the 2015/2016 academic year, which Manyuon hopes will help address some of these issues.

He said good education outcomes could not be achieved in South Sudan without collective responsibility.

Hana Abel, the managing director of aid agency INTERSOS, said girls education must also be given priority.

“It is very important that girls are going back to school. This is the message that I am begging [for] on behalf of all the NGOs supporting education here in Jonglei state,” she said during Friday’s launching ceremony in Bor.

UNICEF representative Joseph Lia who represented UNICEF said girls education had long been neglected across the country.

“We are talking of 35% which is the net enrollment for girls only. For secondary school, it is only 2% for girls across South Sudan,” he said.

Lia attributed the low turnout to uncondusive learning environments in the country, which he said must be addressed if the current trend is to be reversed.

“How are we going to create a safe and protective learning environment for these children as we are advocating for them to get back to school?” he said.

Meanwhile, Jonglei’s deputy governor, Baba Medan, urged aid organisations to work with the ministry to help improve the education sector.

“I am calling upon all the organisations supporting education and other activities, please come to Jonglei state,” said Medan.

Some 500,000 children are said to be currently out of school in Jonglei, while nationwide about 1.8 million children are missing out on their education.