The Republic of South Sudan gained independence in July 2011. The world’s newest nation was left with a legacy of more than 50 years of conflict and continued instability, along with huge development needs including those facing the education sector. South Sudan has a population of 12 million, mostly inhabited by Nilo-Saharan speaking people.

One of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, South Sudan will need $1.5bn (£1.1bn) in aid for citizens still inside the country and $2.7bn for its refugees. [1]

South Sudan of Today

South Sudan faces many challenges that undermine its peace and development including but not limited to conflict, political instability, poverty, underdeveloped non-oil sources of revenue and more. Young people represent over 70% of the country’s population (age 29 and below); over 70% of the population is illiterate;[2] 2.2 million children/youth (age 6-17) are out of school;[3] and the country suffers from hyperinflation with rates reaching 550% in September 2016 and peaking at 102% as of September 2017.[4] There is also a severe lack of private sector investment, high rates of child labour and 59% of the working age population has been unemployed for a year or more.[5] Up to 70% of young people lack access to financial capital to start/build businesses and promote private sector development,[6] and many private sector opportunities have been carried out by non-South Sudanese given the low skill level. The challenges are further heightened at the state/local level and by gender. Youth unemployment in Juba is over 60% and over 80% in Bor, while 66% of young women are unemployed.[6] There is a great need to support the inclusion of young women. Over 78% of youth in urban areas stated they are eager to work, but no opportunities for employment or skills training as over 54% said they do not have access to TVET.[6] With many youth becoming restless and the risk of insecurity as a result, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) has multi-faceted benefits (including but not limited to education and job/skills training and employment) that can promote peaceful co-existence and sustainable development towards a shared and common economic goal.

Education in South Sudan

Given that South Sudan is one of the youngest countries in the world, governmental and public infrastructure and capacity are severely limited, and the government capacity and delivery has nearly been halted due to the conflict. The economy has crippled as a result.

Although the education sector has already been facing low levels of investment, the current crisis further exacerbates the situation, and the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sub-sector within education is the lowest funded education sub-sector.

South Sudan’s commitment to a stronger education system is reflected in its ambitious new five-year plan to improve service delivery nationwide. Embracing this challenge, the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) has developed a detailed plan which incorporates a transitional period, thereby allowing the state to rise above years of conflict and ensure its robust quality education system becomes a pillar of long-term peace, stability, and development. The school-aged population (3–17years old) is set to grow by half a million over the next five years to reach an estimated 4.9 million in 2020. As the number of school-aged children increases, the education system will need to increase its capacity significantly.Meanwhile, the country has a low population density with an estimated 17 inhabitants per square kilometre in 2015 and an urbanization rate of 19%. This entails further challenges for the organization of education supply, particularly in low density area. [7]

References

[1] The Guardian February 25, 2019

[2] UNESCO. 2009. Literacy Rates in South Sudan

[3] UNESCO. 2018. Global Initiative on Out of School Children – South Sudan Country Study. Juba: UNESCO

[4] World Bank (2017). South Sudan Economic Update: Taming the Tides of High Inflation. 

[5] Data analysis from World Bank’s South Sudan High-Frequency Survey, Wave 4 (2017). 

[6] UNESCO. 2018. Labour Market Assessment and Review – South Sudan. Juba: UNESCO

[7] South Sudan Education Sector Analysis, 2016: Planning for Resilience International Institute for Educational Planning, UNESCO 2016


The picture on top: Karl Grobl

Categories: Development, Education, World


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Karl Skaar
Karl Skaar

Is a highly successful professional, with a high degree of entrepreneurial flair. Among the many different roles, he is the chief editor of the Lucubrate Magazine.

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