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South Sudan, 17 February 2016: Education drive to benefit half a million out-of-school children

© UNICEF South Sudan/2015/Rich
Auen Lual, 7 years, learning in Bor Protection of Civilians site.

JUBA, South Sudan, 17 February 2016 — An initiative to educate over half a million children in South Sudan was launched today by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology with support from UNICEF.

The Back to Learning 2 initiative will target vulnerable communities across South Sudan by providing learning opportunities for children currently not attending school, either due to conflict or obstacles such as distance or family finances. It builds on the success of phase 1 of the initiative which allowed more than 360,000 children to access education in 2015.

“We made great progress last year but there are still too many children not receiving an education,” said Dr. John Gai Yoah, Minister of Education and Technology. “That is particularly an issue for girls and children uprooted by conflict.”

South Sudan has some of the worst education indicators in the world with only one in 10 children completing primary school. The conflict that erupted in 2013 has forced more than 400,000 children out of school and has significantly decreased primary school enrolment.

“A child not in school is a child robbed of her rights and her future,” said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “Societies will not function if we fail to educate our children”

The Back-to-Learning 2 initiative will provide an integrated education in emergencies package for displaced children and adolescents in conflict-affected areas, and a basic education package for vulnerable children and adolescents in areas that have not been affected by the fighting.

To provide access to learning opportunities for the more than half a million vulnerable children and adolescents aged 3 to 18, UNICEF and partners require US$75 million.

The funds will be used to provide learning facilities and education materials to newly enrolled children in schools; to continue education services to children in conflict-affected areas; and to enroll new students out of school for other reasons.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information, please contact:

Mercy Kolok, Communication Officer, UNICEF South Sudan; Mobile: + 211 (0) 955 639 658,

Thon J. Dhieu, Public Relations & External Affairs, Ministry of Education, Science & Technology ; Mobile : +211 955 505 775,



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