The challenge

UNICEF in action



The challenge

© UNICEF South Sudan/2016/Rich

Situation overview

Since the outbreak of conflict in December 2013, South Sudan has been confronted with many challenges, particularly large population displacements, chronic hyperinflation, civil unrest and food insecurity. In this volatile environment, the already fragile education system has deteriorated at both the system and service delivery levels and is characterized by poor educational outcomes and high numbers of out-of-school children including adolescents/youth, particularly those affected by conflict and other emergencies. According to the South Sudan Education Sector Analysis (2016) school coverage rates in South Sudan remain well-below the regional average with Gross Enrolment Rates (GER) of 10 per cent at the pre-primary level and 57 per cent at the primary level.

The current trend in female enrolment is particularly disconcerting with the Gender Parity Index (GPI) ranking 0.75 at primary and 0.57 at the secondary level. According to the 2017 Education Cluster Assessment, 26 per cent of functional schools have been affected by attacks on education during the year with the most commonly reported incidences being theft and looting by armed forces/groups.

The capacity of the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) to respond to the needs of children remains limited. Meanwhile, the capacity of non-governmental organisations providing frontline services needs continuous strengthening to be actively engaged in quality education service delivery. The Annual Education Census (AEC) 2016 revealed that more than half (58 per cent) of primary level teachers are untrained, impacting negatively on the quality of learning outcomes. Meanwhile, findings of the 2017 Education Cluster Assessment show teachers left schools mainly due to insufficient, delayed and unpaid salaries, as well as insecurity.

Impact of the conflict:

The surge in countrywide insecurity in late 2016 and 2017 has undermined the provision of education services. In conflict-affected locations, schools remain closed, often occupied by internally displaced persons seeking shelter and protection. According to the 2017 Education Cluster Assessment schools lost, on average, 1.8 weeks of schooling, as well as more than three weeks in Upper Nile and almost five weeks in Warrap. The main reasons for such closures were insecurity, environmental conditions and nonpayment of teacher salaries. With the signing of a peace agreement in September 2018, previously inaccessible areas can now be reached, so that urgently-needed education services can be provided.







Situation of children

2.2 million school-aged children out of school

30 per cent of schools are damaged, destroyed, occupied or closed

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