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RUMBEK, 25 June 2009 – The first education institute in Southern Sudan will be inaugurated today, marking an important step in strengthening capacity in the education sector, now recovering after decades of conflict.
The institute, located in Rumbek, capital of Lakes State in Southern Sudan, will be a centre for building more effective education systems and skills for individuals and institutions.
Welcoming the inauguration of the new institute, Professor Job Dhoruai, Minister of Education, Science and Technology of the Government of Southern Sudan, said “This centre will greatly supplement the efforts of our other institutions such as the teacher institutes, and will provide much-needed leadership in the education sector.”
“We are extremely grateful for the contributions of our donors - the Governments of Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands - provided through UNICEF,” he added.
Accompanied by the Governor of Lakes State, Lt. Gen. Daniel Awet Akot, and other government officials, Minister Dhoruai will officially receive the keys to the institute from UNICEF, which has been the leading partner in the project’s development.
Peter Crowley, Director of Operations for UNICEF’s Southern Sudan Area Programme, said “This institute represents a key, strategic investment in the education sector and, as such, will have a marked long-term impact on the wellbeing of children throughout Southern Sudan.”
Acting as a focal centre for education excellence and specialization, the institute will deliver a number of important services, including:
In-service training for professionals
Technical support to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology at all levels and in all educational fields
An education information repository, knowledge centre and clearing house
The institute will be autonomous, operating under its own charter and with its own governance structures, while also maintaining strong links with government bodies.
Rumbek was selected as the location for the institute due to its central location within Southern Sudan and its year-round ease of access by air and road.
Following the official inauguration, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will now establish a team to put in place management structures, begin recruiting staff and plan for its first round of activities.
“Great progress has been made in school enrolment since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, but unless similarly rapid improvements can be made in the quality of the education on offer, we run a serious risk that this progress will stall. The Rumbek Institute can play a unique role in helping bring about the quality improvements that are needed,” said Mr. Crowley.
The inauguration will be attended by H.E Yuchi Ishii, the Japanese Ambassador to Sudan, Dr. Mauro Ghirotti, Head of Italian Development Cooperation in Sudan, and Mr. Bengt Herring, representing the Joint Donor Team in Juba, as well as the Government of the Netherlands.
About UNICEF UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments
For more information please contact: Edward Carwardine, UNICEF Sudan Country Office Tel + 249 (0) 156 553 675 E-mail: email@example.com