School Children in a parade in South Sudan (file photo):
By Moses Gum Degur
After experience the importance of education in South Sudan, many parents are making it a mandatory for children to go to school from age 6 to 14. Children under the age of six may be enrolled in pre-school or baby classes as long as they turn six in the first semester. This has tremendously improved the level of intake when it comes to enrolment of school children hence increasing hope for next generation to progress.
It has come into focus the largest country’s population is illiterate in the past years and therefore need to be educated.
According to education partners, they say the next generation should not again suffer illiteracy as like in the past.
Deng Deng Hoc Yai, the South Sudan Education Minister said it was a priority for all children to get access to education opportunities.
“Most of our children had had no chances to education during times of war and as per now they are encourage to join schools. It is not only for children but even old should go to adult schools for learning.
In South Sudan the level of schooling begins at Pre-school education. Nursing school is for children up to 3 years old and kindergarten for children from 4 to 6 years old.
Primary and secondary education is free but not compulsory in government owned schools. Higher education is provided at public or private universities but also free for public universities despite small charges.
Typical school year runs from February/March through November/December. Summer vacation is from mid-December to early February. Admission to a public university requires students to sit an entrance exam known as vestibular for their specific course of study.
According to Minister Deng Deng Hoc said all registered candidates must sit and pass exams for the next level. He said that no any doubt of malpractices during examination because it is being protected and secured by the police and national security.
As South Sudan witnessed cycles of violence for the last few years there is need to refocus its public expenditures on developing a strong education system to assure that the workforce can sustain domestic civil engineering projects, agriculture, healthcare, and technology sectors.
Even if the national government could redistribute its expenditures immediately, developing a new country from scratch is an immense endeavor. Development cannot be only top-down, but also must emerge from regional and local populations. Institutional and human capacity building will be most sustainable if it originates at the local level.