Deng Deng Hoc, the minister of general education and instruction(M) with Education partners posing for a group photo during launching of report on global initiative on ‘out-of –school children’ July 2nd 2018 in Juba (Photo by Kitab A Unango):
By Kitab A Unango
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has released a report that more than two million school going age children are out school in South Sudan.
The report was released during the launch of Global Initiative on Out-of School Children (OoSC) on Tuesday in Juba.
According to the report, there were complex and interrelated reasons ranging from poverty to cultural practices that have contributed to the high rate of Out-of-school children (OoSC) in the country.
Speaking at the launching, the minister of general education Deng Deng Hoc Yai said lack of qualified primary teachers has contributed to the number of Out-of School Children.
“There are 26,000 primary teachers who are not qualified to teach, even though we have everything needed without qualified teachers, there will be nothing”, Hoc said.
He pointed out that there was need to train more teachers to avert the situation.
“I appeal to global partnership for education to train our teachers so that they became professionals like in other countries so that the number is minimized”, he urged.
The minister revealed that most of the Out-of School Children were from the rural areas adding that most primary schools were incomplete.
“About 73 percent of the rural primary school where most of these Out-of School Children are incomplete and most children find it difficult to travel over 10 kilometers to primary school that are complete. So they ended up dropping out of school’, he stated.
Hoc also pointed out that child marriage has greatly contributed to the out –of school children in the country.
The minister added that the government was going to enforce a law that would punish parents who failed to take their children to school.
“The primary school is free and every parent is supposed to take their children to school. Very soon we are going to punish those parents who do not want to take their children to school “, minister Hoc added.
Mr. Sardar Umar Alam, UNESO representative, said illiteracy causes virtual cycle of poverty adding that the report has highlighted the role of the government of the country in reducing the phenomenon.
“The Ministry of General Education is to inspect and supervise general education at all level to ensure proper performance and to formulate education policies and national educational strategies”, Umar stated.