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Education can’t wait for formation of next gov’t – Minister

By Sheila Ponnie

The Minister of General Education and Instruction, Deng Deng Hoc said whether there is formation of Unity government or not, it cannot affect the education sector because of the support from the Donors community.

“The impact will be minimal, because irrespective of whether a unity government is formed or not, the donors are supportive of the children of South Sudan to get quality education and that is not going to change because the transitional government of national unity has not been formed,” Deng told Juba Monitor in an exclusive interview on Friday last week.

As a matter of fact, many donors have committed resources already to supporting education in the country because we believe that education cannot wait,” he added.

He said education cannot wait because education is a human right he described it as “an enabler”, because it is enabling people to be able to exercise the other human rights including like the rights to life, because the quality of life depends on the quality of education someone has received.

He said the transitional government of Unity experienced increased number of children going back to schools because of the ceasefire that has been implemented for the last 12 months that created conducive atmosphere for education in the country.

 “And this is also why over 200,000 refugees have returned into the country spontaneously, we are anticipating more will return. We are also expecting Internally Displaced Persons to be going home to their villages. So all in all we can expect that the number of children and young people going to school will increase rather than decrease,” said Deng Deng.

He said the Ministry and the entire staff are preparing themselves to receive up to a half million additional learners by 2020.

He said they have programs being funded by the donors; Girls’ Education South Sudan program that is entering into the second phase.

He explained that the first phase was for 6 years, and the UK government invested more 60 million sterling pounds for the same program.

“This is why we are seeing a significant number of girls in our school and why we are achieving gender equality in education with a percentage of girls in 3,000 schools where we are taking daily attendance is now standing at 46.5 percent of 1.9 million,” he said.

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