Education challenge:  Situation overview

© UNICEF South Sudan/2016

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, as well as 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 72 per cent at the primary level.

The current trend in female enrolment is particularly disconcerting with the Gender Parity Index (GPI) going from 0.92 in pre-primary to 0.68 at primary and, ultimately, 0.46 at the secondary level. Any modest gains in enrolments are immediately undercut by dropout rates of over 10 per cent, thus, the number of out-of-school children in South Sudan is likely to remain the highest in the world at 72 per cent. 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 organizations providing frontline services needs continuous strengthening to be actively engaged in quality education service delivery. The 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 Assessment show teachers left schools mainly due to delayed and non-payment of salaries, insecurity and teacher salaries that are comparatively much lower than other jobs.


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