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Gov’t seeks to enroll over 700,000 children in schools

By: Bullen Bala Alexander

The Ministry of General Education, Instruction and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) have launched a back to learning campaign seeking to enroll over 700,000 children back to school across the country.

The campaign would also help facilitate the training of 5,600 teachers in the country.

The Minister of General Education and Instruction Deng Deng Hoc Yai, said that education was everyone’s basic human rights and it is right for South Sudanese children to learn.

“Education is your rights, I want to urge you and encourage you to exercise your right well,” Minster Deng said during the launch.

Deng added that the back to learning campaign was not only targeting the students but also the other adults and all other youths who were out of school.

“You must learn how to write, and become illiterate, you must learn to read and write, you cannot continue asking people to read things for us,” he stressed.

He noted that illiterate rate among South Sudanese has drastically reduced compared to the previous years.

As of last year, Deng said between 3.5 and 4 million children were enrolled to school “so our literacy must increase as per 2020 and many would be able to read and write.”

“South Sudan must take education seriously and every child must take education seriously because education is the most powerful weapon we can use to empower ourselves to change our life and transform our country and to equip ourselves to be the leaders of tomorrow,” he said.

Meanwhile Biram N’Diaye who represents UNICEF said the launching of back to learning was a golden opportunity to ensure more children in South Sudan get back to school.

He reveled that there were over 2.2 million children in South Sudan out of School and the campaign was an opportunity for them to get back to school.

 “With the stability, teachers are moving back to communities, displaced children can return to classrooms and once again schools can be safe spaces where children can learn and grow,” he said.

 “We plan to train over 5,600 teachers to support quality education; we know that a teacher is the most valuable asset in any school,” he said.

“We hope that in this golden window of opportunity where we can really move education in South Sudan forward, the teacher’s salaries will be a priority as peaceful environment requires less need for security and more public spending can be directed to education,” he said.

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