Norway injects 10M USD to support S. Sudan education sector

By Okan Thomas Onyango

The Norwegian government has supported South Sudan’s education system by injecting NOK 90M, approximately 10M USD in to the sector to cater for a safe return to school for children in the country.

Speaking during the press, the Norwegian Ambassador to South Sudan, Siv Kaspersen said that Norway was really committed to contribute in ensuring that children would return safely to school especially girls and vulnerable children.

“This support is aimed at strengthening every effort towards a safe return to learning in South Sudan and to support nutrition for children and their mothers in flood affected states,” Kaspersen said.

Ambassador Kaspersen called upon the government to invest more in the education sector and pay a decent salary to teachers.

“I would like to call upon the government of South Sudan to allocate more finances towards education and to pay teachers a decent salary and on time. The most important investment South Sudan can do is to invest in the educational sector and we believe that this will be significant to the lives of the girls and boys, to their families and the country at large,” Ambassador added.

The Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng Acuil said that the support and contribution from the Norwegian government came at the right time because many children were missing out on education.

“The signing of the agreement between the Ambassador of Norway and the leadership of UNICEF will positively contribute to the education in South Sudan as we are preparing to re-open all schools in April 2021. It will also strengthen our efforts to tackle the problems caused by COVID-19 and the present floods which have affected over 2000 schools in the whole country,” she said.

 Acuil urged the UNICEF technical staffs to work together with their colleagues in the Ministry to plan the goals and the implementations of the project.

“I register a word of gratitude to the people of Norway and their government and your support to education in South Sudan which will have a positive impact on education to the children of South Sudan. The people of Norway have been committed supporters of South Sudan even during the difficult times of conflicts in the late 1990s,” Acuil concluded.

 The UNICEF representative, Andrea Suley said that the government of Norway is one of the UNICEF’s largest education donors globally and has always been a great supporter of UNICEFs’ education programs in South Sudan.

“Together as Norway, UNICEF and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, we can always count on each other and work together as we look forward to a better future of working for the children of South Sudan,” Suley said.

Most of the candidate classes in the country resumed in October this year and the rest of the classes will re-open in April 2021, meaning that the majority of the students will have lost the entire year of learning due to COVID-19.

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